Overland Park & Leawood

Seat on Overland Park’s fifth ward up for grabs

Residents of Overland Park’s fifth ward who are interested in city government will get their opportunity to serve this year as the city seeks to fill a vacancy on the City Council created by the resignation of John Skubal, who is now on the Kansas Senate.

The Overland Park City Council started the process to replace Skubal Monday night as it accepted his resignation and set up a special committee to take applications to fill the remainder of his term, which ends in 2020.

Candidates will have until 9 a.m. April 17 to get their applications in to City Hall. A screening committee made up of Mayor Carl Gerlach, Council President John Thompson and Council member Terry Goodman, chairman of the Council’s Finance, Administration and Economic Development Committee, will narrow the candidate selection list down to no more than two. Those two will then be vetted by the Council’s Committee of the Whole for recommendation to the full council, which will make the appointment.

Skubal was elected to the current term in 2015. City Council members are elected to four-year terms, but since the state legislature changed local elections to even rather than odd years, his term was extended by a year.

The fifth ward covers the eastern part of the city. Its boundaries are roughly between Interstate 435 to 151st Street and Antioch Road to the city’s eastern edge.

Skubal has been on the council since 2007. He was elected to the state senate’s 11th District last fall after defeating incumbent Jeff Melcher in the Republican primary and Democrat Skip Fannen in the general election.