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Shawnee City Commission: Filling of Ward 1 seat deferred

By Vicky O. Misa | Vicky.misa@news-star.com | (405) 214-3962 | Twitter: @Vicky_NewsStar
The Shawnee News-Star

Shawnee residents will wait a bit longer for the Ward 1 commission seat to be filled; after interviewing seven of nine applicants, the agenda item was deferred.

Two of the seat-seekers did not complete the interview process — Chris Odneal wasn't at the meeting and Lindie VanAntwerp cited after further review the discovery that she was ineligible to serve on the board due to her employment with Shawnee Forward; she withdrew her name from consideration.

The seven remaining Ward 1 applicants are:

• Rex Hennen, a former City of Shawnee employee for 31 years, including roles as Shawnee assistant city engineer and Shawnee regional Airport manager;

• Randy Kamm, with SSM Health Medical Group, and head over the medical facility project at Domino Plaza;

• Tony Kenyon, a family man wrapping up a 20-year stint in the military;

• Mandi MacDonald, a North Rock Creek teacher and mother-to-be;

• Daniel Matthews, executive director of Community Market of Pottawatomie County;

• Robert Morris, a resident active in city government and employed for years at Tinker Air Force base; and

• Steve Palmer, CEO of Neighboring 101

What now?

After the interview process was finished, Ward 2 Shawnee City Commissioner Bob Weaver made a motion to appoint Hennen to the position, which was seconded by Ward 6 Shawnee City Commissioner Ben Salter. The motion failed 3-2. Ward 3 Shawnee City Commissioner Travis Flood was not at the meeting.

Ward 5 Shawnee City Commissioner Mark Sehorn expressed a desire to have more time to consider the applicants' interview responses.

There also was some discussion among board members about what options were available — deferment on the issue, leaving an empty seat until a special election, appointment until a special election, or appointment until the term ends in 2022.

The decision Monday, in a 3-2 vote, was to defer the item until the next meeting. Salter and Weaver opposed.

If the board should choose to call a special election, the cost to the city could be around $10,000. Shawnee City Attorney Joe Vorndran estimated such an election could not be achieved until January.

Watch for updates.