First candidate enters city council race
The first candidate for Tonganoxie City Council has tossed his hat in the ring.
Robert Nickle, a 15-year resident of Tonganoxie, filed for election to the city council last week.
All three city council members whose seats are up for election -- Kathy Graveman, Steve Gumm and Emmett Wetta -- have indicated that they will not run again.
Nickle, 833 E. Sixth, who retired in September as switchman on the Union Pacific Railroad, said he's been studying minutes of council meetings, in an effort to acquaint himself with the array of issues that face the city and to hit the ground running as a council member.
"I've been around small communities all my life and this community is growing constantly," Nickle said. "I don't know if I can help improve what we've got going here or not, but I'm going to try."
The 61-year-old Nickle said being retired is a plus.
"I have nothing else to do, but go to meetings and keep up with what's going on," he said. ''... I feel like we need some people who can spend more time working with the city.
"All I have to contend with right now is the grandkids," he added, laughing, "and that's a pretty busy job."
Nickle also keeps busy in his garden and yard -- and tinkering on the model railroad that's set up in his basement. It was, in fact, the Union Pacific that helped draw Nickle to Tonganoxie.
"I knew some guys who worked for the railroad who lived out here," Nickle said. "They've all moved away now. I was looking for a place closer to work. Before, it took me an hour to drive to work every day. I'd done it for years."
Then he met the woman who now is his wife. He and Suzzanne have eight children, 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.