(WICHITA, Kan.) — Three Wichita city council members said their goodbyes today, another three were welcomed into new positions. The council also voted for a new vice mayor. They all chose Lavonta Williams to take on the position.
Paul Gray (District IV), Sue Schlapp (District II) and Roger Smith (District III) are all leaving the council. They each received a video tribute and comments from fellow council members.
Paul Gray was one of the youngest council members elected. He says he came to city hall as a boy and is leaving as a man. Gray says he's made good decisions and bad decisions during his eight years but it's been an amazing experience. Gray says the best decision he made was hiring city manager Bob Layton. Gray will now focus his time running his construction business.
Sue Schlapp joked she needed tissues because of allergies, but the real reason was to wipe away tears. Schlapp says it's hard to believe she served eight years on council and she loved every minute of it. Mayor Carl Brewer says when she first was elected, he thought Schlapp would be trouble. But then he says they became best friends. Schlapp says she knows she's leaving the city in good hands. She'll start working Wednesday for the department of commerce on economic development in south central Kansas.