Daily Leader photo/Robert Pierce
Mayor Joe Denoyer, left, and Seward County Commission Chairman
Shannon Francis visit during a reception Friday for Francis, who was
defeated in the November election by challenger Jim Rice for the
District Five commission seat.
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
Shannon Francis has been serving the citizens of Seward County as a
commissioner for the better part of a decade, and Friday, many people
from across the community came to pay their respects to the chairman
at a reception in the Seward County Administration Building.
Francis was defeated in the November election by challenger Jim Rice
for the District 5 seat.
Looking back on his eight years as a commissioner, Francis said he
has enjoyed the time and opportunity he has to serve the residents of
“I’ve really been glad with some of the things we’ve accomplished,”
he said. “I think we’ve done a lot of things to make the work force
and the administration at the county more professional and more
efficient for the citizens of this community.”
Francis said he believes the commission has also done a lot of things
to help those in the community that need help the most through the
establishment of programs such as Women, Infants and Children at the
Seward County Health Department, a program that was implemented with
no cost to the taxpayers, and the enactment of a crime task force.
“It’s been a great eight years, I’ve really been glad to serve,” he
Francis said what he will miss least about his job as a commissioner
is the meeting requirements.
“You kind of have to build your life around those,” he said. “It
really constrains what you can do. I think the thing I’m going to
miss the most is the leadership role that it enables you to have to
try to make the community better.”
Francis had some advice for the current commission as it moves into
the next term.
“I think as they go forward, you always have to remember that your
local government is a service organization,” he said. “We’re here to
serve the people. You can’t fall victim to serving just small special
interest groups that speak the loudest. You have to make your
decisions based upon what’s good for the overall community rather
than small segments of it.”
There are also some issues Francis would like the commission to focus
on in the near future.
“Hopefully, we’ve started some initiatives in the crime task force
area, and I hope that they’ll stick with that emphasis,” he said. “I
think we have a real opportunity to make the community better. I
think the people in the law enforcement area feel like they had an
opportunity to make some positive changes.”
Francis added the board should naturally be concerned about the
current national economic climate.
“That’s something that hadn’t taken effect until right towards the
end of my term,” he said.
Francis said, though, above all else, he hopes commissioners are not
afraid to dream.
“I hope they’re not afraid to take chances,” he said. “It’s not bad
to do new things, but once you decide to do something new, you really
have to focus on the way that it’s implemented. There’s a lot of good
ideas out there, but if they’re not implemented correctly, they don’t
Francis said a future run at the county commission is not out of the
question, but for now, he does not foresee it.
“Right now, I’m just going to enjoy life and enjoy my family and take
a breather,” he said. “I don’t know what the future holds for me.”