Houston Lake government in flux after mayor's sudden resignation

The City of Houston Lake has a new mayor at the helm and a new city administrator and will soon have a new city clerk as well. Long-time mayor Michael Hallauer recently resigned earlier, citing personal reasons. The resignation became effective Sunday, Oct. 11, after parts of 12 years in office. Joyce Kullman, Houston Lake’s current city collector was appointed as his replacement and will complete Hallauer’s term.

A new mayor will be elected in the April 2017 general municipal election.

Marsha Duncan, who has served as city clerk for 13 years, plans to retire in December and is currently training new city clerk Melinda Cook. Joe Shepren was also recently hired as city administrator.

“I want to recognize Michael Halleuer’s contributions to the city,” Kullman said. “He has left me some huge shoes to fill and has dedicated 12 years of his life to the betterment of the city.”

Kullman also had kind words for Duncan and her 13 years of service.

Houston Lake was incorporated as a fourth-class Missouri City with a change in name from Venetian Gardens in 1960, a move made to avoid annexation by the City of Kansas City. Located in the southeastern portion of Platte County, Houston Lake had a population of 235 in the 2010 census.

Since the election of its first mayor in 1960, the city has only had four mayors. Kullman will become the fifth.

Frank E. (Ted) Barnes served as the first mayor from 1960 until 1986, overseeing the construction of Houston Lake City Hall in 1968. Jewel Head held the mayoral post from 1986 to 2003.

After a lengthy stint as city collector (1988-2000) and a short term as city administrator (2000-2003), Jean Hallauer served as mayor from 2003 to 2004 — a term shortened by cancer. Michael Hallauer served in the interim and ended up serving as mayor from 2004 to 2015 that ended with his recent resignation. He did not return a message seeking comment on his decision.