Mayor Dan Jurkovich might not be an Ark Citian by birth, but his dedication to his adopted town is evident from his time on the City Commission of Arkansas City.

Mayors Duane Oestmann and Dan Jurkovich

Photo by Andrew Lawson/City of Arkansas City

Former mayor Duane Oestmann, left, and new Mayor Dan Jurkovich.

His business acumen has served him well while dealing with the tough financial issues that the city has experienced in recent years.

“I decided to run when there was talk about building a new water plant,” Jurkovich said in an interview Wednesday.

“I saw how the hospital had already become a problem because it was built bigger than needed. I did not want the water treatment plant to be unsustainable.”

Jurkovich family background

There is much more to Jurkovich than what most see.

He grew up in a small town in northern Michigan that had a population of about 2,000 people.

He and his wife, Susan, met while attending Central Michigan University.

Both have bachelor’s degrees from that university.

Susan has roots in Cowley County — her parents live in Winfield.

“Her relatives started Albright’s in Winfield. Her grandmother, Enid Bishop, was Queen Alalah number 6,” said Dan Jurkovich.

‘Coach Mayor’ stays busy

Dan Jurkovich is a husband and father of four.

Coach Mayor Dan Jurkovich

Photo by Andrew Lawson/City of Arkansas City

“We have four children — Joseph, 17, (a high school) senior; Elizabeth, 15, (a high school) sophomore; Sarah, 13, eighth grade; and Rachel, 10, a fifth-grader,” he said. “They all attend Ark City Christian Academy.”

Jurkovich also coaches ACCA’s volleyball team. Many of his players attended Tuesday night’s changeover ceremony and reception. In addition to coaching, he stays busy in other ways, too.

“I am active with helping my kids with all their activities year-round,” he said. “I also deer hunt and enjoy shooting when I have time.”

The whole family travels together once each year.

“We have been to Hawaii, Alaska, Colorado and Utah skiing, Wyoming, (the) West Indies, (and) Mexico a few times,” Jurkovich said, “and my wife and I even traveled to Sydney, Australia.”

Doing his small part

Jurkovich first was elected to a two-year City Commission term in April 2013.

“My desire to run started when Mayor (Joel) Hockenbury moved to California,” he explained.

There were a few people who vied to fill the vacant seat after Hockenbury left.

“(Candidate) Scott Snavely caused a stir by questioning the (mayor-commission) relationship. I thought at the time that I could be a good, level-headed commissioner,” Jurkovich said.

“I had an overall dissatisfaction with the direction of the country. It seemed like government was gobbling up more and more of our liberty. I wanted to do my small part to fight for individual freedoms.”

Jurkovich later was re-elected to a four-year term in 2015 and received the second-most votes in that election, the last ever to be held in April. His current term will expire in January 2020, but he is eligible to run again in 2019. He will serve as mayor until January of that year.