Farmer and Siemnes take oath of office as Pratt City Commissioners

Fran Brownell
Pratt Tribune
Kyle Farmer (left) and Jeanette Siemens (right) are new Pratt City Commisioners, sworn in to duty on Monday, January 11, 2021.

Prattans Jeanette Siemens and Kyle Farmer took oaths of office as newly-installed Pratt City Commissioners on Monday, January 11, at the first 2021 Pratt City Commission meeting held at City Hall Commission Chambers. A zoom option was available for the meeting.

Siemens and Farmer fill seats left by outgoing commissioners Doug Meyer and Jason Leslie.

Siemens and Farmer were elected to three-year terms in November 2020. Both have been in regular attendance at city commission meetings in months leading up to their election.

For both Siemens and Farmer, this is their first time to officially enter the ranks of elected public service.

Siemens brings extensive community and state leadership experience to the commission, having served as past executive director of the Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce and with the Kansas Leadership Center. She has also provided leadership to Pratt’s Circles of Hope organization, which focuses on helping others find a pathway out of poverty.

“I’m excited to get started,” said Siemens, who has called Pratt home since 1967. “I see lots of potential and I want to strongly support the Pratt business community.”

Farmer, who teaches government at Pratt High School, said he sees his service as opportunity to be part of government in action in shaping the future for upcoming generations.

Farmer said he wants communications between city staff and Pratt citizens to continue as a priority.

“I’m looking forward to the challenges,” said Farmer. “I’d also like to see the city proceed this year with plans for a dog park.”

Regarding the term-limits matter that has been under consideration by commissioners at the last two meetings of 2020, Farmer said he is not in favor of completely doing away with term limits, which currently stipulate Pratt city commissioners are eligible to serve only two consecutive three-year terms.

“I’d like to hear more from Pratt voters on that matter,” said Farmer, adding that

Siemens and Farmer join Mayor Gary Schmidt and commissioners Don Peters and Zach Deeds in filling out the Pratt City Commission, which usually meets on the first and third Mondays of the month, with meetings currently being held as Zoom sessions due to COVID concerns.

“I’m looking forward to working with both of our new commissioners for the next three years,” said Pratt City Manager Bruce Pinkall.