PAOLA — The Paola City Council now officially has a new member, although it’s someone who is no stranger to the position.

LeAnne Shields was sworn into the Ward 4 council seat during the Tuesday, Dec. 8, council meeting. Trent Upshaw was also sworn back into his Ward 2 seat.

It’s been 14 years since Shields was last on the council, but she defeated Ward 4 incumbent Aaron Nickelson in the Nov. 3 general election by a count of 414 to 314 votes. There were six write-ins.

Upshaw was running unopposed to retain his Ward 2 seat, and he received 506 votes. There were seven write-ins.

Before changing seats with Shields during the Dec. 8 meeting, Nickelson was honored with a plaque presented by Paola Mayor Artie Stuteville.

“You’ve always had the best interests of the community at heart, not just Ward 4,” Stuteville said.

After Shields was sworn into office, Stuteville welcomed her to the council and thanked her for her years of service in different capacities.

“I want to welcome you and thank you for your dedication to the community,” Stuteville said.

Also during the meeting, Leigh House was selected to be council president, and Upshaw was selected to be vice president.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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