Mayor Shelley Hansel speaks on the state of the city in 2017

2017 was a very dramatic year for Wellington.  The impact of the events of this year will continue to be felt throughout 2018.  For Mayor Shelley Hansel, she reflected on those events and what she hopes the next few years will mean for Wellington.
The biggest issue that faced Wellington was the process that brought Cowley College to the city.  Unfortunately, there came some drama, Mayor Hansel admits, that, “got out of hand.  People did not know what was involved.  However, once the public meeting occurred, everyone understood.”  Hansel goes on to say that “Higher education is the best investment in our future.”
That investment will pay off, she says, when it opens in the fall of 2018.  It shows “the dedication of the college to Wellington.  Everyone has been willing to pitch in and have it become a reality.”  In her own personal experience “certification programs will be available that will get kids good paying jobs once they’re out of high school.”
She believes the addition of the campus will help her realize one of her goals, which is that of “increasing the population.  An increase would mean more of a tax base, which would allow more money to invest in the future of Wellington.”
The switch over to automated trash service is another issue that ignited a great deal of discussion in Wellington.  However, Hansel is dedicated to making it happen.  “Change is difficult.  If people would look for the benefits; how it would be better for employees, and the community as a whole, it really would be more efficient.”  
She has been looking at ways of doing the transition to the automated trash service ever since she first became mayor.  “This was not a knee-jerk thing.  It will truly be a great thing once it’s all said and done.”
In response to her detractors, she says she “doesn’t want the city to go bankrupt.  I don’t like passing along increases.  We are not a bunch of mean people.  I don’t know anyone on the council who doesn’t care about the welfare of the people of Wellington.  We have a common in mind to what we do.”
Other issues this past year dealt with the turn-over involving the city manager, but she feels “we weathered that storm.”  There was the Mayfield water situation, which was “dicey.  The council was split and went to mediation.  The city would have been liable.  In the end, the city saved money.”
Mayor Hansel is uncertain if she will run again in 2020 when her term is up.  Until then, she will “keep trying to do what’s best.  I’m a citizen, too.”  She says in response to her critics that she and the council members “see the numbers and know what choices to make.  There are streets we know that need fixed, but at this moment, we just don’t have the money to fix them.”  
Her mindset has always been that “I want everything to happen tomorrow.”
In closing out 2017, Mayor Hansel wants to say, “Thank you,” to the city of Wellington.  “So many citizens are behind our efforts in the community.  Still, we’re not gonna make everyone happy.  Just make sure you’re educated on the issues.  Get involved.  More people need to be involved.  It’s the best way to make change in the community.  Come to our council meetings and be involved.  Be engaged.”

Editor's note:  In the newspaper edition, Mayor Hansel's first name was misspelled.  It should read Shelley.  Our apologies to  Mayor Hansel.