Bob Moore has been a fixture in McPherson for 50 years. He moved to town with his wife, Lois, when I-135 was first opened on the east side of town and made his name known in the restaurant business — owning and operating Sir Robert's Restaurant for 23 years.
After his time in the restaurant industry, Moore got started working in real estate — getting all the more familiar with McPherson. As he became more invested in the community, he made a decision to take that a step further.
"I just came home one day and asked my wife did she care if I ran for city commission. She said 'could you take it if you got beat?' I said 'yeah, I don't care; I'd be alright.' I never did get beat so I don't know," Moore said.
Moore has served with the McPherson City Commission for 12 and a half years as Commissioner of Public Lands. With the structure of the city commission, that means Moore has overseen the parks department, cemetery, community building and more during his time in office.
With three commissioners all acting as department heads, there is a lot of responsibility placed on the governing body, which meets weekly — making decisions on any expenditures over $1,000 and going through study sessions to help make long-term plans for the city. This past year, though, Moore made the decision to not run for re-election — wanting some time away from those duties to spend with his wife.
"Over the last 12 and a half years, I've been gone five times," Moore said. "I'm at the retirement age. My wife and I, we want to start going places and doing things before one of us (has our) health fall apart."
A retirement reception was held for Moore on Jan. 6, recognizing his 12 and a half years of service on the city commission, though that is not the only way he has served the community. Moore also spent time on the All Schools Day Committee, worked as chairman of the McPherson Main Street Committee and served as president of the McPherson Chamber of Commerce board.
Truthfully, Moore said his time on the chamber board helped lead him to pursue a role with the city commission — with the chamber's leadership class providing a spark for him to seek election.
"Different people from the community might take this leadership class and visit different departments and everything. I had just finished that and thought that was interesting. That's kind of how I got started in it," Moore said.
Enjoying the opportunity to give back to his community through serving on the city commission, Moore said the best part has been working for a city with great employees.
Of his accomplishments while in office, Moore said one that makes him proudest is the recent renovations to the community building. While Moore said he didn't come into office with any concrete goals, those renovations speak to his approach to service on the city commission.
"You hope that when you go in, when you leave it's better than it was when you went in, but you can't believe all the different things you'll get into," Moore said. "For our size of community, we've got a wonderful community, but you always want to make it better or improve it or something."
Taking care of the city and its amenities takes a certain investment — both from the commissioners and the citizens of McPherson. Moore encourages that among citizens, welcoming McPherson residents to bring issues before the city commission, as well as the next commissioner who follows in his footsteps.
"It's not a hard job," Moore said. "It's just, you have to stop and think about what's best for the city because you're representing the people of McPherson."