Special to The Hays Daily News

City officials from across Kansas gathered in Manhattan on May 9 to 10 for the 2014 Leadership Summit and Mayors Conference. As part of the session, the Kansas Mayors Association recognized the 2014 Mayor of the Year as Kim Thomas, Stockton.

During the past decade, Thomas has served on the board of directors for the KMA, the League of Kansas Municipalities, the Kansas Municipal Electric Association, and has been a hospital auxiliary member. She has served as mayor of Stockton for 12 years and was the first African-American female mayor in the state of Kansas.

Thanks to her direction, new water lines and a new water plant have been constructed, the city is working on a new sewer lagoon project, an old city building has been repurposed as the police station, and the city has received a grant to make a number of city buildings more energy efficient.

Recently, the city also received a grant from the Kansas Housing Resources Corp. for the construction of four moderate income houses, with construction slated to begin this spring.

The KMA consists of 355 mayor members throughout Kansas and exists to advance the proficiency of Kansas mayors and improve the quality of life in Kansas communities. As part of its efforts, the KMA annually recognizes individuals such as Thomas who have gone above the call of duty to provide exceptional community leadership.