Archive for Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Basehor mayor responds to recall allegations in letter to voters

Basehor Mayor Terry Hill gives an update on city government developments during his State of the City address at the Basehor Chamber of Commerce meeting Jan. 27 at Community National Bank in Basehor.

Basehor Mayor Terry Hill gives an update on city government developments during his State of the City address at the Basehor Chamber of Commerce meeting Jan. 27 at Community National Bank in Basehor.

November 22, 2011

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Basehor Mayor Terry Hill, in a letter addressed to Basehor residents that he shared with the Sentinel this past weekend, has responded to a recall petition submitted earlier this month, saying he did not fail in his duties as mayor as the petition alleged.

“It is my desire to dispel the confusion I understand has been created by the events of past weeks,” Hill wrote.

Hill said he planned to mail the letter to all registered voters in Basehor, and that he would pay for the expenses himself.

The committee of petitioners who hope to recall Hill — Basehor residents Marilyn Townsend, Elaine Bundy and Bob Moore — accused the mayor of misuse of public funds in amending former city administrator Mark Loughry's contract to provide for additional health benefits; authorizing a severance payment for about $50,000 for Loughry in October without approval from the Basehor City Council; and purchasing, with his city credit card, two items worth more than $400 that were shipped to his home, as well as food at restaurants near his place of employment in Johnson County.

Regarding the handwritten addition to Loughry's contract providing for fully paid health insurance for his family, Hill said the entire city council had agreed to provide Loughry those benefits while negotiating with him in 2009. Loughry received similar benefits from his then-employer, the city of Hays, and would not have come to Basehor if he was not assured of a similar package, Hill wrote.

“Mark was understandably not interested in uprooting his life and lives of his family to leave a comfortable career in Hays without assurance from the City of Basehor that he would be compensated with comparable salary and benefits,” Hill wrote.

Hill also said he told the city council about the handwritten “clarification” soon after he added it, and they accepted it “without issue.”

In September, three members of the city council at that time — Dennis Mertz, Iris Dysart and Jim Washington — told the Sentinel they had never given consent for the city to pay for the entirety of health insurance for Loughry's family, nor for Hill to make the handwritten note on the contract.

In his letter, Hill also wrote that he believed Loughry's contract allowed the city to pay his family's insurance premiums even without his handwritten addition, because it stated that the city would pay the health insurance premium for Loughry and his family in the event they would be uninsured during his transition from Hays to Basehor.

“In no way can the contract be interpreted to mean once he acquired insurance in Basehor, his family would be dropped,” Hill wrote.

Hill also defended his decision to authorize Loughry's severance payment, his purchases of a scanner and coffee maker that were noted by the recall petition and city-paid lunches near his Johnson County office that he said were for the purposes of discussing city-related business.

Hill's letter to Basehor voters is available at left, along with a shorter response he submitted to the Leavenworth County Clerk's office in response to the recall petition, subject to a 200-word limit.

Comments

basehordream 2 years, 4 months ago

mayor misspoke. nothing about a penalty for not paying severance; http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/wages/severancepay.htm

council stated in this article they did not approve the contract change. altering a public record; http://www.kscoplaw.com/crimcode/2668code/art59.htm#21-5920

it was revealed today that the mayor is the one who used your emails he took from the city to send the citizens spam; See (3) Using confidential information acquired in the course of and related to the officer's for the private benefit or gain of the officer to maliciously cause harm to another. He maliciously tried to harm Iris and Dennis. http://kansasstatutes.lesterama.org/Chapter_21/Article_39/#21-3902

mayor tried to pay $16,000 too much in severance. thank you council for finding the error. City policy; "If an employee is discharged involuntarily the employee will not be eligible to receive pay for any accrued paid-time-off (PTO) benefits." ironic that mark is the one who brought this change to council after he started and is the first employee to have it taken away.

keep thinking that the public is ok with you spending $156 of our hard earned tax money on a coffee maker when we are barely making it. what is wrong with the $10 model at walmart.

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Thinkaboutit 2 years, 4 months ago

Think what you want. Mr. Hill was trying to save us a law suit. I would be willing to bet we pay much mor than the $16,000 "saved" by council in the long run. I hate to say it as a tax payer, but our city deserves to be sued by Mark. He was wronged for sure.

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DeHall 2 years, 4 months ago

Oust them all and start new - with the caveat that no new council member can be related to another or to the Mayor -- by blood or marriage.

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johninbasehor 2 years, 4 months ago

I think that caveat you suggest would be illegal, but it could be tried, as the council doesn't seem to follow the caveat of its legal contracts it has with its employee either. If they get sued, they could simply say: We have taxpayer funded insurance!

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DeHall 2 years, 4 months ago

Well, this is Basehor, after all, so my caveat may not be possible, let alone legal...

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careforthetown 2 years, 4 months ago

I can only hope that the minority is represented in this group here. wow! They (certain city officials) have covered stuff up repeatedly and here you are buying into it lock stock and barrel. What's even worse is those trying to push their own plitical agendas or there little popularity contests.

Nobody paid any attention when Mary was forced out after 25 years+ or when a police officer was fired. ?

What's amazing is this guy was getting more money then the last city administrator Carl (who was doing a good job and who didn't play the good old boy games) and this guy was attempting to squeeze even more money out of the city which could be described at the very least as unethical. He's asking for all this and in the meantime the employees are struggling to make ends meet and dealing with below average health insurance and yes paying for their families.

Some of us choose to shed a tear for him and repeatedly cry wolf about a tax crisis that has not and will not occur. I got news for you people there's very few towns within a 50 mile radius of here that has a better more reasonable tax bracket. This is expescially true when you factor in the surrounding area and the beauty of the town.

People have lost their jobs for much, much, much, less and not even so much as an eyebrow was raised. This my friends needs to change. Other cities have adapted policies that they actually follow so that good employees are not wrongfully terminated. This is done to protect the city, the taxpayers, and yes even the employees.

Ponder this, respectfully submitted.

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Thinkaboutit 2 years, 4 months ago

I do not have a problem with the termination of Mark. I actually agree that there are better people out there for this position. My only issue is with the way it was handled. If council gave him the appropriate ten day notice and opportunity to defend his actions, none of this would be happening. Or, council could have voted against reinstatement 4 months prior to his termination. Instead they (Mertz,Box,Dysart) decided to wait till they did not have to face him. They did the right thing the wrong way in my opinion and it could cost the city quite a bit of money.

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basehordream 2 years, 4 months ago

the city admin was not on the agenda. was the yet another blunder by the mayor.

i probably would not show up if i knew i was getting fired either per 9/12 article http://www.basehorinfo.com/news/2011/...

i want to complain to the mayor. is there a way to get his phone number.

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jayhawk83 2 years, 4 months ago

Of course the city admin wasn't on the agenda; there had been no discussion on record at any meeting concerning Loughry, so why would the Mayor think to include that which he didn't know about? Isn't this why people believe KOMA has been violated by our three "intrepid" council members, who claim only gut instinct led to this horrible situation for the town, and Loughry?

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basehordream 2 years, 4 months ago

the city admin was not on the agenda in may to be appointed. i am discussing the reply to the fact that i asked and seen may agenda and admin apointment not there. so how was he apointed.

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jayhawk83 2 years, 4 months ago

It's my belief that his contract stipulates that, unless notified prior to the end of his current contract, it automatically renews. Since no one brought up any problems beforehand, I'm sure it wouldn't be scheduled for discussion unless anyone felt the need to.

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careforthetown 2 years, 4 months ago

I think that is a reasonable expectation and I don't disagree. I truly believe that if we can keep this type of discussion going we can make the city a better place.

I appreciate your responsible and reasonable feedback.

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Thinkaboutit 2 years, 4 months ago

The reason he did not attend the meeting in which he was fired is that he was out of town on vacation with his family. He knew nothing about his own termination until he came home late at night and was informed at his house.

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LightTheDarkCorners 2 years, 3 months ago

He was ? Why did his time record show he was at work every day?

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basehordream 2 years, 4 months ago

!!!will the mayor reimburse our wasted tax money that he so graciously spent. its easy to spend someone else's money. cha ching...over $800 to falcon lakes.. granite city, longhorn steakhouse, jazz at the legends, five guys, avelluot's italian delight, $140 minsky's pizza, new computer.About $6,000 total again how can we contact the mayor and demand our money. just send each citizen $2 instead of your worthless letter and we call it even.

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babetwo 2 years, 4 months ago

Could you please stop your nasty lies and comments at least for Thanksgiving Day? You should be ashamed of yourselves. Give it a rest!

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KSman57 2 years, 4 months ago

Thanksgiving Day 2011- What I am thankful for...

1) I am thankful that this mayor and council have proved themselves to be incapable of performing their assigned duties. 2) I am thankful that the citizens of Basehor have become wise to the obvious abuse of tax payer funds and ignorance of our elected officials. 3) I am thankful that I might be given the chance to vote against these people AGAIN! 4) I am thankful that I read this article before our family dinner. We will now have something to discuss during our Tryptophan induced fog.

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