Town Hall

Town Hall

Douglas County Democrats

Douglas County Democrats

Monday, November 13, 2017

Possible Council Vacancy Discussion Takes up Nearly Half the Meeting Time

Kevin Surbaugh

The November 7, 2017, city council meeting was called to order by Mayor Marilyn Pearse promptly at 7 P.M.  On a night when the Mayor and two council seats were up for election, the council had business that needed to be conducted.
The meeting started with approving of the agenda. However, this involved a debate on whether or not an item from new business should actually be considered as old business. Council-member David Simmons thought that a proposal that he made at the previous Council meeting should be considered as the first reading. Many of the others on the council, including the Mayor, felt that because it had not been in the previous packet, Simmons had blind sighted them, as Mayor Pearse put it.
Council-member Kathy Gerstner said that in the interest of moving forward, she is not in favor of voting on charter ordinance twenty-five tonight. With that, she moved that the agenda be approved as printed with Tony Brown seconding. The motion carried on a vote of three to two, with Simmons and Council-member A. J. Stevens casting the dissenting votes.
Council-member Tony Brown shares his thoughts about how to
appoint a replacement in the case of a vacancy.
photograph by Kevin Surbaugh
When the council did take up the issue of Charter Ordinance 25, discussion ensued the best way to implement the updated policy. The ordinance is a policy to govern how to fill a vacancy on the council. Simmons said that he patterned this idea after what the school board had done when they had a vacancy.  The basic concept is to put out requests for those who are interested in the seat to apply. However, how to do that, how to narrow down the candidates and ultimately chose one to appoint.
The bulk of the discussion centered how all the candidates would come in and be interviewed by the council. Several members of the council wondered how other communities made such appointments. A quick look, online finds that the city of Topeka accepts applications with each of the applicants going through a public interview at an upcoming city council meeting, with a decision by the council in the said meeting after the interviews.


In other business the council:
  • received one bid from Laird Noller, however, rejected that bid on the recommendation of Cheif  Neis in favor of better deals through Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). 
  •  unanimously approved amending the water and sewer rates measurement.
  • discussed the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), deciding to have a special work session at 6 P.M. before the next council meeting. 
  • unanimously approved Resolution 2017-17, Buckeye Wind Project agreement.

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