Prairie Village mayor begins search to replace David Morrison on City Council

Prairie Village Mayor Ron Shaffer said Monday that he will begin work soon to vet potential candidates to fill the remainder of ousted City Councilor David Morrison’s term.

Ron Shaffer
Ron Shaffer

As mayor, Shaffer will put a nomination for a candidate to take the seat before the City Council. The nomination must then be confirmed by a majority of the 11 Councilors.

Shaffer has gone through this process before during his tenure as mayor, though the vacancies in those cases were the result of personal decisions to step down from the governing body. He says that, as he has done in similar situations before, he is inviting people who feel they are qualified for the seat to express interest.

“There are people we are already aware would be interested,” he said. “There are people other members of the council will know about. We’ll look at all of these candidates and have an interview process. And I’ll pick the person who I feel is best prepared to become a member of the council.”

Shaffer said he would consider Nancy Wallerstein, who occupied Morrison’s seat before he challenged her in the 2008 election, as a candidate “if she expressed interest.” Wallerstein represented Ward 6 on the Prairie Village City Council for a number of years before moving out of the ward. Shaffer then appointed her to fill the Ward 5 seat after it became vacant.

Shaffer hopes to have the current vacancy filled within a couple months. Ward 5’s other council seat will be up for election in April 2014, and Morrison said he is already considering running for the seat.

As for the outcome of the case, Shaffer said he was “not surprised” by Judge David Hauber’s decision, but that it was “too bad that such an incident had to occur in our city.”

“After reading the decision and the details of the fact finding that went into it, I do see how he came to the conclusion he did,” Shaffer said.