Ron Shaffer’s election to the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday will not only bring to an end the longest mayoral tenure in Prairie Village history, it will also set off a string of events that will see a new mayor seated just months ahead of 2015’s mayoral election in the city.
Shaffer will assume office as the Johnson County District 1 commissioner in January, and in doing so will relinquish the mayor’s seat he’s occupied in Prairie Village since 1999. Per the city’s code relating to filling vacancies on the governing body, sitting Council President Ashley Weaver will take over as mayor immediately following Shaffer’s departure. The City Council will then have 30 days to elect a new mayor f rom among the sitting council people to fill the remainder of Shaffer’s term, which expires in April.
With at least a couple of the sitting councilors rumored to be considering running for mayor in the 2015 public election, the process of the city council members electing a new mayor among themselves could serve as an indicator of which council member might expect the most support from elected officials in April’s general. However, it’s just as likely the council may decide to elect a member not running for mayor in the general election to fill the rest of Shaffer’s term in an effort not to give any of the candidates an advantage at the polls in April.
Shaffer will be sworn in to the Board of County Commissioners in early January. Candidates for Prairie Village mayor will have to file by January 27.