Let’s all take a moment to recognize the outgoing city commissioners and school board members as they pass the baton to their successors.
This week marks the changing of the guard for both entities in Manhattan, and even as we’re glad to see new faces, we think it’s important to acknowledge that we’re losing people with valuable experience who have served our community faithfully.
We’ll start with USD 383 board member Dave Colburn, who was first elected in 2003 and chose not to run for re-election in 2019. He served for 16 and a half years — the second-longest tenure of any board member in the district’s history.
As Mr. Colburn himself pointed out, that means he’s seen a lot, including the hiring of two superintendents and the battle over the high school mascot. The board is also losing Leah Fliter, who’s served since 2011. She said she’s just giving someone else in the community a chance to step up.
The two will have their final board meeting Wednesday, as Kristin Brighton and Brandy Santos are sworn in to take their places.
Meanwhile, on the city commission, Manhattan on Tuesday said good-bye to two commissioners: former mayor Mike Dodson and commissioner Jerred McKee.
Mr. Dodson is leaving after a four-year term and said he just wants to do other things with his time.
McKee is leaving after a two-year term. He made heartfelt comments at the meeting Tuesday, saying he’s a better person for having served on the commission, which is great to hear.
Taking their places are former commissioner Mark Hatesohl and Aaron Estabrook. Incumbent Linda Morse kept her seat.
As journalists, it’s our job to watch what these elected officials do and report on their actions with a critical eye. But we’d like to say that Manhattan has been pretty lucky over the years to have people who are both competent and willing to serve. We appreciate their work and hope that their successors will be able to fill their shoes.