Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2001

Pfannenstiel boycotts meeting

April 12, 2001

In protest to the election of Bill Hooker as the city's next mayor, current Basehor mayor John Pfannenstiel will not attend the City Council meeting Monday, April 16.

Hooker will be sworn in as Pfannenstiel's successor at the meeting.

By Pfannenstiel's own admission, it is customary for the outgoing mayor to pass the gavel to the incoming mayor.

However, Pfannenstiel will not attend and miss the monthly City Council meeting for the first time since 1990.

Pfannenstiel said there are a number of reasons why he won't attend the meeting, but much of it centers around the election of Hooker.

"Everything I have tried to do in city government has been to move the city of Basehor forward," Pfannenstiel said. "I believe the citizens of Basehor have elected a mayor who will take the city backward, and I will not participate in any activity that will do that."

Pfannenstiel, 39, who has been in office since 1997, withdrew his name from the April 3 election shortly after a jury convicted him of three counts of sexual misconduct with inmates while he was a guard at the Lansing Correctional Facility.

Pfannenstiel has maintained his innocence, and on Monday, he stood by those statements.

"Recently, I have been accused of embarrassing the citizens of Basehor," Pfannenstiel said. "My critics are wrong. The fact is I have not committed a single act to bring shame to our community. I did not commit the offenses that I have been accused and found guilty of."

Pfannenstiel said he remains confident that the truth about the allegations against him will eventually come out and that he will have a chance to clear his name.

On April 4, Pfannenstiel's defense attorney Terry Lober filed a motion for a new trial. A hearing for that motion has been continued until April 18.

Pfannenstiel reflected over his term in office and said that in the past four years the city of Basehor has made tremendous progress.

According to the soon-to-be former mayor, full-time city staff members have been doubled, there has been an increase in city services and a full-time public works department had been added, and a planning and zoning department has been developed.

The wastewater treatment problems that have plagued the city for more than 20 years have been solved and long-range plans for land development, staff, equipment and the city budget have been created.

Pfannenstiel said all of these things have been done while continuing to maintain one of the lowest property tax rates in Kansas.

"I have lived and breathed community service in Basehor for the past 12 years," he said. "I do not believe it is bragging when I say that no one knows Basehor city government better than I do. I have sacrificed my time, energy, and personal business interest in order to serve the citizens of Basehor. I am proud of my service and have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the evolution of Basehor city government. I leave office with a smile on my face, my head held high and my back straight."

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