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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Local mayor honored for service

  • Canton Mayor Brad Smiley was awarded the E.A. Mosher Excellence in Local Government Award at the 2013 League of Kansas Municipalities annual conference on Thursday.
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  • Canton Mayor Brad Smiley was awarded the E.A. Mosher Excellence in Local Government Award at the 2013 League of Kansas Municipalities annual conference on Thursday.
    Smiley, who has served as Canton's mayor for six years and is currently in his second term, said the award came as a total surprise.
    "I didn't know I was nominated," Smiley said. "You read all of what's expected of the candidates, and there are a lot of good candidates out there. I was really surprised I'd won it, and I'm grateful for the nomination."
    The award is presented annually to an elected city official who has demonstrated outstanding service to not only his or her own city, but also has shown an active commitment to strong local government and service to the League of Kansas Municipalities.
    Named in honor of E.A. Mosher, who served as League director from 1960 to 1991, the award is intended to honor excellence and leadership at the highest level.
    When Smiley was announced as the recipient, he found himself suddenly the subject of an unusually large amount of attention.
    "I went up there with Governor Brownback and LKM President Don Moler," Smiley said. "I'm not a person who loves talking in front of people, and there were 250 people there. It wasn't something I enjoyed at all."
    During his time as Canton's mayor, Smiley and the Canton City Council have faced a number of difficult challenges, including finding funding to repair the streets.
    "We had the residents vote on a one cent sales tax to repair the streets," Smiley said, "and they passed it. Right now we're just about done with phase one of that project."
    Mary Nickel, the director of the Canton Senior Center, said Smiley has been an excellent mayor.
    "He does a lot for this town," Nickel said. "He's a nice person. He stops in and visits with the seniors here. He's also on the Fire Department, and has a full-time job as well. The whole town is happy with the improvements."
    While certainly a busy man, Smiley's ambitions for Canton haven't slowed down.
    "I would like to continue to be able to present more opportunities for the citizens with better services and growth," Smiley said. "I'm also hopeful that the Mid Kansas Coop facility that's going in west of town will add more growth and tax dollars to the city."
    Smiley said if Canton received publicity due to his award, he'd hope it would point out Canton's positive qualities.
    "This is a great community with a great school system," Smiley said. "It's a nice little community to raise a family in."

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