Steve Shute, in remarks after being sworn in as mayor on Jan. 8, stressed unity as key to moving Gardner forward. Staff photo by Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
Gardner held an installation ceremony to swear in of newly elected members of the governing body on Jan. 8 at city hall. Steve Shute was sworn-in as mayor, Mark Baldwin and Randy Gregorcyk as city council members.
The audience included Calvin Hayden, Johnson County Sheriff; Bill Sutton, 43rd District state representative; and Mike Brown, District 6 county commissioner as well as many Gardner residents.
Shute, newly elected Gardner mayor, presented outgoing mayor Chris Morrow with a gift. Schute said the gift was from a grateful city and governing body to celebrate Morrow’s time.
Kristy Harrison, outgoing councilmember, was also recognized for her years of service and spoke from the podium about her experiences.
“I believe we’ve made some significant advancements. I believe the governing body is diverse, I believe it will continue to be diverse in thought, and they will continue to come up with the best solutions to move the city forward,” Harrison said.
Baldwin, from the podium prior to being sworn in as Gardner city council member said, ”I didn’t plan on running while I still had little kids and then I felt like we were at a crossroads right now. I didn’t want to make the mistake we had with the intermodal so I am eager to annex the land on the other side of I-35 and move us forward. So that’s my goal and we’ll see if the rest of the council’s on board.”
Gregorcyck, newly elected councilmember, in concluding his remarks prior to being sworn in as Gardner city council member said, “To sum it all up, I want to be a servant leader, and I want you to keep me honest and allow me to be that servant leader, and I expect feedback, both positive and negative,” he said. “I’m committed to working with Mayor Shute, Councilman Baldwin, Councilman Winters, Councilman Melton, Councilman Moore, and I look forward to great things and look forward to getting through the tough times. As long as we keep the constituents at the center of our decisions I think we’ll be all right.”
Shute, in remarks afterbeing sworn in as mayor, said, “You cannot have community without unity. And being united doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything by the way. Being united just means you’re willing to listen to each other.”
“Being united is willing to come together and find the things you can agree on and move forward,” he continued. “I am very very humbled to be here and very excited to see what the next few years hold for this community. I promise to those who elected me, to do everything I can to validate the trust you’ve placed in me with your vote.”
“To those that did not vote for me, I will do my absolute best, I will do everything in my power to convince you I can be your mayor as well,” he said. “Because I’m mayor to an entire city, not just a faction. I’m mayor to an entire population of good people, and that means we have to embrace our differences and move forward on our strengths. Everything I do in the next four years I pledge will be moving in that direction.”