Thursday, January 11, 2018

Some Unsolicited Advice For Our New Councilmembers

Well, they haven't been on the job a week yet, and already they're getting advice from me, albeit unsolicited.

First, at the swearing-in each of you took the oath of office and even signed a hard copy.  It is an oath required by K.S.A. 54-106, and it says:

"I do solemnly swear [or affirm, as the case may be] that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Kansas, and faithfully discharge the duties of ______. So help me God."
 Now, with regards to the US Constitution, most are familiar with that part of the First Amendment pertaining to free speech.  But  possibly they may not be as familiar with another part of it, the part that goes:
"the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

Now let's talk about Section 3 of the Bill of Rights of the Kansas Constitution (which by the way comes before the main body of the constitution):

§ 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.

What does all that mean?  It means you need to listen to the people.  In the past, some, not all, members of the council thought they were above listening to the people.  Not good. 

And the final bit of advice is to go on line to the city's web site.  Click on the monthly reports link and then pick any monthly report.  Look at the organization chart.  Never forget who is listed at the top of the chart.