INDEPENDENCE -- Diana Lindskog showed up at the Independence City Council meeting on Aug. 8 expecting to observe the proceedings from the audience.
By evening's end, she had joined the city's leaders behind the dais.
Lindskog, 59, was sworn in as interim councilor and will serve in the position for the next six months. She was one of two candidates who had applied for a seat vacated in July by Carrie Casebeer, who resigned after moving out of the city.
"I hadn't prepared a speech or anything," said Lindskog after the council selected her. "I thought I was just coming to watch."
Lindskog has lived in Independence since 1952. She worked as a claims assistant for the SAIF Corporation for more than 20 years, then filled in as a part-time secretary and instructional assistant at Central School District from 1996 to 1999.
She is currently a bookkeeper at St. Patrick Church, and was on the city's library board for eight years.
Lindskog said she applied for the position because she wanted to contribute something to the community. Because this will be her first time holding public office, however, she said she anticipates a learning curve.
"It's not lot joining an organization and if you don't like it, fine, you can leave," she said. "It's serious commitment you're making, for the town and the people."
A Mexican-American, Lindskog said she was wants to get Independence's large Hispanic population more involved in the decision-making process.
She also said she is also considering a run for a full-term council spot this fall.
In other council news:
Officials extended the existing franchise agreement with Charter Communications to Jan. 31, 2007.
Independence and Charter have been negotiating a long-term contract since their original agreement expired in 2002. The parties have done four extensions since then.
Franchise agreements spell out the concessions a service provider offers a city for the right to install operating infrastructure in municipal right-of-ways.
Charter currently pays Independence 5 percent of its revenues from local subscriptions. That amount totaled almost $30,000 in 2003.
Independence also agreed to a five-year franchise agreement with Monmouth Power and Light.
The utility's service territory includes some customers scattered between Monmouth's eastern city limits and Gun Club Road, such as Central High School and Waremart.