City Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Created on 2/1/2011 8:43:24 AM



                At the January 14 City Council meeting, Mayor Kurtz presented a proclamation celebrating the 50th Anniversary as a City to the current and former officials who were present at that meeting.

                It was noted that the City Officials at that historic time when Independence became a city on November 12, 1960, were Mayor Winfred Wisnieski,  Finance Director Elizabeth Becker, President of Council Robert Longano, members of Council, Grace Barker, Forrest Bramley, Robert Gaab, Charles Kozelka, Gilbert Lambacher, and Tom Walker, and Walter Kelley, Jr. was the Law Director.

                Since 1960, there have been many individuals serving our city as mayor, members of council, finance director, law director, city planner, etc., who are listed below.  They helped shape our community into the premier city we have today!  Independence would not be what it is today without their vision, dedication, and commitment. 


1960 to Present


Carl Asseff, M.D., Councilperson

Grace Barker, Councilperson

Vernon Blaze, Councilperson/Vice Mayor

Anthony Bontempo, Mayor, Councilperson

Forrest Bramley, Councilperson

Charles Cichocki, Councilperson

Kenneth Cooke, Councilperson

James Crooks, Councilperson

Robert Gaab, Councilperson

Elmer Gerding, Councilperson, Finance Dir., Clerk of Council

Noreen Gesinski, Councilperson

David Grendel, Councilperson

Edward Jarzen, Councilperson

George Klepacz, Councilperson

Joseph Kotabish, Mayor, Vice Mayor, Councilperson

Charles Kozelka, Councilperson                                                      

Gregory Kurtz, Mayor, Vice Mayor, Councilperson

Gilbert Lambacher, Vice Mayor, Councilperson

Robert Longano, Law Dir., Vice Mayor, Councilperson

Barbara Mack, Councilperson

Gilbert Manke, Councilperson

Thomas Narduzzi, Councilperson

John Nicastro, Sr., Vice Mayor, Councilperson

Samuel Parrino, Councilperson

James Piteo, Councilperson

Fred Ramos, Mayor, Councilperson, Vice Mayor

James Riley, Councilperson, Vice Mayor

Laura Rice Merhaut, Councilperson

Kent Spellman, Councilperson

Kenneth Stevens, Vice Mayor, Councilperson

Daniel Todt, Councilperson

Anthony Togliatti, Councilperson, Vice Mayor

James Trakas, Councilperson

Thomas Walker, Councilperson

Patricia Wisnieski, Councilperson, Vice Mayor

W. Pete Wisnieski, Mayor

Patricia Woodrick, Councilperson, Vice Mayor

Harry Zaruba, Councilperson

Michael Zuber, Vice Mayor, Councilperson, Finance Director

Robert Zuber, Councilperson


George Spilker, Finance Director

Shelton Sweress, Finance Director

John M. Veres, Councilperson, Finance Director

Louis Onders, Finance Director


Elizabeth Becker, Finance Dir., Clerk of Council

Roger Feick, Finance Dir., Clerk of Council

Terri Goodrich, Clerk of Council

Eleanor Hackett, Clerk of Council

Sue Kurshuk , Clerk of Council

Susan Prehoda, Clerk of Council


Robert Hill, City Planner

Jeffrey Markley, City Planner


Walter Kelley, Law Director

Stephen O’Bryan, Law Director

Gregory O’Brien, Law Director

David Matia, Law Director

Kenneth Stralka, Law Director


Members of the Original Charter Commission

George Bent, Jr., Robert Boyer, Robert Briggs, John Ciccozzi, George Evans, Harold Fenwick, Thaddeus Fischer, James Funaro, James Gates, Edward Hoffman, Allen Montgomery, Alvin Pfahl, Arnold Schmidt, James Stiffler, Lewis Wicks