Archive for Thursday, November 9, 2006

Pyle to take more time with vacancy

November 9, 2006

For those with aspirations of joining the Eudora City Council, it's time to get in gear.

Mayor Tom Pyle wants to have Kevin Miller's vacated city council seat filled by the end of the month, he said.

At the next city council meeting Monday, he plans to update the council on the search thus far, Pyle said.

"I'll probably be finished that week taking applications from people who are interested," Pyle said.

The following week he'll begin a series of interviews City Council President Lori Fritzel, he said.

After conducting interviews, Pyle will meet with the rest of the council to discuss the results.

"I will then make the appointment with approval of the council," Pyle said. "They'll be at the meeting that night. I hope and we can seat them then."

If not, the new council member would be officially sworn in at the first meeting in December.

In the weeks since Miller announced his resignation to the Eudora City Council, Pyle has had five different people ---- four men and one woman ---- come to him expressing interest in the position.

"The ones who have so far called me and come in to see me, all of them are outsiders, new to town," the mayor said.

Some of the applicants had only been in town for six years, Pyle said.

"I don't know why people who have lived here longer don't volunteer," Pyle said. "It shows other people are wanting to run."

Pyle said he has seen commonalities in the applicants.

"They all say they would like to serve," Pyle said.

All the applicants thus far affirmed they are ready to work for and with the current city council members, Pyle said.

"I'm delighted people have stepped forward for the position," he said.

Pyle heard another common refrain from the applicants.

"All of them said they're happy in Eudora and want to make Eudora a better place."

Judging from preliminary conversation, Pyle doesn't expect his appointee to make major changes right off the bat, he said.

The mayor doesn't see the make up of current applicants as a particularly bad thing, he said.

"I just think it's good for the community to know new people," Pyle said.

Pyle's appointee will join the council as it moves forward from the controversy caused by a rescinded suspension of City Administrator Cheryl Beatty. Despite the current state of the council, the applicants haven't expressed concern about the overall environment, Pyle said.

"I think people have been pretty observant. They've been keeping track of what's going on. I don't think it's necessarily a concern."

Pyle said he wouldn't be surprised if the applicants he'd talked to try running for the three open council seats next April if not appointed. Miller's replacement, and positions now held by Councilman Dan Gregg and Councilman Scott Hopson will be contested next spring.

Overall, Pyle said he's confident about the search.

"I'm optimistic," Pyle said. "We've got a good administrator, a good council and we'll move forward from this point we are at right now."

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