Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
Janeice Rawles, city clerk of Edgerton, is a familiar face to Edgerton residents. Anyone who has visited city hall over the last couple decades is likely to have been greeted by Rawles. She was recently recognized for 25 years of employment with the city of Edgerton.
Rawles has lived in Johnson County her whole life. She grew up in Olathe, two blocks north of the county courthouse. She recalls crossing Sante Fe, which was then a two lane street, on her daily walk to school.
She remained in Olathe for the first part of adult life – found love, got married and had two children.
She says she’ll never forget the day they looked at a house for sale in Edgerton. There was a foot of snow on the ground – they loved the place and bought it.
That house, and Edgerton, would be home for the next 34 years. They just sold that house and moved into a new Edgerton home about a year ago.
During the first eight or nine years as an Edgerton resident, she drove 25 miles each way to work in Overland Park.
In 1992, she took a pay cut to take the job of deputy city/court clerk for the city of Edgerton.
“I could afford the cut in pay because I didn’t have to pay for the gas and everything else to get back and forth to work,” she recalls.
She liked her new job from the start. Her kids started attending schools, and she started getting involved with the community. She had found her place.
Back then, municipal court was held on the north side of the building, in the space where two administrative offices now are, so the building has changed some, but Rawles workstation has been in the same place for all those years.
Rawles has seen a lot of Edgerton history.
She’s seen three mayors serve multiple terms. Maurice Taylor was mayor of Edgerton when she started, followed by Frances Cross and now, Don Roberts.
In addition to her duties at city hall, she’s been active in the community in many other ways.
She worked with her friend Rita Moore in the effort to establish the Edgerton Library, as well as the historical society, and for years served on the Frontier Days committee. She was active with the Girl Scouts and her kids’ school activities. She was busy.
She’s not just seen Edgerton history, she’s part of it.
In recent years, she’s seen the explosion of economic development activity resulting from the BNSF intermodal, and the benefits that brings the community. She said she was for it from the start and knew it would bring good things.
“The renovation of the Park – we couldn’t have done that if we didn’t have the funds coming in from out there to help us,” she says.
She also mentions road and infrastructure projects and the plans for a new community center, as good things coming as a result of the industrial park.
She likes the way that Edgerton still maintains its small town charms, while being near the industrial facility.
These days, she’s had to cut back on the extra curricular activities. She focuses on her job at city hall and enjoys the small town life.
“I love my job, I love my city, I love my citizens,” she says.
Her kids are grown now, and she has a 5 year-old grandson with another coming in April.
For fun, on Friday nights she likes to travel about 30 miles east to Jaudin, Mo., where she enjoys competing for deals at a certain auction barn.
She says she’s seen a lot of changes over her 35 years of life in Edgerton.
“I just can’t think of anything bad or anything negative,” she says, “I wouldn’t do anything over any different.”