Another current commissioner will run in the upcoming election to retain a spot on the Salina City Commission. Melissa Hodges plans to run for election.
Hodges has been a city commissioner since December, when the other commissioners selected her to take the place of Randall Hardy. Hodges was selected from a group of 14 different people who expressed interest. Hardy resigned the spot after being elected to the Kansas State Senate.
Hodges issued the following statement Tuesday morning:
“Why did I decide to submit my name for election to the Salina City Commission? Because my fellow commissioners were willing to take a chance on appointing me to serve in Senator Randall Hardy’s seat and have been unfailingly supportive: They have demonstrated what it takes to be a well-prepared, thoughtful commissioner and have encouraged to me to be an active part of the City Commission.
Because it is critical to promote economic development and recruit premier wage jobs: despite an extremely low unemployment rate, Salina’s median household income is well below state and national averages; 18% of our citizens live below the poverty level; and over 60% of our children are eligible for free or reduced lunches. As liaison to the Salina Community Economic Development Organization, I’m well positioned to support this new initiative and to ensure that the City does our part to overcome these problems and their long-term consequences.
Because while economic opportunities are important, I also want to make Salina the kind of community that our children and grandchildren will want to call home: A community with a thriving downtown, a restored Smoky Hill River, and a resolution to the Schilling Air Force base contamination. These projects are all approaching critical points in their evolution. A thorough understanding of these projects will enable me to be part of the leadership team that guides their successful completion.
Because our citizens are well served by city and county leadership that can work cooperatively: It’s time to reach resolutions on county roads and the future of the expo center that are in the best interest of our citizens.
Because our family has a strong tradition of community service: my late father-in-law Dr. Merle Hodges used to say, “Good people make good government.” We are all responsible for shaping our community and overcoming challenges that face each generation. It’s important that we all do our part and I’m ready to continue to do mine.”
Hodges joins commissioner Jon Blanchard, who also intends to run again. Joe Hay, who narrowly missed winning a commission seat in the most previous election, has also filed to run.
The terms of Hodges, Blanchard, and Mayor Kaye Crawford all expire this year.
The deadline to file for the fall election is June 1st at noon.