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Month: June 2022

City Announces New Director of Public Works

The City of Osawatomie welcomes a new Director of Public Works to its leadership team this summer following the retirement of incumbent director Bill Roseberry.

Local resident Michele Silsbee will assume the role of Director effective July 5th, 2022. In her new role, Silsbee will manage the City’s public works infrastructure and improvement projects, including storm water, street and alley repair and maintenance, parks, cemeteries, and the flood protection system. Silsbee brings over 10 years of public works project management experience, including work with large-scale storm water projects and developing and implementing asset management programs. Before her tenure with Osawatomie, Silsbee served as Water Quality Program Coordinator for the City of Olathe beginning in 2018 and Storm Water Management Coordinator for the City of Hutchinson from 2014 to 2018.

“I’m excited to have Michele joining our team,” said Bret Glendening, Deputy City Manager. “Her unique skill set, and particularly her expertise in dealing with storm water issues, was a critical consideration for us as we worked through the selection process.” Glendening noted that incumbent director Bill Roseberry had set a very high standard, but the City is confident in Silsbee’s ability to meet, sustain, and expand upon Roseberry’s legacy.

Silsbee, whose family moved to Osawatomie in May of 2021, said “I am excited to accept the responsibility of leading the Public Works Department of Osawatomie. Since our move, we’ve enjoyed learning more about the community and working with our animals and on our property. My husband and I also have two daughters that keep us busy biking, hiking, and camping with them whenever we can. Osawatomie has continually welcomed us with open arms. I feel truly blessed to be able to serve the community we now call home.”

Michele Silsbee holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from McPherson College and is currently completing a master’s degree in public administration and certificates in city/county management and economic development from Wichita State University.

Tire Collection Day 2022

The annual Tire Collection Day for the City of Osawatomie is rapidly approaching!

Tire Collection Day is one of several annual or semi-annual service days provided through the city’s contract with Waste Management, our solid waste and recycling partner.

This year’s Tire Collection Day is scheduled for Thursday, June 23rd, 2022.

Check the event for more information!

City Recognizes Juneteenth, Paid Holiday for Employees

On April 14, 2022, at a regular meeting of City Council, the City of Osawatomie Governing Body unanimously voted to approve the recognition of Juneteenth as a holiday within the City of Osawatomie.

From WhiteHouse.gov:

“On June 19, 1865 — nearly nine decades after our Nation’s founding, and more than 2 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation — enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally received word that they were free from bondage. As those who were formerly enslaved were recognized for the first time as citizens, Black Americans came to commemorate Juneteenth with celebrations across the country, building new lives and a new tradition that we honor today. In its celebration of freedom, Juneteenth is a day that should be recognized by all Americans. And that is why I am proud to have consecrated Juneteenth as our newest national holiday.

Juneteenth is a day of profound weight and power.

A day in which we remember the moral stain and terrible toll of slavery on our country –- what I’ve long called America’s original sin. A long legacy of systemic racism, inequality, and inhumanity.

But it is a day that also reminds us of our incredible capacity to heal, hope, and emerge from our darkest moments with purpose and resolve.

As I said on the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, great nations don’t ignore the most painful chapters of their past. Great nations confront them. We come to terms with them.

On Juneteenth, we recommit ourselves to the work of equity, equality, and justice. And, we celebrate the centuries of struggle, courage, and hope that have brought us to this time of progress and possibility. That work has been led throughout our history by abolitionists and educators, civil rights advocates and lawyers, courageous activists and trade unionists, public officials, and everyday Americans who have helped make real the ideals of our founding documents for all.”

Juneteenth was designated as a federal holiday in 2021 by President Joe Biden.

The Governing Body of the City of Osawatomie recognizes June 19th or Juneteenth as an official holiday within the City of Osawatomie and designates June 19th as a paid holiday for all City of Osawatomie employees. Juneteenth will be recognized in the personnel policy as any other major holiday; when June 19th falls on Saturday, the holiday shall be observed on the preceding Friday and when it falls on a Sunday, the holiday shall be observed on the following Monday.

In 2022, the City of Osawatomie will observe Juneteenth on Monday, June 20th and City offices will be closed.

To learn more about Juneteenth and its importance to our national history, please visit the following:

National Museum of African American History and Culture: Juneteenth

Happy Juneteenth! Juneteenth.com

History: What is Juneteenth