Mayor to begin interviews for councilor
Mayor Tom Pyle followed through Monday on his promise to keep moving forward with a search to fill Eudora's empty city council seat.
Pyle officially announced the names of five candidates both he and councilwoman Lori Fritzel will interview next week for the position.
The council took no official action at the meeting because a quorum was not present. Councilmembers Scott Hopson and Bill Whitten were absent. Whitten told the council in advance he would not be able to attend the meeting.
Darren Abram, Mike Howard, Jeff Peterson, Maria Nelson and Tim Reazin will all have the opportunity to interview for the seat.
"I really think we're going to have a hard time deciding," Pyle said.
After completing the interviews, Pyle will then meet with the remaining city council members to come to a conclusion. The council must approve Pyle's decision.
Pyle said he hoped to make the appointment at the Nov. 27 meeting should the council have a quorum.
The five applicants share a common trait, Pyle said during the announcement.
"The fine people we have are all fairly new coming into Eudora. It's not the old-timers that have signed up for it. They all want to serve Eudora because they like Eudora," Pyle said.
Each candidate will be interviewed individually about city issues, Fritzel said.
The applicants work in varied fields. At one time, Peterson represented Manhattan in the Kansas House of Representatives. Reazin served as a FEMA officer in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Both Abrams and Reazin are firefighters.
Nelson and Peterson both work at financial planning firms in Lawrence.
Howard works as a public relations specialist for a lighting company in Kansas City.
Fritzel said she will keep an eye on the council's current makeup during the interview process to see how the candidates fit in with the present city council.
While Pyle and Fritzel prepare for the interviews, the applicants prepare for what it might mean to join the city council.
"I see a lot of changes coming, and I'd like to do my part to help out in the coming months and hopefully help the town grow in the right direction," Abrams said.
Nelson said she'd like to help more small businesses get a foothold in Eudora.
"I think it would be great if we can do more to get more publicity to the city," Nelson said.
The publicity could draw the businesses, she said.
Peterson is ready to continue his political involvement.
"I just think it's very important to be involved in the community you live in," Peterson said.
For Reazin, who ran in the last city council election, it would be an opportunity to help those who protect Eudora.
"I'd like to see as the city grows that we do more things for the fire department and police department," Reazin said.
Howard stepped in because he saw the need for citizens to help guide the city's growth, he said.
" I just want to serve the public," Howard said.
Fritzel said she wouldn't be surprised if the applicants run for the three open council seats in April if not appointed at the last council meeting of the month.
Monday's city council meeting was rescheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Eudora City Hall, 4 East Seventh St.