Add another city council seat to the long list of vacancies that have occurred around northeast Johnson County this year. Mission City Councilor Steven Lucas, serving his first term in office, announced Wednesday night that he will resign his seat effective Dec. 31.
Lucas was elected in April to represent Ward 1, so more than three years remain on his term. Lucas told fellow councilors Wednesday night that he had been offered a job in St. Louis and that he and his wife will be moving after the first of the year. He said he is joining a law firm there and will practice municipal law.
“I love being a part of this community and cherish working with everyone on the council,” Lucas said. “I look forward to the continued success of the city.” Mayor Steve Schowengerdt thanked Lucas for his service on the council and planning commission.
Lucas chaired the community development committee and had been a champion of sustainability and an outspoken supporter of trails in the city. Merriam and Roeland Park both have seen council resignations recently.
City Administrator Laura Smith said the practice for selecting a council replacement has been to ask for interested candidates to submit resumes to the city. A three-member committee made up of the mayor, the council president (Dave Shepard) and the other councilor from the ward in question (Pat Quinn) will interview the candidates and make a recommendation to the full council for approval.
Councilor Suzie Gibbs also announced that she will be stepping down as chair of the Mission Convention and Visitors Bureau at the end of the year. Gibbs has chaired the group since its inception 11 years ago.
She has been the prime force behind a number of Mission’s public events and festivals as well as its holiday gift and food collections. She plans to stay active with Mission Magazine and the family gift adoptions at the holidays, she said. Gibbs received a standing ovation from her fellow councilors and audience members.