Chief backs away from city’s top job
Basehor police chief Terry Horner announced this week that he's withdrawing his name from consideration for the vacant city administrator's position.
"I'm a team player, and I do care about the direction of the city as well as the Basehor Police Department," Horner said in a written release. "It is a full-time job developing and overseeing the upcoming growth of the Basehor Police Department as well as keeping up with the growth and development of the city."
Toward the end of former Basehor Mayor Joseph Scherer's tenure, he proposed Horner as a candidate to replace David Fuqua, the city's first-ever administrator who resigned in December 2004. A proposal to install Horner as police chief/city administrator failed last month as city council members voted, 3-2, against the proposal.
Scherer, joined by then-city council president Julian Espinoza, hoped to bring forward another proposal for Horner to assume the position. However, council members reached general consensus to wait until after new elected officials took office following the April 5 general election.
New Mayor Chris Garcia has said he plans to make hiring a new city administrator a top priority. Horner, though, would rather not be among the candidates considered for the job.
"There is just too much going on for one person to do both jobs and I think this is a realistic conclusion and decision on everyone's part," Horner wrote.
He holds no ill will toward the city council for its March vote. On the contrary, Horner said, he believes the city would be better served with him continuing to concentrate efforts on the police department.
"It would have been interesting to be given the opportunity to do both positions as city administrator/chief of police," Horner wrote. "However, I accept my role as the chief of police.
"I did speak recently to all the city council members in passing about their decision. They all said they had confidence in me as the chief of police and they were pleased with the job I was doing. However, doing both roles at once, most of them felt could be a concern for time management of my professional responsibilities. Upon speaking with council members and my wife, Joni, we agreed that it would be better for the city if I were giving my full attention to developing and enhancing the growth of the police department."
The city council has not laid out a timeline or plan for hiring a new city administrator.