The election isn’t until April, but Prairie Village’s new mayor has already been seated.
With a unanimous vote on Monday, the Prairie Village City Council voted to have Ward 4 Councilor Laura Wassmer fill the remainder of departed Mayor Ron Shaffer’s term. Wassmer is running unopposed in the spring election.
Wassmer’s council peers applauded after the vote was complete, with the new mayor nodding and thanking them them before taking the oath of office from city clerk Joyce Hagen Mundy.
The new mayor says she enters office with three priorities: Managing the redevelopment of Meadowbrook Country Club, establishing priorities for the coming budgeting process, and communicating with residents to get their input on the biggest needs for the city right now.
“I haven’t heard from a lot of people yet — but I hope to change that,” Wassmer said. “I welcome people emailing me, calling me, letting me know what their concerns are.”
Wassmer said increasing public input on the big projects up for consideration in the coming months will be a major focus. In addition to Meadowbrook and the potential county park there, First Washington, the new owner of the Village Shops and Corinth Square, has indicated it has plans for additional improvements and redevelopment at those centers.
Wassmer takes over the head seat behind the council dais from Council President Ashley Weaver, who became Acting Mayor of the city after Ron Shaffer was sworn on to the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Jan. 12. She is eleventh mayor in Prairie Village history, and the second woman to hold the office.