This is two of five background biographies for the Pratt City Commission candidates. Today’s biographies feature incumbent Bill Hlavachick and candidate Nelson Burrell.


This is two of five background biographies for the Pratt City Commission candidates. Today’s biographies feature incumbent Bill Hlavachick and candidate Nelson Burrell. 

Candidates for Pratt City Commission will take part in a public forum at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 24 in Carpenter Auditorium at Pratt Community College. The forum is expected to run for 90 minutes.

Candidates will all answer the same three questions submitted by the Tribune Editorial Board then answer submitted audience questions. The election will be Tuesday, April 5.

Bill Hlavachick

• Age: 77.

• Family: wife-Linda for 46 years; children-Brian, Andie and Jeff (deceased); three grand children and three great grandchildren.

• Hometown: Grew up in Durango, Colo.

• Education: Graduated LaJara High School in LaJara, Colo. High School in 1951, biology degree from Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo., degree in wildlife management from Colorado State University.

• Work history: Mine worker in Leadville, Colo. for folibdenum (steel additive) for year and a half; 34 years at Kansas Forestry Fish and Game, now Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism-field and district biologist, research.

• Organizations: U.S. Navy Airman from 1951 to 1955 on USS Ticonderoga-Norfolk, Va. and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Kansas Municipal Energy Agency Board of Directors, Kansas Municipal Utilities Board of Directors, member Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, member Ducks Unlimited, member Trout Unlimited and member Wild Turkey Federation.

• Why is now the best time for you to run for city Commissioner? Hlavachick has been on the Commission for 15 years and wants to finish up the Main Street project.

“I don’t want to leave a job unfinished,” Hlavachick said.

He wants to help merchants any way he can get through the Main Street project.

Hlavachick wants to continue his part of 15 years of progressive leadership that have helped Pratt grow in population. He enjoys doing his job.

“It’s still fun. I couldn’t do it if I didn’t think I could make a difference,” Hlavachick said.

Nelson Burrell

• Age: 53.

• Family: wife-Nancy for 32 years; children-Natalie, Nicole, Nelson and Naomi.

• Hometown: San Jose, Calif.

• Education: Graduated Yerba Buena High School in San Jose. Attended one semester at San Jose State University, one semester at San Jose Community at San Jose Community College, one semester at University of North Dakota at Minot, two years at Cabrillo

Community College in Cabrillo, Calif., Kansas Law Enforcement Academy.

• Work history: Four years in Air Force from 1975 to 1979, 11 years for FMC Corporation in San Jose building armored personnel carriers-M 113 and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, four years as a deputy with the Clark County Sheriff’s Department in Ashland, two years with Road and Bridge Department in Ashland, five years patrol officer with Pratt Police Department, three years Juvenile Justice Authority corrections officer, nine years Dillions produce manage and night shift manager.

• Organizations: American Legion Chaplin and American Legion Riders director.

• Why is now the best time for you to run for city commissioner? In the last 13 years he has watched businesses and population decline while the city commissioners have not found the answer to these problems.

“I hope to bring new ideas to the community that will turn our declining growth around,” Burrell said.

Burrell said he has always been open to the public. He will listen and take those ideas to the commission.