Two Merriam City Council vacancies draw 10 candidates, including former mayor; vote expected next week

MerriaM_City_Hall

The two vacant seats for Merriam City Council have drawn a total of 10 candidates between them. Four candidates have filed to be considered for the Ward 1 vacancy and six candidates have filed for the Ward 4 vacancy.

Among the Ward 1 candidates are a former Merriam mayor and a candidate who is unopposed in the spring election for a full four-year term on the council. Former two-term mayor Carl Wilkes has applied for the position. Robert Weems is already assured a seat on the council by running unopposed in Ward 1 for the seat that will be elected in April.

Ward 1 candidates include Robert Weems, 4809 Perry Avenue; Carl Wilkes, 9416 W. 49th Terrace; Scott Diebold, 4825 Knox; and Dennis Miles, 9213 W. 48th St. The Ward 4 candidates include Sean Rowland, 5915 Hardy St.; Roberta Mick-Brown, 7912 W. 60th Terrace; David Neal, 6127 Antioch Rd.; Cheryl Moore, 8203 W 61st St.; Rueben Cozmyer, 5800 Hadley St.; and Sam Matier, 8515 W. 57th St.

The two vacancies occurred when councilors Chad Rowe and Todd Boyer both turned in their resignations from the council at a meeting in early December. Rowe announced he was moving to a new house outside his district and Boyer announced he had accepted a job with the Olathe Police Department and had to resign as a condition of employment. Both of their terms expire in 2017.

The council announced a 30-day window for applications in January and that filing period closed last week. The council is expected to interview the candidates at the Feb. 23 council meeting and vote on the replacement.

Weems is an operating room charge nurse at Providence Medical Center  and has lived in Merriam since 1991. Wilkes has worked in community development for Merriam and Kansas City, Kan., as well as for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and has been on several civic boards. Diebold has taught high school industrial arts in the Shawnee Mission District  for 30 years and was head football coach at SM Northwest for 12 years. Miles has owned Sta-Safe Locksmiths for more than 25 years and has been a Scout leader.

Among the Ward 4 candidates, Rowland is working in the insurance industry after graduating from the University of Missouri in 2011. He had a number of volunteer activities while in school. Mick-Brown is a technical writer for Bank of America and is adjunct faculty at Baker University. She  is on the board of the Unicorn Theatre and past president of Gay and Lesbian Services Network of Kansas City. Neal has worked as a petroleum engineer and has been a business owner for 25 years with a software firm and construction company. He has been involved with Christmas in October and Habitat for Humanity.

Moore is a proposal writer for MV Transportation. She has served on both the Merriam city council and the Merriam planning commission in the 1990s. Cozmyer is a civil engineer where he has worked on mapping floodplains for FEMA. Matier has been budget manager for AirTran Airways and a business analyst for Sprint. He volunteers at Johnson County Community College and Shawnee Mission Hospital.