The Five Man Atchison Band will soon be joined by two newcomer women and a man who has decades of city service under his belt, but is eyeing a full term in elected city governance for the first time.
On Monday, Nov. 18, the City of Atchison City Commission concluded the final business of the term that began in January 2018.
Dave Butler is retiring after many years of non-consecutive service, and received a special award from Vice Mayor Allen Reavis. Reavis thanked Butler for his years of service, noting that whenever a public servant of Butler’s caliber and experience moves on, the city is thankful for their years of invaluable contributions.
Unlike Butler, Dave Hausmann and Charlie Perdue tossed their hats into the ring to try to win another term of office, but learned for certain on Monday afternoon that the voters have had other ideas. Hausmann placed fifth among seven candidates, and Perdue barely found himself in fourth place, with the Nov. 5 results affirmed by the Atchison County Board of County Commissioners in an election canvass on Monday. Lisa Moody edged out Perdue for a two-year term of office by placing third.
Abby Bartlett and J.D. Farris, who has previously served for more than 20 years overall as city attorney, are expected to serve as city commissioners until at least December 2023, on the basis of placing first and second. The 2020 City Commission will thus be constituted by a majority of new members, meeting for the first time on Dec. 2.
The City Commission will not have at least four men on the panel for the first time in years; the current panel was elected in 2015 and 2017. The last woman to leave office as city commissioner was Rita Hartman.
Perdue, who is finishing a four year term after recording the most votes in the 2015 election, said he is ready to move on.
“I just want to thank everybody that I’ve worked with and been part of here,” Perdue said. “I’ve enjoyed it. Just keep up the good work, and everyone stay safe. It has been a pleasure to be involved.”
Butler took note of how he has now seen the end of his term on four different occasions in his career, this time certainly the last.
“To the guys going out with me, you still have staff phone number on speed dial,” Butler said. “That doesn’t change. It’s always a pleasure to come back and talk with staff that you know well. With that in the mind, we are in the middle of flu seasons, so wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. It’s the cheap way to stay healthy.”
Hausmann, his voice affected with emotion, offered a speech from the heart of what public service ought to mean.
“I sit here, as, I feel, a privileged person,” Hausmann said. “For over four years, I was chosen to use discernment and make judgment on exciting events in our community. I’m grateful for those who put me in this place. I’m grateful for a commission of wise men who have been mentors to me along the way and have helped me do a better job.
“I’m privileged to work with a city staff that is professional and has accomplished much good in this community. I trust that we’ll continue that trajectory and accomplish much good for this community. I encourage us all to pull for each other and serve this community.
“President Kennedy said, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.’ I’d like to see that approach for our city: What can we do for our city?”