A woman with a plan
With over five years experience on the Lansing Planning Commission, Sharon Henke is devoted to managing the growth of "the city with a future."
It's a volunteer job that depending on the agenda can require anywhere from 20 to 30 hours a month, Henke said.
As a planning commissioner, Henke reviews the city's comprehensive plan, signs ordinances, identifies growth patterns and makes recommendations to the Lansing City Council.
"When a developer comes to the city, they can look at our plans and see if they want to develop here," Henke said.
"The city has developed a vision where they want the city to grow. As planning commissioners, when issues come to us, we try to make it go in that direction so the overall goal is the same," she added.
Henke said now is as exciting a time as ever to be part of Lansing's development.
"We're the next growth corridor," she said. "Legends brought the media and the excitement, and all of us on the planning commission want to help guide the city council in making this a model community.
"We were designated as one of the 100 best places to live, and a lot of that has to do with managed growth."
Outside of her position on the planning commission and as a local property manager, Henke enjoys keeping in touch with her two daughters.
Sarah, 25, is a civil engineer with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Sandra, 21, is a fourth year student in human ecology at Kansas State University.
Although both children have left the community for now, Henke emphasized that their roots like those of other flourishing young people are, and always will be, in Lansing.
"I want an absolutely superior education system here for an atmosphere where you want to raise your kids," Henke said.
NAME: Sharon Henke
ADDRESS: Sherwood Forest Subdivision, Leavenworth
OCCUPATION: Owner, American Rentals and Property Management
FAMILY: Victor, husband; Sarah, 25, daughter; Sandra, 21, daughter
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN THE AREA, AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE? "My husband was in the military; we've lived in the same house since July of 1995."
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT LANSING? "The location and the families."
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN? "This past year, I helped with the 4-H poultry project at the fair."
WHAT MIGHT SURPRISE PEOPLE ABOUT YOU? "I raise chickens for exhibition show chickens."
WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED? "The cream always rises to the top, and strive to be the cream."
WHAT CLUBS OR ORGANIZATIONS DO YOU BELONG TO? Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Lansing's newly formed American Legion Auxiliary Unit 411 and the American Poultry Association