SHAWNEE — The nearly complete makeover of the Shawnee City Commission continued Tuesday night, with candidate Keith Hall coasting to a comfortable victory in the Ward 4 runoff election.
Hall defeated David Bergsten by more than 250 votes, capturing 957 compared to 703 for his opponent.
The city commission Hall will be joining next week is one that is in transition.
Shawnee's mayor and an incumbent commissioner were voted out of office on June 26. A third incumbent, Frank Sims, did not seek re-election in Ward 2.
Linda Peterson, who has served one term as Shawnee's mayor, lost to Wesley Mainord by a sizable margin.
Current Ward 4 Commissioner Billy Collier lost handily to Hall and Bergsten during the primary, as well.
Mainord, Hall and Linda Agee, who was elected Ward 2 commissioner, were all backed by a citizen group called Citizens for Responsible Government.
The group campaigned against Peterson and Collier following a failed multimillion-dollar tax initiative to raise money for city projects, including a regional sports complex.
Hall said the group's support played a big role in his victory Tuesday night.
He said the group represented “a lot of people” who are concerned about the way Shawnee's elected officials have been conducting business.
“They did help. There was a lot of support,” Hall said. “It was a grassroots citizen group and I couldn't have done it without them.”
Hall, Mainord and Agee are expected to take office Sept. 5.
“I think all of the commission members, the new ones and the old ones, are looking forward to working together and trying to solve the city's problems,” Hall said.
The commission also is dealing with a lawsuit filed by the Greater Shawnee Area Chamber of Commerce.
Elected officials, many of them leaving office Sept. 5, spearheaded an effort in recent weeks to sever ties with the chamber.
The two entities have been involved in promoting tourism for the Shawnee area since 1994.
Last week, a judge presiding over the case granted a preliminary injunction for the chamber. The existing contract between the chamber and the city will remain in effect during the injunction, the judge ruled.
“I think that we need to get people talking again,” Hall said. “I think there's an opportunity to get people talking and resolve it that way instead of through the courts.”