‘We are all in this together’: Shawnee mayor issues statement on community response to COVID-19

The agreement does not specify what type of community service Distler would do, but prohibits any of it to be in the context of her duties with the city or in campaigning or politics. The agreement also says she cannot use any of her service in advertisements. File photo.

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In a message Tuesday evening to Shawnee residents and businesses, Mayor Michelle Distler offered empathy to the community and provided updates on the city’s action plan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Distler recommended everyone heed the advice from the CORE 4 partner governments in the Kansas City metro area as well as federal and state guidelines.

And in bold text, Distler urged residents to continue shopping at local businesses, utilizing curbside pickup and other social distancing measures, in order to keep the local economy intact as much as possible. A complete copy of her address is below.

Dear residents,

We are all in this together. I would love to tell you we have all the answers. We don’t. But I can tell you this. We feel just like you do right now. We are all faced with challenges we have never had to tackle before, whether it’s working from home on a long-term basis, losing a job, suddenly having to home school our kids or dealing with medical conditions. We all feel uncertain, frustrated, overwhelmed and concerned.

So what should we do? Our best bet at this point is to heed the advice coming from our CORE4 partners, including Johnson County, along with guidelines from the state of Kansas and our federal resources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC.

We have enacted an action plan at the City of Shawnee that includes changes to many of our meetings, events, City buildings, Parks and Recreation programs, rentals and more. You can find the full plan at cityofshawnee.org/coronavirus. You can also always call us at (913) 631-2500 or send an e-mail to cityofshawnee@cityofshawnee.org.

Here are some additional resources you might find helpful.

  • Johnson County COVID-19 Hotline: (913) 715-CV19 (2819)
  • Johnson County Emergency Order Questions: (913) 715-5000
  • Johnson County Website: jocogov.org/coronavirus
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: cdc.gov
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment: kdheks.gov
  • U.S. Small Business Administration: sba.gov
  • Shawnee Chamber of Commerce: shawneekschamber.com

Please continue to shop Shawnee and support our local businesses. The Shawnee Chamber of Commerce’s website (listed above) has a list that’s constantly being updated of local businesses offering delivery, to-go or curbside services. It is more important than ever to show our support for local businesses right now.

We are always happy to help provide any resources we can. But it’s also important to keep in mind that simple things like calling your family and friends, checking in (at a safe distance) on neighbors and making an effort to keep those connections can help get us all through this tough time.

We are One Shawnee and we will get through this together.


Mayor Michelle Distler