Archive for Thursday, May 6, 2010

Canceled meeting puts council dispute on display

May 6, 2010

The Basehor City Council met for three minutes Monday despite Mayor Terry Hill canceling the work session that night.

City Administrative Assistant Cassie Schmidt sent out an e-mail Friday notifying the community Hill had canceled the meeting for lack of agenda items.

Hill said he was soon informed, however, council member Dennis Mertz and council president Jim Washington didn’t agree with his decision to cancel the meeting.

Upon consulting City Attorney Patrick Reavey, Hill learned if any council members objected to the mayor canceling a scheduled meeting, the mayor should conduct one.

Washington suggested Hill call a meeting to order that night and accept a motion to adjourn for lack of an agenda, Hill said.

“I’m not sure what it’s all about,” Hill said of council members insisting on meeting simply to adjourn. “I would have guessed that since there is no topic for discussion, there would be no objection to a canceled meeting.”

The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m., and City Administrator Mark Loughry announced no agenda had been made for the meeting, and he had nothing to discuss at the time.

Washington asked Loughry when the city’s budget would be ready for discussion and where the city was with respect to its audit.

“Staff is working on departmental budgets, and those will be ready for you, but until we get the final from the county there’s not a lot to talk about for the council,” Loughry said.

“We have instructed the auditing firm to go forward with the full (generally accepted accounting principles) compliant audit, and I will bring forward an actuary study for the council when it’s ready.”

Having these two questions answered and hearing nothing more from the council, Hill requested a motion to adjourn, which was then quickly made by council member David Breuer. Washington gave a reluctant second to the motion after several seconds passed.

The meeting adjourned at 7:03 p.m.

Comments

KSman57 4 years, 7 months ago

Maybe they should have discussed ways to repay the debt left by a failed grocery store, or how to attract businesses that would provide our citizens with jobs, or general cost cutting measures. Maybe the council should set aside their personal agendas, actually discuss what is best for the city of Basehor AND it residents, and make a decision.

I'll say it again, as citizens of Basehor, we elected these people. As citizens of Basehor, we can also elect more outgoing community members during the next election.

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Dennis Mertz 4 years, 7 months ago

Per Kansas Statute and City Ordinance #561 we were required to meet. The Mayor sets the agenda. I am not sure the reason why we had a lack of agenda items.

I am and will continue to do what I was elected to do. It takes cooperation from the entire governing body to get things done.

As far as cutting cost, I go to City Hall regularly and check the vendor reports and turn in questionable charges and invoices to the City Administrator to take corrective action. I am not the most popular at City Hall but this is not a popularity contest.

Sincerely,

Dennis Mertz Council Member Basehor, KS

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KSman57 4 years, 7 months ago

A few things in response to Mr. Mertz

  1. "Per Kansas Statute and City Ordinance #561 we were required to meet. The Mayor sets the agenda. I am not sure the reason why we had a lack of agenda items."

**No council members questioned this? When was the last time a council meeting was canceled for a lack of agenda items?

  1. "As far as cutting cost, I go to City Hall regularly and check the vendor reports and turn in questionable charges and invoices to the City Administrator to take corrective action. I am not the most popular at City Hall but this is not a popularity contest"

**Actually, it is a popularity contest. You were elected because you and your fellow council members were the "popular" vote. If this council/administration continues on its current path, the outcome of the next election will certainly be different .

  1. You made no mention of attracting employment for our citizens, only that you are doing what you were elected to do. No mention of doing MORE than you were elected to do. Our city is failing...little to no new commerce...no new revenue coming in...city administration will not cooperate or communicate with each other.

I look forward to your answers. I do appreciate your response.

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ClarkKent 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm curious as to why a Council member would take it upon themselves to check vendor reports? Is that not the responsibility of the City Administrator? This action, coupled with the rejection of the Mayor's appointment, tends for one to believe the Council is micromanaging. We have a Mayor and City Administrator, let them perform their jobs.

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Dennis Mertz 4 years, 7 months ago

Even before I was on the Council, I was going to meeting for approx 5 years and have great insight as to what has happened in this City. I only remember one meeting canceled but that was when there was 3 meetings a month. Now we have one work session and one regular meeting. Even though there was not a work session we have several item in the regular meeting agenda coming this Monday (5/17). I believe the article expresses that President Washington and I questioned why we would not have a work session. With no information on the upcoming meeting, the meeting was adjourned.

I have been checking the vendor report for years. On Sept 21, 2009 a new purchasing policy was put in place where the check vendor report was not included in the consent agenda and needed no action. Therefore we gave a lot more power to the City Administrator to write checks without approval of council as long as it was a budgeted item. I believe we completely trust Mr. Loughry and Mrs. Adams who are in control of this. When I was elected, Kansas sent me some documents. One of the documents spelled out duties that we are to have in which one of those duties spelled out our fiduciary responsibility we held. So going through the Vendor reports in detail, I feel that I am fulfilling this duty.

The purchasing policy will come back before Council in June for adjustments.

The Dollar General store is being built and I know that our Administrator is working hard to bring more business into town. He is working hard on promoting the City of Basehor.

Dennis Mertz

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