A change that has been a long time coming officially took place at the Nov. 10 Derby City Council meeting, with the municipality officially proclaimed as a City of the First Class by Gov. Laura Kelly. Derby is the first city in Kansas to shift to First Class in more than 40 years.
Per state statute, cities can choose to transition to a City of the First Class once they reach a population of 15,000 but the change becomes mandatory once it reaches 25,000. With Derby approaching that threshold, city staff decided to pursue First Class status.
City Attorney Jacque Butler has been preparing ordinances for the council to adopt with regards to its new status and maintaining normal operations. While Mayor Randy White did note the transition would afford the opportunity for Derby to change forms of government if desired, there are few other potential impacts.
Effective Nov. 11, Derby is now officially a City of the First Class – something both Gov. Kelly and White noted had a lot to do with its amenities and strong community partnerships (with businesses, schools and the military in the form of McConnell Air Force Base) continuing to attract residents.
“Derby is the 17th largest city in Kansas and continues to grow,” Gov. Kelly said. “Congratulations on your new status as a city of the first class.”
“There’s a lot of communities in Kansas that are struggling to grow, and we’re growing just as fast as any of them,” White said. “Derby is an exciting place to be and I hear from citizens all the time how much they love living in Derby. Derby is always a first class city, and now it’s official.”