Steve Noll, who was first elected in 1991 and has represented Ward 2 for all but a three-and-three-quarters year hiatus he took in the late 2000s, said he made the decision to step away from the city council after reviewing both the state of the city and his personal situation.
“I turn 65 in August, and I think it’s a good time to let a younger person who may have more understanding of what younger people need and want in our city step up,” he said. “I also think the city is really, really in great shape. Others may disagree, but you look at some of this things under way now — a project like Meadowbrook Park, the demand for housing in the area — and those are things we couldn’t have dreamed of.”
Noll said he continued to have a strong interest in city affairs, but wanted to be sure he could commit to another four year term if he were to run again.
“I would hate to run again and then one or two years in say, I’m tired and need to get out,” he said. “And we’re looking forward to a little more flexibility. For years now every trip we plan we have to be back Sunday night so I can be there for meetings Monday.”
Noll and his wife Marianne, who has been heavily involved in volunteering with city events like VillageFest and the Jazz Festival, recently started a charitable foundation, and intend to remain active in northeast Johnson County and the metro beyond. Professionally, Noll is the Executive Director of the Jackson County Historical Society.
“It seems like it’s the right time,” he said of his decision not to seek reelection. “I’d like to see someone come in with the ideas and energy to continue the strong momentum that we’ve got going. And they might learn that running a city isn’t as easy as it looks.”
Thus far, only one candidate, Ward 1 incumbent Jori Nelson, has filed in the six city council elections that Prairie Village will hold in November.