By Mike Genet
RoxAnn Thorley is the interim District Three representative for Independence City Council after the Council elected her on to the seat Monday on a second roll call.
Thorley, a real estate agent with the Blue Springs office of Reece & Nichols, is a lifelong Independence and Independence-area resident and will be sworn in next Monday. She will fill the seat formerly held by Myron Paris, who resigned last month, until a special election is conducted next April to produce a council member for the remaining two years of Paris’ term.
Thorley was nominated by at-large council member Chris Whiting. The other candidate, Scott Roberson, was nominated by Mayor Don Reimal. Council members Whiting, Chris Dougherty and Eileen Weir voted for Thorley on the first roll call, while Reimal and council members Marcie Gragg and Jim Schultz voted for Roberson. Gragg gave an affirmative for Thorley on the second go-around, giving her the four necessary votes.
“With respect to Mr. Paris, I have big shoes to fill,” Thorley said after the council voting.
Both Thorley and Roberson also are among those who have picked up nomination packets for the April special election, and they to planned to remain a candidate regardless of Monday’s outcome. Nomination petitions can be filed with the city Oct. 28-Nov. 22.
Thorley said she was first approached on the idea of running for the council about 1 1/2 years ago, but the wheels really started to turn just recently.
“When Myron Paris resigned I had people asking me. I’ve been knocking on doors ever since,” she said after Monday’s meeting. “I have two grown kids; I’m a grandmother; I’ve got time on my hands. I can make my own (work) schedule.
Her work duties, which often put her in contact with people in the community, should transition well to serving as a council representative, Thorley said.
“I don’t think it takes somebody in politics to be on City Council,” she said. “I’m a new face with new ideas, and I’m eager to get started.
“Independence needs to be a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
In nominating Thorley, Whiting invoked Twitter and said if he were to “hashtag” Thorley, the words he would use are “vigilant” and “drive.”
“She’s lived in other communities and seen what they do well,” he said. “She’s met with council members before and with hundreds in her district.”
At the end of the meeting, Whiting thanked Roberson for his interest in serving on the council.
During his nomination, Reimal noted that Roberson has a dentistry practice in the neighborhood and as a result has come into contact with hundreds of people and worked with multiple organizations.
“I’ve known the Roberson family for years,” Reimal said. “The amount of energy they’ve put into the community is something you can point to with pride.”