Mayor Ken Sissom to Retire Oct. 31

Published on September 24, 2021

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Mayor Ken Sissom is retiring from the Merriam City Council on October 31. His last City Council meeting will be October 25. 

Sissom was first elected as Merriam’s mayor in April 2009. During his 12 years, he has helped shape the City of Merriam. From business growth with expanded car dealerships, IKEA, Hobby Lobby, and the new Merriam Community Center to increased property values and establishing economic grants for residents, Sissom pushed Merriam forward in a positive direction.

Since 2009, Sissom has collaborated with the City Council and city staff on many important issues that affect the City’s future, such as:

  • Completed a facility master plan that led to the successful passage of the 1/4-cent sales tax to design and build the Merriam Community Center.
  • Issued over 5,000 building permits worth more than $490 million in building improvements.
  • Oversaw sales and use tax growth from almost $6 million annually to $12 million. 
  • Merged the Merriam and Overland Park fire departments.
  • Adopted the new Merriam 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
  • Had multiple car dealerships open their doors or renovate and expand their operations.
  • Approved several innovative programs for residents, including the Exterior Home Improvement Grant, Block Party Grant, Neighborhood Island Grant, the Franchise Fee Rebate Program, Historic Downtown Merriam Exterior Improvement Grant, and the Residential Sustainability Grant.
  • Installed new playground equipment at five parks, including the first We-Go-Swing in the world.
  • Shown greater transparency by having police officers wear body cameras.

Before become Merriam’s mayor, Sissom served on the Merriam Police Department for over 25 years, rising through the ranks to become the chief of police from 1992-2005.

Community Leadership Positions

  • 2015-2016 – Johnson and Wyandotte Counties Council of Mayors Chairman
  • 2013-Present – Johnson County Regional Police Academy Director
  • 2009-Present – City of Merriam Mayor
  • 2009-Present – Northeast Johnson County Chamber Member
  • 2008-2009 – Edelweiss HOA Board of Directors President 
  • 2003-2004 – Kansas Association of Chief of Police President
  • 2003-2004 – Kansas City Metropolitan Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association President
  • 1997-1998 – Kiwanis Lieutenant Governor Division IX
  • 1996-1997 – Johnson County Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Association President
  • 1992-2005 – City of Merriam Chief of Police

 

Sissom said it’s been a tremendous pleasure being mayor for such a great City.

“Having retired as a City employee, I already formed a deep appreciation for our fine residents, businesses, and City staff,” Sissom said. “The great honor of being mayor for the past 12 years has been a true blessing. In retirement, my wife Cathy and I plan on staying right here. We wouldn’t think of living anywhere else.”   

Per city code, City Council President Bob Pape will become Merriam’s new mayor on November 1. Pape is running for mayor in the November 2 general election.