Newly appointed city council members share goals
Love of community inspired both to accept
After Matthew Litton resigned and Rick Reynolds was disqualified for voter registration issues, Peabody City Council unexpectedly had two empty seats.
Mayor Larry Larsen appointed Jay Gfeller and Lindsay Hutchison to fill the vacancies, and the two were approved by council and sworn in at the Feb. 12 meeting.
Both parties said their love of Peabody was the main factor in their acceptance of the position, and feel passionate about what can be accomplished during their terms.
Jay Gfeller was raised in Peabody and has lived here his whole life. He is a 2003 Peabody-Burns High School graduate. He joined the Army National Guard and served until 2011, including one tour in Iraq, and has worked as a draftsman for Prestressed Concrete since 2012.
Gfeller said he considered pros and cons of accepting the position, and that his love for the community he shares with his wife, Rachel, and a desire to ensure that Peabody will be viable in the future so his children have a place to call home motivated him to accept.
“Peabody is my hometown and you always have to have a love for your hometown,” he said. “We have a great diversity of generations in our town and I want to promote the coexistence of all of these generations interacting with each other successfully.”
Gfeller serves as President of Peabody Country Club and President of Peabody Historical Society. He is a member of the American Legion, volunteers with Peabody Fourth Fest, and is a member of Peabody United Methodist Church.
Infrastructure is a priority for Gfeller and will remain so for the rest of his term, he said.
“There’s a lot of concern from the people of Peabody and has been for many years when it comes to infrastructure,” he said. “In order to be a viable community you have to have a strong infrastructure. I hope to focus on some of those issues.”
Gfeller is the father of two children, and says his family spends a majority of their free time outdoors camping and fishing during the summer.
Lindsay Hutchison is a 2003 Council Grove High School graduate, and was raised in the surrounding area.
Hutchison lived in Peabody several years ago before moving to Emporia. Her love for a small town environment led her back to Peabody in 2011.
Hutchison is a mother of six, volunteer emergency medical technician, and is active with her husband Joe in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. She is a member of the Peabody Christian Church, and a unit clerk at St. Luke Hospital in Marion.
Hutchison accepted an appointment to the council because of her love for Peabody and an aspiration to see growth within the community.
“I would like to get more younger people involved,” she said. “I don’t want them to be quite as discouraged and voice what they would like to see as a total community.”
Hutchison also says listening to others is an important component of solving problems and conflicts.
“Its’ important each person takes time to listen to the other party and listens with an open mind and heart,” she said. “Whether it changes your opinion or not, it might open your eyes to different viewpoints you may not have seen before.”
Hutchison enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, and making arts and crafts in her free time.
Last modified March 9, 2018