Monday, August 15, 2016

Filling Council Vacancies - Item on Agenda

Tomorrow, at the council committee meeting the subject of the methodology for filling council vacancies that come up because of resignations or other non-scheduled events will again be discussed.

There are various options.  One is to go directly to an election.  If there is one the city can piggyback on there is no expense to the city.  If no piggyback available it could go to a special election which could cost approximately $30K.

Another method is to continue what has been done in the past, which is the council appoints the replacement.  This is, IMHO unfair to the citizens of the ward that the vacancy occurs in.  Also, for those not familiar with the history of council appointments, a previous city council received a very strongly worded letter of rebuke from the JoCo DA when the former mayor's (Jeff Meyers)  uncle by marriage was appointed to the council. The DA claimed that the council at that time violated the spirit of the Kansas Open Meetings Act. That was Alan Willoughby who had been appointed to replace David Morris who had resigned from the council over a dispute with the city manager.

There is another possibility.  It is a hybrid.  The council would appoint a replacement who would serve only until the next election that the city can piggyback on.  This is as opposed to being appointed to finish out the term.  Then, the election would be held with the winner finishing off the remainder of the term.

I personally have been in favor of an immediate election, but there is enough opposition to that because of the possibility of high costs that realistically I don't think it can happen.  The appointment process with the person lasting until the completion of the term of office I find abhorrent.

Alas, I hope the council goes with the hybrid.

This item can involve who and how a person is selected to represent you.  Might be a good idea to show up tomorrow night.