Ron Mellick is the third candidate to file for one of three Hays City Commission seats that will expire in 2019, including one that he currently fills.
Mellick, who was appointed to the Hays City Commission in June 2018, filed Wednesday with the Ellis County Clerk’s Office, said County Clerk Donna Maskus.
Mellick was appointed to fill the vacant seat of Chris Dinkel, who was elected in November 2018 to a two-year term. Dinkel resigned June 20 to pursue law school in New York.
Mellick has previously served eight years on the commission, from 2007 to 2015, and also served as mayor in 2010.
In 2018 he said he believed in term limits so commissioners take a break and get perspective on issues. He also told the HDN in 2015 that commissioners can and should make a come back.
City Commissioner Henry Schwaller IV, who now serves as mayor, made the motion in June 2018 to nominate Mellick for Dinkel’s vacant seat, citing Mellick’s previous experience on the commission. At the time, Schwaller said Mellick’s experience would come in handy over the next 18 months, given the city’s $100 million in infrastructure projects either planned or in the works.
A longtime commissioner, Schwaller said in 2018 he first served with Mellick in 2009.
“I did not know him very well. I didn’t like him. I do now,” Schwaller said in making the nomination. “He’s an amazing commissioner. He asks the right questions. He’s very flexible. He listens to others, he has some strong opinions from time to time.”
Party affiliation doesn’t matter for the city or school elections, which are nonpartisan positions. Deadline for filing is noon, June 3.
The General Election is Nov. 5. New commissioners take office in January 2020.
Also filing this week for Hays City Commission was Michael Berges, a 2004 graduate of Fort Hays State University with a degree in political science, who works at the financial advisory Schaffer & Associates, 1105 E. 30th St.
Berges and his wife, Erica, a 2001 graduate of Fort Hays and administrative assistant for United Way of Ellis County, have three sons, Jackson, 7, Noah, 3, and Isaac, 1. Berges is treasurer of the board for ARC of Central Plains, chair of the Tiger Takedown Club, and a member of the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals.
The first candidate to file for Hays City Commission was Mason R. Ruder, an environmental associate in the Ellis County Environmental Office. He filed in mid-February.
City commissioners whose seats are up for election because they expire in 2019 are: James Meier and Schwaller, each of whom is serving a four-year term, and Mellick, who is finishing out Dinkel’s term.