2012 in Review – January & February

January 2012 in Review 

Lamar began a new year with new faces on the horizon.  Resignations, elections of several types, job changes…all played a role in introducing new persons to our community and with those changes, an opportunity to develop, grow and expand our social and business climate. 

Mike Parker

 Politics came to the forefront to start the New Year.  In January, long time Lamar businessman Mike Parker announced his bid for Prowers County Commissioner, aiming for the seat occupied by first time commissioner, Henry Schnabel for the first district.  In that same month, Commissioner Gene Millbrand announced he would not seek another term as the District 3 representative.  The field of candidates become more crowded with the announcement from Roger Stagner he would seek the seat being vacated by Millbrand and within days of each other, Wendy Buxton-Andrade upped the ante when she too, declared she would run for the District 3 seat, setting up a potential Republican primary contest between herself and Stagner.  Schnabel also made it official with his bid for re-election to the District 1 position, adding to the primary numbers for the approaching spring. 

Roger Stagner

 Another election was also looming on the horizon, the Prowers Medical Center recall election for board members Candy Ruedeman and Marjorie Campbell.  A petition to have the two new board members removed was approved in December of 2011 and moved forward with the announcement from Sandra Summers, Karl Nieschburg and Kathleen Henderson that they were seeking seats on the board in the February election.  Also in January the Holly Town Board of Trustees considers raising the city sales tax, an issue that would play out in the November General Election. 

February 2012 in Review 

The February 7 recall vote for PMC board members Ruedeman and Campbell failed by a two to one margin of voters in the Prowers Medical Center Hospital district.  Ruedeman received 1,481 votes to remain on the board versus 624 asking for her recall.  Campbell’s tally was 1,407 to remain versus 695 to remove her. 

The Emick family was honored by the community, receiving the Citizen of the Year award at the annual Lamar Chamber of Commerce banquet.  Don Emick accepted for Bob and Helen.  The Humanitarian of the Year award, not always an annual presentation, was made posthumously to Ron Austin with his son Cameron and his father, Leonard, accepting the award from presenter Ron Cook.  Vincent Gearhart was presented with the Honker of the Year award by Bill Wootten. 

More changes occurred for February.  The leap year month ended on the 29th with the abrupt resignation of Bill Pfeilsticker as Lamar City Administrator.   

Bill Pfeilsticker

The council would begin a several month long search for his replacement.  Chief Executive Officer of Prowers Medical Center, James Fairchild announced his pending resignation, which would be effective on May 23.  Lamar businessman and city councilman, P.J. Wilson announced his resignation from the council.  As Wilson and his family had moved out of his district, he would no longer be able to serve the city.  The council added another name to their list of needed replacements. 

The face of the Prowers County Development Incorporated board of directors was changed with an annual election of board members.  LCC President, John Marrin was elected, as was Doug Thrall, the general manager of the renovated Rodeway Cow Palace Inn.  Deb Choat and Marsha Willhite were re-elected to the board during the annual PCDI meeting in February.

Don Suefer enters the ring for Prowers County Commissioner with the announcement that he is seeking the District 1 seat on the Democratic ticket.  Suefer, a long-respected farmer/rancher from the Bristol area, increases the number of candidates to a level that hadn’t been witnessed for a commissioner seat in several past elections. 

Donald Seufer

 Bob Haney is hired as the new golf pro at the Spreading Antlers Golf Course.  Haney has previous ties to Colorado and California and lends his experience to helping improve the irrigation infrastructure to the golf course.   

Some ten year anniversaries are noted in the community.  The Lamar Senior Center holds an open house in honor of their decade of service to the senior citizens of the community.  It was an opportunity to renew old friendships, as former Lamar City Administrator, Jeff Anderson, attended the festivities.  Anderson had helped initiate the development of the new center, located on East Olive Street, on the former Safeway store site.  The Snow Goose Festival also celebrated its tenth anniversary, hosting keynote speaker, Ted Floyd.

by Russ Baldwin

(Editor’s Note:  March & April will be featured December 26)


Filed Under: communityCountyFeaturedPoliticsProwers County


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