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The Eudora City Commission selected John Fiore as the next Mayor of the City of Eudora. Tim Reazin was named the Vice-Mayor for the next year.
Fiore has served the last year as Vice-Mayor and has been on the City Commission since his election in 2011. Reazin is the longest sitting Commissioner having served the city since 2009. Reazin won a second term in office in the 2013 city-wide elections.
Under the Commission-Manager form of government the city adopted in 2013, the sitting Commissioners choose who will fill the Mayor and Vice-Mayor positions.
While the vote for the Mayor and Vice-Mayor was unanimous by the Commission, it didn’t start off that way. Mayor Ruth Hughs asked for nominations for the position of Mayor. After a long pause waiting for nominations from the Commissioners, Hughs then nominated Fiore for the job. Councilman Kenny Massey very quickly spoke up with concerns about falling into a habit of promoting the Vice-Mayor to Mayor.
“As you all remember, when we had the consultant talk to us about changing the form of government, he gave us several examples of bad experiences,” Kenny Massey said. “I want us to be cautious of automatic ascension.” Massey did not elaborate on any of those experiences that were discussed in 2012.
Fiore, who’s nomination was on the floor during this discussion, brought up the point that there are some responsibilities with being Mayor.
“It’s important to make sure that whoever is nominated is willing and able to take on the responsibilities of Mayor,” Fiore said. “There are a lot of city events the Mayor is required to participate in.”
Hughs, who has served as Mayor for the last 12 months said that she was surprised how much time the Mayor’s position takes to do the job. Massey then stated that is why he called “a time out”. He said that the Commission should consider Reazin for the Mayoral job.
“I think he’s the longest sitting Council member up here and because of his schedule and the way he rotates, his availability is a lot better,” Massey said. Reazin currently is employed as a firefighter in Lawrence and works a 24 hour shift approximately 10 days a month.
Hughs brought up the fact that Reazin has had to leave meetings prior to their conclusion due to his need to return to job at the fire station in Lawrence.
“I know Tim hires somebody to take his time, but he then has to leave and miss some of the more important parts of the meeting,” Hughs said. “Often the end of the meeting would be without a Mayor. I think that’s kind of critical.”
Reazin responded that it has only happened when there is a four hour meeting.
“We can’t be guaranteed that they all aren’t going to be,” Hughs replied.
After some continuing discussions on why both Fiore and Reazin felt they were ready for the job, Hughs stated her motion still stands for Fiore as Mayor. Jolene Born seconded the nomination and the Commission voted unanimously for Fiore. After Fiore took over the meeting as Mayor, he called for nominations of the Vice-Mayor and Kenny Massey and Ruth Hughs seconded the motion. The Commission made a very quick and unanimous vote in favor of Reazin for Vice-Mayor.
After the meeting, Fiore spoke about being named Mayor.
“It’s a great honor and distinction to be named Mayor, but really all five of us are equal members of the governing body and we all look to work towards the same goal of making Eudora great,” Fiore said.