Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Another Former Council Member Voices His Opinion

The below appears in today's Shawnee Dispatch, and on line at:

To the editor,

As a former Shawnee City Council member I would like to add some personal observations to the Dispatch article on open government.

I requested information from the city manager. Many times I received only partial information and at other times no information. Basically, I was being stonewalled.

It got to the point where I had to submit requests under the Kansas Open Records Act. Still, responses were not timely or forthcoming at all, and sometimes there would be fees. Council members should not have to endure that. City documents should be readily available for their review.

When I brought this up at various meetings, one of the other council members would say something to the effect of, “Well, I always get the information I request.”

Yes Ms. Kuhn, we can understand that, and why.

There is a definite good ol’ boy network on the council, coupled with a city manager run amok with power and forgetting her place as an employee of the council. I remember seeing this quote by another former council member, David Morris, discussing his resignation: “In the political arena, if you get put in the doghouse, answers don’t come particularly quickly, and sometimes phone calls don’t get returned particularly quickly.”

I was in the Shawnee City Council doghouse and did not get answers to questions or emails returned.

Kevin Straub