By ERICKA WERLING
A newly elected commissioner and two incumbents were sworn in at the Abilene City Commission meeting Monday by City Clerk Penny Soukup.
Kari Payne was sworn in as the new commissioner, along with Dennis Weishaar and Brenda Finn-Bowers. Following the swearing in ceremony, the commission reorganized, electing John Ray as mayor, and Angie Casteel as vice mayor.
Payne filled a vacant seat left when Lynn Peterson was elected to the Dickinson County Commission.
Before passing the gavel, Weishaar lauded the efforts of the commission and city personnel.
“I would like to personally thank the staff and employees and my fellow commissioners for making this a very enjoyable year as mayor,” he said. “It’s amazing what you can get done when you have fine people that are really professional about doing what is best for the City of Abilene and nobody cares who gets credit, as long as the job gets done.”
Mayor Ray applauded strong supporting staff of commissioners and city staff, and thanked his wife Mary.
The commission agreed to fewer members on the Convention and Visitors Bureau. The initial membership was 13 and had been dropped to nine. Monday’s action reduced the membership to seven. City Manager David Dillner said that the number was reduced in stages to reflect expired terms.
The Charter Ordinance is subject to a 60-day protest petition.
The commission also established the framework of emergency operations, detailing how city personnel respond to city emergencies and disasters.
The commission also approved the exchange of federal funds for the Kansas Department of Transportation project.
The commission went into executive session for 10 minutes, and took no action once they returned to regular session.