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SPRING HILL, Kan. — The City of Spring Hill now has new leadership. Monday, newly elected city council members Brian Peel and Joe Berkey were sworn into office. Shortly after, the council elected Berkey to take over the role of Mayor. Berkey fills the role following the resignation of former city councilmember and Mayor-elect Tyler Graves.

Roughly two weeks after securing 54 percent of the vote in the Nov. 2 election, Graves announced his resignation. Graves told the city he would be relocating to Florida with his family before being sworn into office.

“I’m honored to accept this position and I’m excited for the future of Spring Hill. I think we have a great team here including the governing body, including the Spring Hill city staff. I think they’ve done a great job this year with the budget and other things. I’m ready to get to work serving the community,” Berkey said. 

After Berkey was seated, councilmember Steve Owens left the meeting. City Attorney Charles Dunlay read this statement from Owens that was presented to the city administrator from an unidentified person. That statement reads:

“Please read for all to hear. I am unable to continue my attendance at tonight’s city council meeting.It is my opinion that our charter ordinances have not been followed. I will not be a party anymore of this tonight. The public has been shut out and kept in the dark on purpose. There should be full disclosure of all information shared with city council to include city attorney’s written opinions. Stop hiding everything right behind attorney-client privilege. The public has a right to know, it is their tax dollars that will pay for all the legal fees. My departure is not a resignation. I look forward to receiving the agenda for Thursday’s meeting.” 

 Dunlay explained because Owens chose to leave the meeting after council roll-call, he would abstain from voting on the remaining council agenda items for Monday evening. 

Berkey will serve a full four-year term set to expire in January of 2026. Monday evening the council also voted for Diana Roth to fill the role of Council President. In the event that Berkey leaves office prior to the end of his term, Roth would fill the role of Mayor.