City Discusses Soon to be Vacant Seat

On advice of their attorney, Greg Bengtson, City Commissioners were reminded that the process they use to fill a soon-to-be vacated commission seat needs to be fully open to the public.  Expression of Interest forms will be compiled in the weekly commissioner packets and will be made available on the city’s website.  Commissioners agreed to begin their discussions at next Monday’s meeting.  If there is a ranking of candidates, city staff will compile that information at the meeting.

Randall Hardy will resign his seat on the city commission, as he will begin in mid-January serving in another role as senator at the Kansas Legislature.

When asked what criteria they will consider in selecting an individual, commissioners suggested:

  • Experience on other commissions and boards.
  • The ability to debate in a civil, friendly manner.
  • The ability to voice a minority opinion.
  • Knowledge of city issues.
  • Demonstrated leadership.
  • Having the time to devote to serving on the Commission.

Jon Blanchard asked about parts of the community that may be under-represented.  He noted that, at age 53, he is the youngest commissioner.  Mayor Kaye Crawford noted she is the only female.

When asked, City Manager Jason Gage said City Commissioners could call and speak to candidates prior to Monday’s meeting.

Former Mayor Barb Shirley reminded Commissioners of negative comments made publicly by one candidate about her body at a joint City-County Commission meeting regarding the health department.  She shared copies of a news report to refresh their memories.

Abner Perney suggested the desirability of beginning the discussion with one commissioner making a motion to fill the vacancy with a certain candidate.  Debate would follow and focus on the attributes of that candidate.  If that motion did not garner adequate votes, another motion would name another candidate.