Monday, April 23, 2007

Pflumm Pforgets His Place

Let's look at the background. A few weeks ago the City Council unanimously authorized the mayor to form a task force to study the issue of a smoking ban. Ideally the task force would hold meetings, research information and obtain input from the public (residents and business owners/managers of Shawnee)
That sounds like the democratic process at work.

Now, what happened at this evening's council meeting? Well it appears that Dan Pflumm decided he didn't need input from the citizens of Shawnee. He whips out a copy of the City of Overland Park's smoking ordinance and wants the City Council of Shawnee to adopt it. And to top it off, he has an accomplice in this travesty. Yep, his good buddy, Kevin Straub seemed to support this action.

Needless to say other councli members were curious as to how they could vote to approve something they haven't studied. But more importantly, most of them wanted to know how they could vote on an ordinance without the input of the citizens of Shawnee.

Well, it seems like Pflumm feels that they have already provided input. He brings up Johnson County's recent "survey' about smoking. Neil Sawyer, to his credit, tried to explain that surveys can be manipulated. Pflumm let's that one go by saying that the survey company has been around for quite awhile. Sawyer then indicates (tongue in cheek I think) that that could be one of the reasons. Let's give Mr Pflumm a lesson in Public Surveys 101. They CAN be manipulated. The key elements are what the questions are, how they are worded and the restricted answer choices made available.

Now I am sure that there are some in Shawnee who wish he would have been successful. But I ask, would they like it if an ordinance was adopted that they were against, without allowing them to provide input?

This action of Pflumm's was a blatant attempt to ignore the rights of the people to participate in their government. He can try all he wants to wiggle out of it, but he can't. Is this what the voters in Ward 1 want of their elected representative? Someone who attempts to usurp their rights.

Fortunately for the citizens of Shawnee there were enough members of the City Council who still feel that the people have the right to provide input.

My opinion: These two are very dangerous individuals, in that they have no regard for the rights of the people.