Jessica Gerlach has been the mayor of Conway Springs ever since being elected to the position last November.  In the last several months since taking office, Mayor Gerlach has been busy with her plans for the citizens of Conway Springs.  We caught up with her and asked her about her newest idea she hopes to take hold very soon.  
Conway Springs Pride is a new group Mayor Gerlach is looking to form.  She said she “wanted to put together a group of people to brainstorm and take action on goals they had for the community. Ideally, this would be a very diverse group representing all of Conway Springs, with room to add volunteers as we work on specific projects. Jan Steen reached out to me after speaking about it in an interview for the Star, and shared The Kansas Pride program with me. He came to Conway, gave a demonstration, and did a small analysis where citizens chose three things they felt were most important to Conway Springs. There are so many ideas floating around out there... the intention behind utilizing the Kansas Pride Program to help put a Conway Pride Program into place, was to centralize all the ideas, and bring everyone together to work on each idea as a unit, instead of a few people tackling various projects and goals.
She goes on to say that the group “is in its baby stages. We have only begun talking about it, and I'm working with some close friends to brainstorm the logistics, ie: 501c3, funding, initial meeting, etc.”
“We have no official members, yet, aside from myself and a couple of close friends. We will solidify those details when we have an initial meeting, hopefully next month.
She goes on to say that “our ultimate goal is to create a vision, and put a plan in place to begin tackling each goal in a unified way, to see progress much faster. I would love to also incorporate a junior pride program for Middle and High School students to get involved and invested in their community. I know some of the initial goals from the first analysis were: Community Garden/Farmers Market, beautification of the park and downtown, and more activities for our youth outside of school and sports.
I would ultimately like to see us work together:  to bridge past upsets and miscommunications and work effectively and actively as a whole to make some of the long spoken dreams a reality. It's right there. The people are right there. We just need to organize it all and put it into action. That's what I'm trying to do with Conway Pride.
Mayor Gerlach has taken well to the challenges of being the mayor, but says “the job is very time consuming. It's been remarked that having such a "hands on" mayor is out of the norm. For my own sanity, I was clocking ours at home when I'd work on something civic or directly linked to my new position. I'm putting in enough hours to almost be full time. But I love it. It's a new avenue to directly impact where I live, and my children are growing up. I'm perfectly fine being "hands on" and helping achieve some of the goals that have been long set for our community. I look forward to bringing my work so far out into the forefront where people can like what they see, and decide to join the efforts.”