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Matthews appointed to complete Ward 1 term

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

On Monday the Shawnee City Commission revisited the issue of filling a vacancy on the board; the empty spot was created when former Ward 1 City Commissioner Ed Bolt was elected in June to become mayor. In a unanimous vote, commissioners chose Daniel Matthews, executive director of Community Market of Pottawatomie County, to take on the role of representing Ward 1 until the term ends in 2022.

Seven of nine applicants were interviewed for the post two weeks ago, when a decision was deferred. The interviewed applicants were Rex Hennen, Randy Kamm, Tony Kenyon, Mandi MacDonald, Matthews, Robert Morris and Steve Palmer. 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.

On Monday, just as he did at the previous meeting, Weaver made a motion to appoint Hennen to the position, but it failed to gain a second.

No special election

In an unrelated item, a special election is set for Jan. 12 for voters to have a say in whether the city goes into a 25-year agreement with One Gas, Inc. City Attorney Joe Vorndran confirmed Monday the city could not 'piggyback' on that planned election by adding to it a Ward 1 vote by residents. One Gas is covering the financial burden of that election by reimbursing its cost to the city. In order for the city to hold its own special election, it could cost up to $10,000. Vorndran estimated the earliest an election could be set up would have been some time in January. Commissioners chose not to pursue that route.

Though the board had the option to call a special election, they decided to instead appoint Matthews to serve for the remainder of the term, which ends in 2022.

Matthews was sworn in immediately after the decision.