Voters oust Peters, Shepherd
Gardner voters have recalled City Council members John Shepherd and Mary Peters from office on March 2.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the unofficial results from the Johnson County Election Commission’s Web site showed that 1,245 voters (58 percent) cast a ‘yes’ vote to remove Shepherd, while 904 (42 percent) voted ‘no.’ For Peters, 1,269 voted ‘yes’ (59 percent) and 882 voted ‘no’ (41 percent). The votes will be finalized sometime early next week.
Members and supporters of the Gardner Recall Committee erupted into cheers as they viewed the results online. The group held a small watch party at Austin’s Bar and Grill as they waited for results to come in.
Harrison appointed to Shepherd’s seat
Gardner Mayor Dave Drovetta, at a special town hall meeting Saturday morning, announced his appointment to fill the seat on the Gardner City Council left vacant by John Shepherd.
Drovetta plans to appoint Gardner resident Kristi Harrison to the council at its meeting March 15. Harrison, a 19-year employee of CenturyLink, has been involved in numerous local organizations and projects, including Project Graduation and Festival on the Trails. A majority of the three sitting council members must approve the mayor’s appointment to seat Harrison.
Thompson resigns from council
Gardner City Council member Dan Thompson resigned on March 12.
In his resignation letter, Thompson said he did not feel he could stay on the governing body when he did not believe he had the support of Gardner residents.
“Because I believe it is immoral to govern without the consent of the people, I hereby tender my resignation effective immediately,” Thompson wrote.
Newburg appointed to replace Shepherd
Mayor Dave Drovetta announced that he would appoint Dan Newburg, pastor at Gardner Church of the Nazarene, to the council to fill John Shepherd’s position on the council. Shepherd’s term expires in 2011.
Kristina Harrison, who was originally appointed to replace John Shepherd, will serve the remainder of Thompson’s term through 2013.
Appraiser’s report shows property values decline
At the end of 2009, County Appraiser Paul Welcome told county officials he estimated the appraised value of homes in Johnson County would be down between 2 and 6 percent. His report shows residential values dropped 2.49 percent county wide.
Valuations for 2010 hit mailboxes on March 1, and showed Spring Hill’s property values overall decreased by 3.59 percent. Gardner’s property values overall decreased by 1.41 percent. In 2010, the mean value for a single family home in Spring Hill was $137,407. In Gardner, the mean value of a single family home was $158,782. Edgerton was one of two Johnson County cities in which the average sales price of existing homes increased.
The average existing single family home in the city was $120,853.

Construction on a new aquatic center in Spring Hill hit fast forward in spring 2010. Workers needed the pool ready in time for the summer season. Rendering courtesy of city of Spring Hill

Edgerton annexes intermodal land
The Edgerton City Council annexed the 1,000 acres designated for the BNSF intermodal facility at Thursday night’s meeting.
According to Edgerton City Administrator, all three parties involved in the annexation agreement – the city, BNSF and the Allen Group – have signed the document. According to the agreement, the city is required to annex the site within 60 days of it being eligible to be annexed. The council’s vote to annex was unanimous.
The property on which the intermodal would be located was annexed along with 90 acres owned by the Brewer family. The council had annexed that land previously, but at Thursday’s meeting had to repeal the annexation and annex the land again due to a mistake in the legal description.