Commissioner-elect’s resume extensive
Just because the office newly elected Clyde Graeber won Tuesday night doesn't seem as lofty as some of his previous positions, that doesn't mean it's small potatoes. Graeber, voters' candidate of choice for the Second District Leavenworth County Commission seat, certainly isn't looking at the job as anything but a major responsibility.
"It's a very important four years," Graeber said. "Right now, the next four years could be, what I believe, is the greatest opportunity for growth and development (Leavenworth County) might have ever seen.
"It will be a very challenging time, but I'm looking forward to it."
According to final-but-unofficial voting results submitted by the Leavenworth County clerk's office, the GOP's Graeber received 5,443 votes, from constituents in the second district. Democratic challenger Mike "Whiz" Scanlon earned 3,272 votes.
Graeber said the most effective tool he utilized during the campaign was informing voters of his 25 years-plus experience in government. His resume includes 12 years spent in the House as representative of the 41st district, six years on the Leavenworth City Commission, including two years as mayor, four years as the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and a year as Kansas state treasurer.
"It was very surprising," Graeber said of Tuesday's margin of victory. I'm glad it's over. I'm glad I won.
"It's always surprising when (Election Day) turns out that good."
The second district encompasses parts of Leavenworth, Lansing and Linwood. Graeber, who's lived in Leavenworth County since 1968, said he'll focus the next four years as commissioner on doing what's right for his district as well as the county as a whole.
"If the county commission can help Linwood, we're helping the county," he said. "If we can help Tonganoxie, we're helping the whole county. Whatever's good for communities in our county, that's good for everyone in the county."
Ultimately, a top priority for the new commissioner will be economic development. One way to facilitate making Leavenworth County a top destination for new residences and businesses alike is employing a proactive approach to planning and working toward providing sound infrastructure, i.e., roads and sewers.
Graeber pledged to "work with all groups that strive for economic development."
Graeber will succeed current second district commissioner Bob Adams, whom Graeber said he respects and "has been a very good commissioner." He, like all new elected officials, will be sworn in Jan. 10.
Until officially taking office, Graeber said he'll be studying county procedures and information and attending as many county commission meetings as possible.
"While I won a seat on the Leavenworth County Commission, there's a commissioner in that seat and I wouldn't want to interfere with that at all," he said.
"I think until (Jan. 10) I'll be very quiet, but very observant."