Archive for Monday, September 19, 2011

Basehor City Council votes to fire administrator Loughry

City Administrator Mark Loughry (right) talks with Basehor Police Chief Lloyd Martley and Anna Mary Landauer at the meet and greet in his honor Aug. 13. The meet and greet was arranged at the Basehor VFW Hall to give community members a chance to meet the newest member of the city’s staff.

City Administrator Mark Loughry (right) talks with Basehor Police Chief Lloyd Martley and Anna Mary Landauer at the meet and greet in his honor Aug. 13. The meet and greet was arranged at the Basehor VFW Hall to give community members a chance to meet the newest member of the city’s staff.

September 19, 2011

The Basehor City Council voted Monday night to oust city administrator Mark Loughry from his position, in a split decision that led one council member to storm out of the building.

Four months after unanimously re-appointing Loughry as the city administrator, the council voted, 3-2, to remove his appointment after council president Dennis Mertz's motion to do so.

Along with Mertz, members Fred Box and Iris Dysart voted to remove Loughry, and members David Breuer and Travis Miles voted against the motion.

Soon after the vote was taken, Breuer stood up, threw a packet of papers across the council's table against a wall, and walked out of Basehor City Hall. The council voted to adjourn the meeting quickly afterward.

After the meeting, all council members declined to comment on the decision, except for Breuer, who was unavailable. Loughry was absent from Monday's meeting. Mayor Terry Hill said he was on vacation with his family.

Hill said he had asked city attorney Shannon Marcano to look into the possibility of a veto or another measure to undo the vote.

“If I could do anything about it, I would,” Hill said. “I don't know what it would be.”

The council voted to remove Loughry after addressing its final agenda item for the night, a proposed addendum to Loughry's employment agreement with the city. The addendum stated that Loughry would “receive the same cost of living increase as other City employees” and that the city would pay 100 percent of health insurance premiums for Loughry and his family.

Marcano said the proposed addendum was meant to formalize the pay and benefits that Loughry's contract originally “anticipated.”

To that, Mertz replied: “The past attorney said the opposite.”

He did not say to which “past attorney” he was referring.

After a vote to deny the addendum to Loughry's contract (3-2, with Breuer and Miles opposing), Mertz made his motion to remove Loughry from the administrator position.

Afterward, Breuer asked Mertz to explain his motion.

“Are you serious?” Breuer said. “Can you give a reason why? Because somebody miswrote, in your opinion, his contract? I mean, I think it's a pretty serious accusation here.”

Mertz replied, “I agree, without going into a lot of detail about it.”

In return, Breuer said the council should discuss the decision.

“I think we need to know if there's anything illegal or needs to be investigated, before we take a vote on sitting up here and eliminating somebody's job,” Breuer said.

In response, Mertz asked Marcano if a “former attorney's packet” that the council viewed in an executive session qualified as public record. After a discussion between Mertz and Marcano regarding whether the material should be discussed in open session, the council voted on the issue with no further explanation.

For more on this story and Monday's council meeting, check the online and print editions of the Sentinel later this week.

Comments

babetwo 3 years ago

I can't hardly believe this. Dennis Mertz, Iris Dysart and Fred Box have once again proven just how incompetent they really are!! Three council members come into a meeting with NO Executive Session and NO discussion with the other council members and vote to fire the City Administrator!! Does anyone else see the violation of the "Open Meetings Act"?

These individuals should all be removed from Council! They have Absolutely NO concept of how to run a city. People of this character are an embarrassment to the City of Basehor! You were elected to help this city grow, not to move the city backwards fifty years! Shame on all three of you!!!!

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basehordream 2 years, 12 months ago

I would be careful asking for "removal" without first knowing, absolutely without a doubt, if there was just cause. If a recall claim if frivolous, the sponsors who circulate the petition can be sued. And this does happen.

***I think we need to sit back and see what unfolds...Just a little longer.

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Ronald Grover 3 years ago

Once again we see the good old Basehor Social Club in action. This is the reason all of the cities on our borders are growing and Basehor has become stagnant.

I see business moving into KCK, Bonner Springs, Lansing and Tonganoxie. Nothing of substance even considers Basehor. WHY? Could it have something to do with the good old social club known as Basehor Leadership. In the past we have seen it in action with the school board and it took 10 years and county residents to purge that group and minimize the influence now they have moved on to the city.

It's time to wake up and see what is really going on and see that some represent a very small constituency that is very comfortable with the past and trying to ignore the move forward of the entire area surrounding us.

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beatlefan 3 years ago

I totally agree with the first two comments. Why don't those certain council members start concentrating on the good that all the employees are doing for the city and quit trying to find something negative! I believe Mr. Loughry has only moved this city forward instead of keeping us behind the times!

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KSman57 3 years ago

THIS IS THE BEST DECISION THIS COUNCIL HAS MADE IN A LONG TIME!!! Loughry has only damaged the city and it's reputation.

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pigpot 3 years ago

It's not good leadership for him to agree to take employee benefits away and with marks high salary him to not be included in the benefits change. Congrats Dennis Fred and iris taking a stand to make it fair. Mark lives in falcon lakes.no other city employees can afford to live there I think mark can clearly pay for his benefits if everyone else has too. Hell, the city was paying his car payment for a while. What would he expect next, his own castle.. a private chef... a Lear jet? Your an administrator, not the president.

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babetwo 3 years ago

If Pigpot would bother to read the Sentinel article dated August 18, 2011 you would learn that the city administrator does not vote on raises and benefits. Your city council members do! The city council voted on giving the city employees a 3% pay increase.

Iris Dysart and Dennis Mertz voted NO. Travis Miles, David Breuer and Fred Box voted YES. Raise was passed.

The city council voted on reducing city contribution to employee retirement fund.

Iris Dysart, Dennis Mertz and Fred Box voted YES. Travis Miles and David Breuer voted NO. Reduction in employee retirement passed.

The city administrator does not vote! YOUR city council does!
Pay attention.

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babetwo 3 years ago

Would KSman57 like to tell everyone just what Mr. Loughry did to damage the city and it's reputation? Please tell the truth and state facts that are on record.

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Ronald Grover 3 years ago

Babetwo, might as well save your effort. I know the answer from KSman57 and Pigpot.

"Don't confuse me with the facts, I know what I want to believe."

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KSman57 3 years ago

I have no respect for a person that is willing raise sewer rates by 40% for citizens, increase debt, and take away benefits from city employees, then ask for more compensation.

Let's make it a double play...give Papa Hill the boot as well.

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Ronald Grover 3 years ago

KSman57, have you ever held a government office before? Do you know how the system works? A city administrator cannot raise rates, increase debt, take away benefits and increase pay. Your elected officials can only do that and your elected officials were the ones that tasked the adminstrator to come back with recommendations to make things work under the budget guidelines the elected officials put into place.

Now explain again how you have no respect for someone that is doing what they have been told to do, or in other words, doing their job?

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babetwo 3 years ago

KSman57, I too have no respect for someone who spouts off with untruths and has absolutely no clue as to how city government works. You really need to take time to study. Once again, the city administrator does not vote on sewer rates, pay increases, benefit reductions, etc. The council votes! The city administrator did NOT ask for additional compensation. It just might be that you dislike the city administrator and the mayor because of the fact that you don't really understand government. The City of Basehor is very lucky to have intelligent people leading us out of the dark ages into the future (where the majority of citizens would like to go!) You need to get the facts straight and quit making accusations and statements that are lies and slanderous. Get over it!!!

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KSman57 3 years ago

Having lived in Basehor for 25+ years, I have a complete understanding of how the city government works. I bet you would be surprised at the knowledge of us "non-elected" citizens. The town functioned just fine before we had a city administrator making $85k+. That money is well wasted in my opinion. It could be used for so much more.

While the council may vote on the final decision, it is the responsibility of the City Administrator to present to the council what he/she thinks would be the best solution. That means that they are able to "inform" council members of the pros and cons of every issue. I'm sure that the cons are swept under that rug at times. Let's not forget that this is, at the heart of it, a game of politics.

I feel that this current administration (council, administrator, and mayor) have made poor choices for the citizens of Basehor. I am allowed to have my own ideas and concerns about the people making choices that affect my wallet. My opinions are not the same as yours and I have no problem with that. I respect your position, but realize that there is always an opposition.

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johninbasehor 3 years ago

Basehor fired the last city manager about 2 years ago, now they fire another. Pretty soon Basehor will have the same reputation for city administrators that the Kansas City, Missouri school district has on firing superintendents. I hope the Basehor results turn out better than that of the non credited Missouri school district.

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pigpot 3 years ago

Was not saying he took the benefits away. But he expected his to not be affected. I'm not.being slanderous, look up the definition. Free speech friend. It's my right. And the mayor doesn't.get paid that much. Terry is a good guy.

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babetwo 3 years ago

Pigpot: Your comment on 9-20-11 at 6:04pm said "It's not good leadership for him to agree to take employee benefits away " Once again, the City Council voted 3 to 2 to reduce the retirement benefit. That would be Iris Dysart, Dennis Mertz and Fred Box. Those three voted to reduce the benefit! It was not up to the city administrator to agree or disagree!!! I looked up the definition. Slanderous by Webster's definition means: the utterance of false charges, or misrepresentations which defame and damage another's reputation. When exercising your right to free speech get the facts straight and only say what is absolutely true and facts which you have undeniable proof of. Mr. Loughry has done a great job of leading the City of Basehor. Why don't you ask the people who work for him and see just how they feel? You might not want to hear the truth?

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johninbasehor 3 years ago

When Mr. Loughry came from Hays, Ks, didn't his contract stipulate that he would be paid 100% medical for himself and his family? What is wrong with him asking for the same terms as when he was hired? When you ask for something from your boss, do you think you are going to get fired for asking? Since he is being fired without cause, as it appears, will the city have to payout his contract? I don't know, I am just asking.

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kbrown 3 years ago

Babetwo,

The main topic is how the City Council and Mayor handled the City Mananger.

The topic is not about "growth" or "dark ages."

The community IMO does not have enough information to come to a conclussion--many posts are anonymous and there appears to be a lot of knee jerk reaction for and against the council members vote. I don't have enough information to voice an opinion, nor have I spoken with Mr Loughry, members of city council, or the Mayor Hill.

Please keep in mind the people voted for who best can mirror their voice for city council. This City Manager vote was split and now has clearly put a division within the community.

For now, there seems to be three losers: the Loughry family, the City of Basehor, the taxpayers of Basehor.

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becky 3 years ago

Dennis is looking out for the citzens of Basehor mark is getting out of his contract a way more then what he was suppose to. mark was not to be paid for medical for all his family just himself. the city employees do very well with the raises and benefits that they get. you talk big shall of come to the past meetings listen and learn.

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babetwo 3 years ago

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about!!! You definitely should listen and learn...................................but this time trying listening to someone who speaks truth!

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