On May 15-16, 2015, city officials from across Kansas gathered in Topeka for the 2015 Governing Body Institute and Mayors Conference. As part of Friday’s session, the Kansas Mayors Association (KMA) recognized the 2015 Mayor of the Year, Terry Somers of Mount Hope.
Since taking office in 2003, Mayor Somers has served on a number of boards, commissions and committees, ranging from the President of the League of Kansas Municipalities, President of the Kansas Mayors Association, Regional Economic Area Partnership board of directors, and founding member of the K-96 Corridor Development Association. In 2004, the City applied for and received FEMA grant money following a large ice storm to bury the City’s electric lines – a $1.7 million, multi-year project scheduled for completion this year. Under his leadership, the City has made many other improvements to infrastructure, including a 2-inch overlay to twenty blocks of the City’s streets, reshaping the dikes and placing rip-rap rock on the City’s five wastewater lagoons, drilling new water wells and installing piping, including a new 10” water main. In 2013, the City established their first Capital Improvement Plan, creating the first long term plan for the City Infrastructure, developed and implemented a newly redesigned City website, and upgrades are scheduled in the near future for Woodland Park.
The Mayor of the Year is selected annually by KMA members. The KMA consists of 358 mayor members throughout Kansas, and exists to advance the proficiency of Kansas mayors and improve the quality of life in Kansas communities. As part of its efforts, the KMA annually recognizes individuals like Mayor Somers who have gone above the call of duty to provide exceptional community leadership.