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The granting of a Key to the City is an historic civic honor that reflects trust and friendship between the community and the holder of a key.
On Friday, Sept. 11, at Little Firehouse Cafe, Chuck Warren became the sixth known recipient to be honored with a key to the City of Derby.
Warren, who has lived in Derby for most of his life, has been influential in shaping Derby into the community it is today. His civic contributions include many years of service on the City Council and involvement with the Derby Chamber of Commerce, Derby Community Foundation, and Rotary Club of Derby. Warren has also advocated for the community’s growth and improvement as a long-standing member of the business community.
“Chuck was on City Council when I joined. When it came to balancing the good of the whole community with private property interests, he made it look easy…and it’s not,” said Mayor Randy White. “He knew both were to be respected and both are essential to a quality community. By his example, he showed new members the value of balancing both.”
Warren helped guide city policy as a member of the Derby City Council for 18 years, making him one of the longest-serving city council members in the history of the City of Derby. He was first elected in 1999 to represent Ward 2 and resigned that seat when he moved out of Ward 2 boundaries. He immediately was appointed to fill a vacant seat in Ward 3, where he served until January 2018.
Throughout his years on the council, Warren was known for his desire to keep local government efficient, protect property rights and to promote quality of life. This particularly came through in Warren’s personal support of Derby parks as a council member and in his family’s support of park projects such as Warren Riverview Park, which honors the legacy of his parents, Ray and Virginia Warren.
In 2012, Warren also was appointed to the Wichita/Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, where he currently serves as Chairman of the joint MAPC and Board of Zoning Appeals, as well as on the Advance Plans committee.
Warren, who originally moved to Derby with his family in 1955 and graduated from Derby High School in 1970, chose to make the community his home after time away for college and service in the Army.
Since making his home in Derby, Warren has been an active part of the local business community. Warren and his family have managed a number of properties in Derby for decades, with a particular focus on the Madison Avenue and K-15 areas where many of Derby’s small, local businesses are headquartered. Warren also works as a Realtor® for Coldwell Banker Plaza Real Estate.
In late 2018, as Warren prepared to step down from the Derby City Council, he told The Derby Informer that he continues to take his father’s words to heart in whatever he does. “He always asked: ‘What are we going to do to make Derby a better place?’” Warren said.
Other keyholders honored by the City of Derby include Larry Gould (1979), Jim Meidinger (2011), Ken Mulanax (2015), Dion Avello (2015) and Jack Pulley (2018).