Donna Oleson

Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com

A lot of things happened in 1986. The Space Shuttle Challenger blew us moments after liftoff from Cape Canaveral.  Geraldo Rivera set the nation on fire after he opened up Al Capone’s vaults and found a whole lot of nothing. Actor/body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger married newscaster Maria Shriver and Donna Oleson started working for the city of Eudora.

25 years later, a lot of things are coming to the end. The shuttle program, the marriage of Schwarzenegger and Shriver and Oleson’s career with the city.  Oleson’s last day as the City Clerk arrived on Wednesday and she has many memories of serving the community.

“I’ve spent almost half my life here in City Hall. It’s going to be a change” Oleson said. “I’m ready for it and I’m looking forward to another chapter in my life.”

Oleson started off as a utility clerk at City Hall in 1986. She eventually rose to the role of City Clerk in 1998.

“My most vivid memory was when we built the sewer plant in the 90’s,” Oleson said. “I think that was the biggest change I saw.”

Oleson has seen many good things and bad things in her time.  “The most rewarding thing, has been dealing with taking care of the cemetery plots. Helping people in their time of need and grief has always been a great thing to do and get them over the hump when people are hurting the most.”

Oleson has contributed much to the City, not only as City Clerk but also as Secretary to the Chamber of Commerce and various other organizations and events.

“I loved the kids getting to visit Santa Claus each Christmas time. It was always really special.”

About the future of City Hall operations, Oleson told us “I am confident that the City is in good hand’s with our City Administrator John Harrenstein who does an excellent job on the budget.  Pam Schmeck who will be replacing me and Renee Shackelford our Budget Analyst, and utility clerk’s Betsy Crabil, Christy Morriss, and Eileen Stuart.”

Oleson doesn’t know what the next chapter of her life will be.

“I want to do something.  I can’t afford to not do anything, but until I figure out exactly what that is, I’m going to have a lot of fun being grandma.”

A retirement reception for Donna will be held on Thursday evening from 5:00PM to 7:00PM at the Eudora Rec Center. The public is welcome to attend.

 

 

 

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City Clerk Donna Oleson (right) administers the oath of office to

Kenny Massey, John Fiore and Ruth Hughs

Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com

The newest members of the Eudora City Council were sworn into office at the beginning of the City Council meeting Monday night. Incumbent Ruth Hughs, along with newly elected members Kenny Massey and John Fiore were given the oath of office shortly after the meeting began.

Outgoing Council members Jeff Peterson and Maria Nelson had the opportunity prior to the swearing in ceremony to give an outgoing address.

Peterson talked about how positive he feels in where the city is at. “It’s been a pleasure to serve here. I think there is a lot of possibilities and opportunities to continue to move forward on some really important issues.”

Nelson echoed the comments of Petterson in her address. “It’s nice to know that I’m confident leaving the city council with the three great people elected.”

One of the first orders of business with the new city council was for the mayor to appoint a new Council President. Mayor Scott Hopson nominated the top vote getter in the election, Ruth Hughs, as Council President. Hughs was  approved unanimously by the city council members present.  Councilman Tim Reazin was out of town and unable to attend the meeting.

After electing the Council President, the next business item was to consider an application for a temporary cereal malt beverage license for a beer garden at an April 30 American Cancer Society benefit to be held in CPA Park.  As part of the application, Jerry Donlan, the organizer of the event, was requesting $350 to help pay for a band at the event. The event will be a motorcycle run culminating with a gathering at CPA park.

Usually, the beverage license application is a procedural issue more than a major topic of debate. A sign as to what may come on topics in the future with the new city council, this topic had a lengthy discussion on not only the donation amount requested, but to the beverage license itself.

Councilwoman Hughs has in the past, always opposed these types of beer licenses in the public parks in part “Because I believe that Eudora should not become known as the town that allows beer in the parks.”

In previous council votes on beverage licenses in public settings, the application usually passes 4-1. At last night’s meeting, Councilman Massey sided with Hughs and caused a deadlocked 2-2 vote on the issue due to the absence of Reazin.   This gave the rare opportunity for the mayor to cast a vote on the issue. The mayor only votes on issues to break a tie. Mayor Hopson, voted yes to allow the beer license to proceed.

As to the donation amount for the band, the City Council, while in full support of the benefit and the cause, was concerned about providing money for a band.  The money had been slated to come out of the Eudora Chamber of Commerce budget.  The feeling of all the council members was that, while worthwhile, that there should be some sort of more formal process to handle applications of this type for funds other than a simple request to the City Council.

The council directed city staff to work on a more formal application process to facilitate these types of request.  Council Bill Whitten announced to the organizer of the event that, since this was a time sensitive issue, he would donate the money for the band out of his own pocket to assist the charity event.

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Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

The three winning candidates from this weeks City Council election will be sworn into office this coming Monday night April 11th at 7:00PM.  The swearing in ceremony will take place in the City Council chambers at City Hall.

Incumbent Ruth Hughs along with newly elected members John Fiore and Kenny Massey will be given the oath of office.  After the ceremony, a small reception will be given in their honor.

The public, as with all City Council meetings, is invited to attend.  The regular City Council meeting will then take place following the swearing in ceremony.

According to Donna Oleson, City Clerk for the City of Eudora, the candidates are sworn in at the first regular council meeting after the vote is certified by Douglas County.  This year, that certification will occur on Friday, April 8.

The Eudora School Board election winners will be sworn in at the July School Board meeting.

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