Archive for Thursday, March 8, 2012

Basehor taking applications for empty City Council seats

Basehor City Hall is at 2620 N. 155th St.

Basehor City Hall is at 2620 N. 155th St.

March 8, 2012

Basehor City Council applications

• Four seats will be available.

• Due March 16 to be considered for appointment at March 19 meeting.

• Due March 30 to be considered for appointment at April 16 meeting.

• Application forms available for download below.

Attention, Basehor residents who’d like to replace one of the city’s four departed elected officials: Get your resumés and cover letters ready.

The city is taking applications for the four Basehor City Council seats that will be available after one of the two current members becomes mayor. The plan is for the new mayor to appoint two new members at the council’s March 19 meeting, then two more at the April 16 meeting, Interim City Administrator Lloyd Martley said.

Interested residents will need to fill out an application and a questionnaire and also submit a resumé and a cover letter. The application and questionnaire are available at Basehor City Hall and cityofbasehor.org, and they are available for download at left.

Martley said city staff met with the remaining council members, Travis Miles and David Breuer, this week to plan the application process.

“We wanted to give everybody a fair opportunity to apply for the positions that are available,” Martley said.

The city has set a deadline of noon on Friday, March 16, for applications to be considered for the first two appointments to take place at the March 19 meeting. To be considered at the April meeting, residents must turn in applications by March 30.

City Council members must be full-time Basehor residents, and they must be able to attend regularly scheduled meetings as well as special meetings that can fall during the week or on weekends. The council meets regularly at 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month.

Miles said Thursday that he and Breuer didn’t want to limit the pool of possible new council members to people they knew. After a high turnout in the Feb. 28 recall vote compared with past local elections, he said he hoped and expected for a healthy number of residents to apply.

“I think there’s a lot more people around in the community that are taking interest in what’s going on,” Miles said.

After Monday’s city council work session, during which member Fred Box resigned and created a fourth vacancy, Breuer said he’d like to follow the example set by the Basehor-Linwood school board when it filled a vacancy earlier this year.

After board member Wynne Coleman resigned because of a job-related move, the district asked interested residents to submit an application and fill out a questionnaire about district issues. Board members then asked questions of two candidates in public during its February meeting, before voting to appoint Shelley Stevens to replace Coleman.

The city’s application for the council seats asks candidates for information on any family relationships with members of the council and other boards, examples of community involvement and more. The questionnaire asks candidates for their thoughts on the roles of the city council and the city administrator in managing the city, the city’s future and other issues.

Miles said he would be paying special attention to candidates’ views on the city’s development.

“How do they envision the city of Basehor growing and developing and progressing into the future?” Miles said.

The council’s vacancies leave it without enough members to provide the quorum of three normally required for a vote. But state law allows for the remaining two council members to elect one of themselves as a new president (and, therefore, mayor), and to appoint new members, said Sandy Jacquot, general counsel for the League of Kansas Municipalities. It’s a rare exception to the quorum rule, she said.

In fact, she said, other cities around the state have found themselves without enough council members for a quorum from time to time, usually as the result of a mass resignation.

“It’s a very common question to the League,” Jacquot said.

She said the council would need to appoint a mayor and at least two members before it conducts any other business, though, as almost any other vote requires a quorum of members present.

That, Martley said, is why the council will appoint two members later this month, so that the council can conduct other business at its March meeting. The council will wait until April to appoint members to the other two seats, he said, to give candidates as much time as possible to complete their applications.

The council seats vacated by Fred Box and Iris Dysart have terms running through April 2015, and the seat left behind by Dennis Mertz is up for election in April of next year. The fourth seat will be the one vacated by either Breuer or Miles upon becoming mayor; Breuer’s term runs through next year, and Miles’ runs through 2015.

Comments

guesswho66007 2 years, 1 month ago

I would like to see a comment from Mr. Miles regarding his own ideas for the growth of the City of Basehor.

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kbrown 2 years, 1 month ago

Just a thought--for the citizens that are not interested in submitting a resume, I think we should answer the questions and then mail / e-mail our responses back to City Hall.

Those questions serve as a great survey, which would be worthwhile citizen input and involvement!

Sorry for the good idea David, Travis, Cory, Lloyd: I know you already have a great work load but if the residents would respond to those questions, that would be pretty good step forward. :)

I say that in all sincerity as I ponder answers and realize I'm not sure I could keep my answers brief. So my answers multiplied by (guess?) 1000 responses would be added load.

Right off the bat, I'm not sure we are really in need of a Mayor position. Many towns govern successfully with a City Manager(professional) and 5 City Council members very effectively.

Our digital connectivity boom we have experienced these past 10 years, I firmly believe, has an added benefit of being more involved in the entire process (and a big headache for those elected members).

Which leads into an answer for Travis: Our growth really shouldn't be limited to structures/businesses, it should emphasize people. Get the folks on board to get connected/classes on how to use those tools to research matters and maybe throw in an ettiquette class for online behavior and... ...anyway my point is developing people should be a part of growth.

...Back to my original thought. What do you think about the survey idea?

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JimWashington 2 years, 1 month ago

Sergeant Brown:

Suggest you drop your app in the hopper. Your posts have shown an appreciation of the issues and a willingness to think.

As you look to the future of city government, I would ecourage you to go very slowly on your advocacy of Commission Manager form of government. Over the years I have seen that the proportion of Commission Manager governments having dysfunction and chaos is disproportionate to their percent of all municipal governments.

One of the things Mayor Council governments with a city administrator constantly contend with is the push from administrators to move to Commission Manager. The reason they do so is to enhace their power, because the major difference between the two forms is where the executive power lies. In Comm Mgr it lies with the administrator and, since he is not accountable to the electorate, that form of government is by its very nature more autocratic than mayor council administrator.

Over the months I've watched these blogs and seen several posters wanting a different form of government - and sounding very much like they prefer something more authoritarian. That scares me - not so much at this level but just the idea that such an attitude is probably how those folks look at the state and Federal level as well.

The answer is not a change in form of government - the answer is a substantial percentage of the electorate keeping current and involved with what is happening with our government at the city, county, state, and nation level. Let's see how many of the 906 people(1/3 of eligible voters) who voted in the recall pay the least bit of attention going forward. I'm willing to bet that less than 2/3 show up to vote in the election a year from now.

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kbrown 2 years, 1 month ago

Respectfully Jim, thank you some very well thought out comments. As I stated, when you explore answers to questions, opinions may change, and often do.

However, this is one of those moments in which your advice is well received, never-the-less I want a little more give and take in getting answers.

1). You write, " I have seen that the proportion of Commission Manager governments having dysfunction and chaos is disproportionate to their percent of all municipal governments."

My reply is very simple, a mayoral position and a city council postion is exactly the dysfuntion and chaos our town has experienced. Further, you gave an opine that there is a "power grab" by the manager. Again, as I stated, with our digital connectivity, we can follow what unfolds and even uncover some pieces of "agenda." How folks "pose" for immediate perception without regard towards embarrassment when the spoils of digging accumulate could be the very balance we move towards.

I thought that is is why there is county, state, KOMA guidelines and KBI oversight in place.

2) . You write, "One of the things Mayor Council governments with a city administrator constantly contend with is the push from administrators to move to Commission Manager. The reason they do so is to enhace their power, because the major difference between the two forms is where the executive power lies. In Comm Mgr it lies with the administrator and, since he is not accountable to the electorate, that form of government is by its very nature more autocratic than mayor council administrator."

My reply, I again, must respectfully disagree. The Council is a representation of the people and they have distinct authority over the manager. The Council gives the good ideas--the manager executes: it's why he/she gets paid the big bucks for being a pro.

3) You write," Over the months I've watched these blogs and seen several posters wanting a different form of government - and sounding very much like they prefer something more authoritarian. That scares me - not so much at this level but just the idea that such an attitude is probably how those folks look at the state and Federal level as well."

My response, I'm not advocating "change" but, accountability and that, Jim, is every bit IMO my ownership and reponsibility.

4) You write, "The answer is not a change in form of government - the answer is a substantial percentage of the electorate keeping current and involved with what is happening with our government at the city, county, state, and nation level. Let's see how many of the 906 people(1/3 of eligible voters) who voted in the recall pay the least bit of attention going forward. I'm willing to bet that less than 2/3 show up to vote in the election a year from now/"

My response. Sir. Sadly, I agree.

Now about this drop the app in the hopper thing and addressing me as Sergeant, --really?

...really?

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