New mayor and council members take office oath

City of Marion Attorney Susan Robson administers the office for Todd Heit?schmidt as the new mayor of Marion during the April 14 city council meeting. Heitschmidt defeated incumbent Mary Olson in the April election.Almost two weeks after the municipal elections, the city of Marion had a swearing-in ceremony at the council meeting?April 14 for its new mayor, new city council members and one re-elected member.

Todd Heitschmidt became the city?s mayor, replacing Mary Olson, who served two terms.

Council members sworn-in included Jerry Kline, for a second term, and Chad Adkins, who replaced Chris Meierhoff, who chose not to seek re-election.

Melissa Mermis was appointed by Heitschmidt to fill his unexpired term on the council after moving into the mayor?s position.

Citizens were also invited to reflect upon Olsen?s positive impact and achievements during her tenure with Heitschmidt proclaiming April 18 as Mary Olson Day.

In honoring her successes, as the new mayor, Heitschmidt signed the proclamation which provided an overview of her lifetime efforts.

A resident of Marion since 1996, and a life-long resident of Marion County, Olson was born and raised on a farm near Peabody.

She served the children of Marion County as a teacher in the Centre School District for 36 years, a substitute teacher in the Marion-Florence School District and as a childcare provider for Circles of Marion County participants.

The proclamation further stated that Olson served as president of the Marion County Historical Society for 10 years and was on the Lincolnville City Council for 15 years and fulfilled the role as mayor during that period.

Olson also held various leadership positions in Heartland Retired Educators, the Kansas National Education Association and National Education Association, the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy or WRAPS watershed district.

Among the organizations she was involved with included, but were not limited to, Marion County 4-H Foundation, Delta Kappa Gamma for women educators, VFW Ladies Auxiliary, American Legion Auxiliary, St. Luke?s Hospital Auxiliary, Marion Economic Development Inc. or MEDI, the county museum board of directors and Relay for Life.

?Her dedication to Marion and its citizens from 2007 to 2014 is inspiring for us all,? Heitschmidt said.

Looking ahead

With some of the immediate tasks taken care of, as the new mayor, Heitschmidt said he is most excited about the opportunities that will have a positive impact for the future of Marion.

?Those include the new hardware store, completing of the Homestead duplexes and September 1 apartment renovations and our street improvement projects for 2014,? he said.

?Completing the fund-raising and building the new entertainment venue and restrooms in the park, as well as being selected for a grant to revitalize our historic downtown Main Street area, will be visible evidence of Marion?s commitment to the future.?

Heitschmidt said he believes Marion is in a position to capitalize on several economic development opportunities, which should provide additional retail shopping and commercial activities making additional jobs available.

?The future looks bright for Marion,? he said.

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