Councilwoman Serena Schermoly said she plans to file to run for mayor of Prairie Village this morning, setting up a contested election to replace outgoing Mayor Laura Wassmer.
Former councilman Eric Mikkelson announced late last month that he would be seeking the top seat on the Prairie Village governing body after Wassmer said she would not be seeking a second term.
Schermoly, who defeated longtime Ward 2 councilwoman Ruth Hopkins in April 2016, said she had gone back and forth about whether to enter the race, but felt there was a need for a robust discussion of the issues facing the city.
“Everybody needs an opponent,” said Schermoly, who runs a marketing company professionally. “When I ran for the council, I did it with the intention of eventually running for mayor. The agenda that I have had so far is working with the council and with staff to build coalitions. Building teamwork is what I do for a living.”
Schermoly was involved with the city’s arts council prior to her run for the governing body in 2016, and has continued to focus on arts and parks programming during her time on the council. She was also the driving force behind the move to start providing live and archived video of Prairie Village City Council meetings, organizing for friends to stream the proceedings before the council eventually agreed to a plan to have the city take up the task itself.
She said increasing public participation and responsiveness to residents were among her core values as an elected official.
“When I ran for council, I didn’t have any big agenda,” she said. “I think residents dictate where the city goes and what we’re going to do. And I’d continue that approach as mayor.”
The Prairie Village mayoral election will be in November, a shift from the previous spring election cycle that was made to comply with state law.