Archive for Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Letter: Basehor mayor addresses recall charges

Basehor Mayor Terry Hill speaks to the Basehor Chamber of Commerce during his 2012 State of the City address  Thursday at Community National Bank in Basehor.

Basehor Mayor Terry Hill speaks to the Basehor Chamber of Commerce during his 2012 State of the City address Thursday at Community National Bank in Basehor.

February 15, 2012

Editor's note: This letter, addressed to Basehor residents, was submitted to the Sentinel by Basehor Mayor Terry Hill.

Dear fellow citizens of Basehor,

It pains me that you are being subjected to this mean-spirited and destructive recall vote. Our city is on the verge of great times as our economy starts to recover. Yes, it will be slow and will not happen overnight. However, now is the time to look to the future. We should not to be quarreling, but rather positioning our city to seek out and take advantage of the opportunities that will surely come our way.

I’d like to spend a few minutes with you talking about the false and malicious statements against me. The original petition contained four reasons for my recall: Half have been found to be insufficient and should not have been included in the recall petition.

The claim of misuse of funds and lack of presiding at all council meetings were found to be without merit. This was the decision of Leavenworth County District Judge King. In addition, our outside auditing company in a complete review of my charges for 2011 found there to be no breech of authority or any irregularities in my use of the city purchasing card. My opposition would lead you to believe I charged thousands of dollars on a variety of items. The fact is I charged only $399.44 for the entire year of 2011.

The second item found to be without merit was my participation in leading City Council meetings. I have been absent from eight city council meetings held while mayor. State law makes a provision for the occasional absence of the Mayor by establishing the position of president of the city council, the position how held by Dennis Mertz.

The two remaining issues deal with the handling of our past city administrator’s contract and payment of his severance pay.

The notation I made on the administrator contract, in retrospect, gives me pause. However, my decision has been reaffirmed by the council on four different occasions over a period of three years. Most recently, on April 16, 2011, Dennis Mertz moved to appoint Mark Loughry as City Administrator with Fred Box seconding. The motion passed unanimously, 5-0. I admit that I would have done things differently in the future, but is this error in judgment worthy of removal from office?

Regarding the severance pay, I did seek legal counsel before the check was issued through regular payroll. I was directed to pay the amount dictated by the contract. The attorney advice was given to protect the city from further legal recourse. Staff calculated the amount and entered the payment through our regular payroll process. A council member took issue with the amount, insisting staff had calculated incorrectly, which has been proven to be incorrect, and the original amount is due the administrator.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my side of these events. It is hurtful to me and others to see blatant half‐truths and innuendos leveled at my good name. I love being your mayor, and rest assured my focus is what is best for the city and its citizens, no matter where they live in the community. Again, I apologize that you have been subjected to this spiteful turn of events and look forward to seeing you on the street or at a council meeting.

­Come by and say hi.

Sincerely,

Terry Hill

Comments

LightTheDarkCorners 2 years, 10 months ago

When speaking of blatant half truths - virtually all of the propaganda circulated by the mayor's supporters has been illegal because it is all anonymous, including the multiple websites that have been put up. The behavior is criminal in that it breaks a number of Kansas Statutes, according to the KS Secretary of State's office.

"The notation I made on the administrator's contract gives me pause." It surely ought to, altering a contract is a felony.

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Talisman 2 years, 10 months ago

LTDC: As if the other side isn't speaking half truths? Attributing all the credit card expenditures to the Mayor. Hell, even our local reporter called them out on that lie today!

Also, you are dreaming if you believe any charges will be filed, let alone a felony! Instead, there will more than likely be more taxpayer money spent on a lawsuit that could have been avoided!!!

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johninbasehor 2 years, 10 months ago

I would not be surprised if the recall Mayor Hill group is sued for slander against the Mayor. The flyer that they sent to Basehor residents, according to the Sentinel, has more lies than it has facts. If you are smart, you don't slander a person in writing with lies, and then expect not to get caught. The City of Basehor is finding that out the hard way with the city manager law suit. It is just too bad that some of our council members believed that their power to ignore the city manager contract was above the law.

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LightTheDarkCorners 2 years, 10 months ago

Fortunately or unfortunately in a political campaign you can say just about anything about an opponent without being exposed to suit. What you can't do is say it anonymously. The mailing against the two council members of two Fridays ago was most likely a violation of Kansas law.

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OldtimeBasehor 2 years, 10 months ago

LDTC, As a good Christian, is it ok to bear false witness against your neighbor? No it is not.

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Dennis Mertz 2 years, 10 months ago

On April 15th, 2010, City Attorney Patrick Reavey notified the Council of a violation. He instructed the Mayor to bring the contract back to Council to make changes or comply with the contract terms.

 A year later, on April 16, 2011, I believed that the City Administrator and Mayor had satisfied the requirements as defined by City Attorney Patrick Reavey to adjust the benefits because no revised contract had been brought forth for Council to approve. Thinking the conditions were satisfied, I made the motion to reappoint.

 It was only later when working on the 2012 budget that I realized that Hill and Loughry had not followed the attorney's advice. I also found out at that time that the City Administrator had given himself a raise.

 If Council had known this sooner the appointment vote on April 16th may have had a different outcome. I certainly would not have been the one making the motion to reappoint Mark Loughry.
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Talisman 2 years, 10 months ago

Coming from the guy who does his "due dilligence" that is surprising you didn't realize this. I guess it goes to show either your lack of following through or your incompetence. I think we know which one it is! Keep commenting Dennis, it will help our efforts.

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flower 2 years, 10 months ago

I find it interesting the “Recall Hill Group” is continuing to bring up the spending issue when it has been disallow from the recall petition. The only two items on the recall ballot issue are the notation on the CA contract, since reconfirmed 4 times by the full council. The second item on the ballot is the Mayors direction to the staff to prepare the severance check, on advice of counsel, for the CA as dictated by contract for the amount now found to have been correct in the first place. To the cost issue I also find it interesting the same people who are complaining were part of the decision making on virtually all of these expenses. The retreat at Falcon Lake was attended by the council members; in fact the council dictated where they wanted the retreat. The advertising in Ingram’s was approved by the Council; the computers were voted on and approved by the council. This is serious business and reflects on our community throughout the metropolitan area and state. If you are upset about the spending go to the council meeting and say so, be an active participant but don't join a stoning where none in warranted. Please keep these facts in mind as you go to the polls to vote but do vote.

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Basehor 2 years, 10 months ago

I say recall them all. What a waste of money and time with all the flyers, signs, and he said she said attacks. They are all unprofessional.

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mckinley2010 2 years, 9 months ago

good by terry you stealing S.O.B. thank the folks nextdoor for this:)

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mckinley2010 2 years, 9 months ago

you also might tell mark loughrys lawyer you sorry too. hahahahahah

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nomorelies0187Theoneman 2 years, 9 months ago

Once again crawl back under your rock, you are a complete fool! It is over, let it go and get a life.

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nomorelies0187Theoneman 2 years, 9 months ago

Hey Mckinley2010: I just saw your name listed on a lawsuit being filed against you................I sure hope you have some extra cash. I know I said that it is over but I guess not for you!

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