PITTSBURG — Some new faces will be coming to the Pittsburg City Commission following Tuesday’s election.
Three seats were open on the commission, and candidates Sarah Chenoweth and Dawn McNay unseated current commissioners John Ketterman and Michael Gray. This will be both McNay and Chenoweth’s first time serving on the city commission.
McNay served on the USD 250 Board of Education for 16 years before ending her tenure in 2013, and worked for 18 years at Via Christi Hospital. She currently works at the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas.
She said she is very humbled by being elected and ready to begin in January.
“I think it is an exciting time in Pittsburg,” McNay said. “The current commission has done an exceptional job putting things in place, and I’m looking forward to working to keep that progress going, as well as serving with some of the new faces.”
Chenoweth grew up in Baxter Springs before attending Pittsburg State University. She earned her bachelor’s in English as well as a two master’s degrees in English and Communications from PSU. After returning to Pittsburg after attending the University of Arizona, Chenoweth began teaching yoga, and continues to do so. She also works as a substitute teacher for USD 250 and USD 248.
In 2017, Chenoweth and her husband started Pittsburg’s first curbside recycling business, Pittsburg Recycling Connection.
She said she is also excited to step into her new role.
“This will be my first time serving in public office, but I really believe that it is what I am meant to do, and I'm ready to get to work,” she said. “I want everyone to know that I won't take this responsibility lightly, and that I understand what it means for the people to have put their trust in me to do the best I can for the city and citizens of Pittsburg.”
Ketterman served on the city commission for seven years and said he went into the election with a mindset of “whatever happens, happens.”
“It’s truthfully been an honor to serve the people of this community. I was born and raised here and I want the best for this town,” he said. “I wish the winners well, and if they need anything I’m here to help or answer any questions.”
Ketterman said he will leave the option open to run for city commission in the future, but has not decided for sure if he will.
Gray, who currently serves as mayor, said he also has not decided whether he will run again, but was happy for the opportunity to serve.
“Obviously I’m disappointed to not have the opportunity to continue on the city commission,” Gray said. “I think we did a lot of good things the past few years and wanted to be a part of keeping that going, but I’m confident in the new representatives and their ability to keep the city moving forward.”
Commissioner Patrick O’Bryan also ran in the election and retained his seat on the commission.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.