Peak appointed to council
Musical chairs on the Tonganoxie City Council continued with the resignation of a second council member in less than a month and the appointment of a new council member.
On Monday, the council unanimously approved Mayor Jason Ward’s appointment of Bill Peak to the city council seat left empty with Tom Putthoff’s resignation late last month.
The appointment came minutes before Councilman Burdel Welsh announced his resignation from the council. Welsh has resigned as police chief of Lake Quivira and accepted the job as deputy police chief of a U.S. Army base in the Marshall Islands. He and his wife will be leaving for the South Pacific later this month.
In appointing Peak to fill the remaining seven months of Putthoff’s term, Ward cited his activism with the city, including a seat on the planning commission and his chairmanship of the Tonganoxie Retail Recruitment and Retention Committee. Ward also noted Peak attended nearly every council meeting and was therefore familiar with issues before the council.
“Sometimes he’s agreed and sometimes he hasn’t,” Ward said. “He’s shown an ability to accept positions taken by the council and move on. I think that’s valuable for the public and the council.”
In expressing his support for the appoointed, Welsh noted Peak’s regular attendance of council meetings and said on several occasions he reminded the council of past decisions overlooked during discussion.
When asked by Councilwoman Paula Crook his goals, Peak said, “To do the best I can for the city.”
Welsh said last week he appreciated the chance his council seat provided of seeing another side of city government.
“I’ve had 35 years on the other side of the council table, so I’ve really enjoyed the chance to be on the other side of it,” he said. “It’s been a learning experience for me, especially about budgeting and regulations on that and certainly its challenges.
“I enjoyed working with council members. I felt my niche was emergency services, and I hope I was able to contribute to the council in that area.”
Welsh was elected to the Council in April 2009, and his term was to expire in 2013.
Ward joked Monday that he didn’t anticipate making some many appointments to the council when he became mayor in August after the resignation of Mike Vestal from that office.
Last month, Ward appointed Chris Donnelly to fill his vacant council seat, which also expires in April 2013. He said he would announce his appointment to Welsh’s seat at the council’s Sept. 27 meeting.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for him, and I’m very happy for him,” Ward said of Welsh. “From the council’s perspective, it’s a major loss. I recently appointed Burdel Council president, and it’s disappointing he’ll miss out on the opportunity."