2012 in review
Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
Yesterday, we brought you the stories ranked 6 – 10 for 2012. Today, we are finishing up our feature with the Top 5.
5. Gregg Webb resigns as Eudora High’s Football Coach
Just prior to Christmas, Webb announced that he would be leaving the School District to head up the Truman High School team in Independence, MO. Webb took Eudora to the playoffs 9 of his 10 years at Eudora, including the two State Championship appearances in 2011 and 2012.
4. Changes in top posts of Police and Fire Departments
Eudora Police Chief Grady Walker and Eudora Fire Chief Chris Moore both resigned within two weeks of each other in late early September 2012. Walker stated his resignation was for personal reasons and Moore in his resignation letter said that he believed the needs of the Fire Department required a full time Fire Chief.
Walker’s interim replacement was Dave Burger, a former Undersheriff for the Johnson County Sheriff’s department. On December 17th New Police Chief Bill Edwards started in Eudora after serving as Police Chief for Park City, KS and working 32 years for the Kansas City, KS police Department.
Moore’s interim replacement was Pete Pete Feyerabend, a volunteer with the Fire Department. In somewhat breaking news, just as we were putting this feature together, we received word that Eudora has hired Ken Keiter, a former Battalion Chief for Olathe, KS as the new Fire Chief for Eudora. Keiter worked for Olathe for 31 years prior to his retirement from the Fire Department in March 2012. (Editor’s Note: We will have more on this story following the New Year’s holiday.)
3. Public Safety Building
A new Public Safety building finally broke ground in late summer 2012 on the site of the old Eudora Middle School at 10th and Main Streets in downtown Eudora. The building will house the Police, Fire and EMS services for the community.
The building had a somewhat controversial beginning as the original cost of the building was to exceed $4 million. The City Council eventually decided the cost was too much and tried to find a different location where the structure could be built for less costs. When a secondary location never panned out, the Council decided to return the structure to Main Street, but made several design changes to bring the costs down to approximately $2.5 million. The cost of the building will be paid for by some finances set aside in previous years and a 1.72 mill levy increase.
The voting public headed to the polls in November to help decide who would be governing them in Washington D.C. and Topeka over the next two years.
Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Topeka) defeated Tobias Schlingensiepen (D-Topeka) for the 2nd District seat in the House of Representatives to give her a second term in Washington.
In the State races, Kansas Representative Anthony Brown (R-Eudora) gave State Senator Tom Holland (D-Baldwin) a run for his money for the 3rd District Senate Senate seat but Holland proved victorious over Brown. The campaign was a hotly contested one with the cable median barriers playing a significant role in the campaign rhetoric. In the Kansas House, Rep. Connie O’Brien (R-Tonganoxie) easily defeated Harold Feverly Jr (D-Leavenworth) to return to Topeka.
In the Douglas County Race for County Commission, Commissioner Nancy Thellman won reelection over Frank Male, another Eudora resident running for office.
In a somewhat proud moment for us, Eudorareporter.com along with the Eudora Chamber of Commerce, hosted the first Candidate Forum of the November campaign season with the candidates for national and state offices. This was the first time a debate of this nature occurred in Eudora.
1. Form of Government Change
Voters in November also passed the measure to change the form of government in Eudora from Mayor-Council to Commission-Manager. The change means that Eudora will no longer elect a Mayor. The Mayor will be appointed from among the Commissioners. The City Commission will have similar powers that the Council had. This change was precipitated by the need to move from a City of the Third Class to a City of the Second Class in late 2010. The change, while mostly symbolic, is one of the biggest shifts in city government since Pascal Fish signed over the deed for the land that now comprises the City of Eudora.
As we close the books on 2012 and ring in 2013, we hope that the coming year brings joy and happiness to all. Our commitment here at Eudorareporter.com is to continue to bring you the news and information about Eudora over the coming year. Let’s hope that it is filled with good and positive stories.