By Holly Cook
Roeland Park mayor Joel Marquardt passed the torch to incoming mayor Mike Kelly during a special council meeting Monday.
Marquardt began his term April 2013 and did not run for re-election. Kelly defeated former councilmember Roger Cooper for the mayoral seat.
Marquardt thanked his family and the retiring councilmembers for their service and complimented outgoing councilmember Teresa Kelly for the “amazing amount of work” she put in. He also noted his admiration for how councilmember Sheri McNeil always put her heart into her decision making.
Marquardt urged Mayor Kelly to seek compromise within the council while always keeping the residents’ priorities in mind.
“Please focus on the middle path where it’s appropriate,” Marquardt said.
Mayor Kelly said he hoped retiring members of the governing body would lend new members “their ears and their experience in the roads ahead.”
“I really humbly appreciate the trust that you put in us and plan to work each and every day to repay it and build the city that we want together,” Kelly said.
Councilmember Tom Madigan was sworn into the Ward 1 seat, formerly held by Sheri McNeil. Madigan, who regularly attends council meetings and served on special committees, ran unopposed for the position.
Councilmember Jen Hill stepped into the Ward 2 position previously held by Michael Rhoades. Hill defeated Leonard Tocco for the spot.
Councilmember Claudia McCormack switched out with Ryan Kellerman for the Ward 3 seat. McCormack defeated former councilmember Linda Mau for the position.
A quick kiss was shared between councilmember Teresa Kelly and her husband Jim Kelly as Teresa switched out her Ward 4 seat with Mr. Kelly. Jim Kelly ran unopposed for the spot.