Friday, August 26, 2016

Shawnee Citizens Win a Big One

The citizens of Shawnee have won a big change in city government.

At this pat Monday's city council meeting the council voted 8-0 to change the method that is used to fill a vacancy on the council. 

The previous method was to fill the vacancy with an appointment that lasted until the expiration of the original term.  This was the method used when Alan Willoughby (the uncle by marriage of former Mayor Jeff Meyers) was appointed to fill the spot caused by the resignation of David Morris.  That particular appointment caused the JoCo DA to conduct an investigation into possible violations of KOMA (Kansas Open Meetings Act).  According to the DA's letter....."KOMA  was enacted to prohibit the 'backroom' deals that were going on in Shawnee."

The new method still allows for an appointment but only as a temporary measure.  The seat will then go up for a vote at an election to fill the position until the expiration of the original term.  A definite win for the folks in Shawnee.

Sidebar:  It was nice to see that Jeff Vaught voted with the majority on this item, without a comment.  Actually, I was quite surprised that he did that.  Ya see, at the most recent committee meeting on this item, and previous ones, he spoke out at great length, really great length, many times, in opposition to letting the citizens make the choice as to who should represent them. My guess is that he voted to approve because 1.) he finally realized his previous stance was wrong, or, 2.) he wants to tell folks that he is in favor of citizens being able to choose their representatives, when in reality he has shown a proclivity in the past to be against open government.