Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ward 2 Primary Coming Feb 26, 2013

Since four individuals have  filed for the Ward 2 council seat in Shawnee there will be a primary on Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013.  The top two vote getters will move on to the general election on Apr 2, 2013.

Let's see what we have here:

Mike Kemmling ran against Neal Sawyer last April and only lost by 11 votes, 661-650.  Clearly there were many citizens in ward 2 who supported his candidacy.  A very intelligent individual, Dr. Kemmling has his dental office in Shawnee.

A couple of months after that election, David Morris the other ward 2 counilmember at the time resigned because of a conflict with the city manager.  Five individuals, including Mike Kemmling applied to fill the remaining time for the position. The selection was to be made at a special city council meeting.

Alan Willoughby was selected by the council to fill the unexpired portion of Mr. Morris' term.  Ironically four members of the council ignored the strong support that Kemmling had received in the election and chose Willoughby, the uncle by marriage of the mayor.  Additionally, the mayor did not allow public comments/input at the special meeting. 

Subsequent to that selection a complaint was filed that Mr. Willoughby's appointment may have violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) because discussions were held prior to the meeting. 

The JoCo DA stated that "KOMA was enacted to prohibit the 'backroom' deals that were going on in Shawnee."
The DA also said " the spirit of KOMA was violated" and that the the actions of the mayor, as ringleader, were found to be "unacceptable".

Jill Y Reed and Trishelle Miller have also filed to run but I can't find much about either one.

Personally, I sincerely hope that the voters of Ward 2 elect Mike Kemmling.

Sidebar:  With regards to citizen input at meetings, by not allowing it at the special council meeting it is my opinion that the mayor violated the oath he took to defend the Constitution of the State of Kansas. 

Section 3, of the Bill of Rights of the Kansas Constitution says:

3. Right of peaceable assembly; petition. The people have the right to assemble, in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, for the redress of grievances.