Next week Roeland Park residents in the city’s Ward Three will go to the polls to elect a new city council member. The special election is a result of the resignation of Mel Croston from her council seat with more than two years left on the term.
Three candidates are running for the post: Scott Ferrel, David Gauwitz and Ryan Kellerman. Voting will take place at the Roeland Park Community Center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on De. 9.
Scott Ferrel, 5531 Sherwood Drive, has the Farmers Insurance – Scott Ferrel Agency, which he started in 2013. Prior to starting the agency, Ferrel worked in retail and was the marketing projects coordinator at Nebraska Furniture Mart. Ferrel is married with two young children. He is a SM Northwest graduate. Ferrel said he began attending council meetings representing the events committee, which he chairs. At those meetings he learned about the anti-discrimination ordinance and began to attend meetings regularly. He said he has always had an interest in politics and has a flexible schedule that allows him to be involved. He said he does not want to be represented by individuals who “are not likely to put forth the best image for the city.”
David Gauwitz, 5310 Juniper Drive, is the technical director and quality manager at Cramer Products. He retired from Colgate Palmolive in 2006 as the quality supervisor after 24 years at the plant. Gauwitz has a bachelor’s in chemistry from Western Illinois University. He and his wife, Joanne, have one son who attends JCCC. Gauwitz has lived in Roeland Park for 29 years. Gauwitz said he decided to run because he felt the council was getting “involved in issues not really part of running a city government.” He said he considers himself a conservative and nearing retirement feels he should get more involved in city government.
Ryan Kellerman, 5629 Roeland Drive, is a lifelong resident of Roeland Park and has been a small business owner for more than a dozen years and a Realtor for more than 10 years. He is a Bishop Miege graduate and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Pittsburg State University. He is a neighborhood watch block captain and is married with children. He said he is running to “ensure the quality of life we enjoy in Roeland Park continues.” He said as a small business owner, he faces the same challenges as the city when it comes to the economy and fiscal responsibility. He said he wants Roeland Park to continue to be a welcoming hometown for everyone. He is a member of Better Business Bureau, Chambers in NEJC and KCK and the Kansas Realtors Association.