Sunday, November 18, 2018

Council Appointment - Games People Play

Last week the Shawnee City Council apponted Lisa Larson-Bunnell to fill the open Ward III seat caused by the resignation of Justin Adrian as he faces criminal charges.

An unusually large number (16) of citizens applied for the position. Previous vacancies usually had about a half dozen or so apply. All of the applicants said in some manner that they wanted to serve the residents of Ward III and the city. Only one of the applicants actually walked the walk and did not just talk the talk. That was Dave Myres. Dave had filed to run last year and survived the Ward III primary. He and Justin Adrian went on to compete in the general election as the voters of Ward III clearly indicated that they did not want Jeff Vaught to be their rep on the council. Adrian won the general election, and has since resigned because of the aforementioned pending criminal charges.

Why were there so many applicants for the position? Did they want a simpler glide path as opposed to actually investing time and money into actually running for office?

Now, let's get historical. Let's look at two currently sitting council members, Jim Neighbor and Mickey Sandifer.

When Cheryl Scott resigned as a member of the council Jim Neighbor was one of those applying for the position. Part of his argument for being considered was that he had actually run for the council being defeated by the other Ward i member at the time, Dan Pflumm. Mickey Sandifer made it a point to back Neighbor based on Neighbor's having run for the office. Hmmmm, apparently they both thought that running for office was a form of walking the walk and not just talking the talk.

Some time later Councilmember Dave Morris resigned his position. Individuals again applied. One of them was Dr. Mike Kemmling who had recently run at that time against Neil Sawyer and lost by 11, yes 11 votes. Sounds like he had a bunch of support in the ward. Well, apparently those two stalwarts who considered running for office prima facie evidence that the person truly wanted to serve the residents didn't agree. This time, Neighbor and Sandifer ignored their previous line of reasong and instead voted to appoint Uncle Alan Willoughby. Ironically that appointment resulted in a KOMA investigation and the JoCo DA was not kind to certain members of the council including former mayor Jeff Meyers. Karma is wonderful. When election time came about Dr. Kemmling defeated Uncle Alan Willoughby. (For those not aware, Willoughby is the uncle by marriage of former Mayor Jeff Meyers who was the mayor at the time of that situation)

Now we have the curent situation. Of all the applicants Dave Myres was the only one to put forth the effort to serve the people of Ward III. Again Neighbor and Sandifer apparently did not consider his previous run for the office as indicative of that. Guess that reasoning only applied to Neighbor and Sandifer's support thereof. It has come to my attention that approximately 100 residents of Ward III sent emails to the council in support of Dave Myres.

Do I smell another KOMA investigation brewing in the wings? Should councilmembers Neighbor, Zimmerman, Sandifer, Constance and Stephanie Meyer be concerned? Time will tell.