Tuesday’s Manhattan City Commission meeting was the final one for Usha Reddi, who stepped down after 10 years of service to Manhattan.
Reddi, who was appointed earlier this year to serve the remainder of Sen. Tom Hawk’s term in the Kansas Senate, says she was able to juggle the two jobs this session with little challenge, noting the city commission job was her comfort zone these past four months.
“I’ve always been one that if I take something off I put something back on it. When I first came on the city commission, I was also a full-time teacher and then juggling the city commission piece with it. So it wasn’t as bad mainly because being in my 10th year I knew a lot of the processes and formalities. The Senate piece was a little more challenging than this. As far as the schedule itself, I think at times it may have been difficult to make sure I’d be there, but I was driving and coming back home from Topeka everyday anyway,” she said.
Reddi, who spoke on KMAN’s In Focus ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, says she’s learned a lot from serving and values the relationships she’s built along the way.
“I’ve always liked the conversations, the dialog, the community input and not always having a sense of urgency when making our decisions on the city commission, which is polar opposite to the Senate,” she said.
Manhattan City Manager Ron Fehr says he appreciates Reddi’s service these past 10 years.
“She’s been there in the forefront, seen a lot of projects, discussions for how we move things forward, been mayor a couple of times,” he said.
The commission is expected to keep the commission seat vacant until the November election, creating four vacancies on the ballot rather than the traditional three.
“We’ve been working on a draft resolution that will call for adding that fourth position to the election cycle this fall. It will be specifically whoever finishes fourth will fill out the remainder of her term,” he said.
That resolution is expected to come before the commission May 16.
To date, only Mayor Mark Hatesohl has filed for re-election. Commissioners John Matta and Linda Morse also have terms expiring this year.