There is a new mayor and president, and city manager for the City of Fort Scott in the past week.
Josh Jones was selected to replace JoLynne Mitchell on the Fort Scott City Commission on December 1, 2020.
Jones became the mayor on January 7, 2021, with Kevin Allen selected to be president, according to the City of Fort Scott commission minutes. Allen was sworn in on Jan. 2020 to the commission.
The other city commissioners are Randy Nichols, Pete Allen, and Lindsay Watts.
New to the community is Jeremy Frazier, who was selected as the new city manager late last week.
The City of Fort Scott has operated under a city commission/city manager form of government since 1975, according to City Commission | Fort Scott, KS (fscity.org) . The city commission consists of a mayor, president of the commission, and three city commissioners. All members of the city commission are elected at-large on a non-partisan basis by the citizens of Fort Scott. The mayor, the president of the commission, and the city commissioners all serve without any compensation.
The Fort Scott City Commission elects the mayor and president of the board annually at their first meeting in January, according to the website.
The mayor, who has the same authority as the other commissioners, presides over the commission meetings, provides the official signature on documents, and represents the city at official and ceremonial functions. In the absence of the mayor, the president of the commission fulfills the duties of the mayor, according to the website.
The duties of the commission are to pass city ordinances and resolutions, establish policies for the city, approve the annual budget, appoint members to city boards and appoint a city manager.
A little about Jones
Jones owns rental houses in Fort Scott and also manages Bourbon County Cars, a local used-car dealership. He is a life-long resident of Fort Scott.
He has been married to his wife, Karen, for 20 years and has twin daughters, Madison and Taylor, who are 20 years old, and one son, David, 15.
A little about Allen
Kevin “Skitch” Allen was selected last week to be the president.
Allen has had a local construction company for 27 years in Fort Scott.
“Everything from construction dirt work to trash roll-off services and porta-potties,” he said. “I also own several buildings and homes in the community that I rent out.”
He is a 1988 Fort Scott High School graduate. He then attended Fort Scott Community College for two years and then earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pittsburg State University.
He has two daughters, Maddie Thorpe and Jocie Allen, and two granddaughters and a grandson on the way, he said.
The commission hired a new manager last week.
“The commission unanimously selected Jeremy Frazier to be hired as city manager of Fort Scott,” Jones said. “All five commissioners believe Jeremy is the best fit for Fort Scott and we are very excited to utilize Jeremy’s vision and ideas to move Fort Scott forward.”
“Jeremy will start February 1st and (Interim Manager)Jeff Hancock will leave February 3,” Jones said. “Jeff’s leadership and knowledge have been very valuable in the short time he has been here.”
To view a bio of Frazier:
A new collaboration
Also new is the sharing of business services with the Bourbon County Commission.
“With the new makeup of the city commission and the county commission we feel like now we have the opportunities to save taxpayers money by sharing services,” Jones said.
“This will be a case by case basis, so we can evaluate each item and come up with what we believe will save the most money for taxpayers. By joining into an agreement with the county on the Finance/Business Manager need, it will save the city roughly $40,000 per year.”
The City of Fort Scott Finance Director Susan Bancroft was hired by the Bourbon County Commission last week to be its’ business manager, part-time.
The City of Fort Scott meets at 6 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month in the city commission meeting room at 123 S. Main.
Agendas are available prior to the meetings.
Minutes are available following approval.