Henry Schwaller IV, Mayor of the City of Hays, filed Monday for re-election to the Hays City Commission. Schwaller is the fourth candidate to file for one of three seats that expire in 2019, including his own.
“I am honored to have served the residents of Hays for the last four years,” Schwaller said in a news release announcing his filing. “We have seen slow, but steady, local growth despite the state’s economy. If re-elected, I will work to keep Hays as the region’s hub for education, healthcare, retail and services.”
Financial accountability is a priority, he said.
“The City has limited resources and it is critical that we do not add to our community’s tax burden. When considering any expense, I always support austere, but adequate, investment in city services,” his statement said.
Schwaller was first elected to the Hays City Commission in 1999. He is an owner and president of Henry Schwaller and Associates Inc., a real estate investment company, and is an Instructor of Management and Entrepreneurship at Fort Hays State University.
Noting he appreciates the encouragement he’s received, Schwaller said in his statement that a commissioner’s primary responsibility is listening and responding to all residents’ concerns, then taking action.
Filing previously for city commission were Hays residents Ron Mellick, Michael Berges and Mason R. Ruder.
A sitting commissioner, Mellick was appointed to the Hays City Commission in June 2018 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.
Berges is a 2004 graduate of FHSU with a degree in political science, who works at the financial advisory Schaffer & Associates, 1105 E. 30th St. He 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.
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.
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.