CITY HALL -- In a fairly brief council meeting mostly filled with ceremony, the Topeka City Council welcomed back a veteran incumbent and three new members Tuesday night.
Mayor Bill Bunten followed his weekly proclamations, by giving the microphone to Jeff Preisner and Deborah Swank, who received certificiates thanking them for their years on the council. Then came the swearing-in of District 2's John Alcala with his family alongside him. District 4 Council member Denise Everhart was the first new member to join the council tonight, followed by Chad Manspeaker in District 6 (the seat held by Swank.)
And former Libertarian Candidate for Governor, Andrew Gray raised his hand to assume the job once held by Jeff Preisner, to represent Southwest Topeka in District 8.
The new council navigated its way through a long list of votes on new appointments. Once John Alcala tallied a 6-3 vote to become the new Deputy Mayor, Gray and Everhart were selected to serve on JEDO, the Joint Economic Development Board. Bob Archer was chosen by the new council to chair JEDO.
Veterans on the council all offered their prayers for recovering former Councilman Jack Woelfel tonight. Larry Wolgast, entering his next two years on the council said, "even though Jack and I didn't always vote the same, we worked on expenditures together, and I offer my prayers to Jack and Mary."
The newer members had a similar theme in their comments before adjournment of the one hour, 40-minute session. Andrew Gray and Chad Manspeaker thanked their constituents for the well wishes they received after their wins on April 5th.