Archive for Wednesday, May 16, 2001

City Council Briefs

May 16, 2001

Council interviews volunteers for boards

Tonganoxie City Council members on Monday interviewed 11 city residents who are interested in serving on various boards and commissions.

The council will forward their recommendations to Mayor John Franiuk, who will make the appointments, with council approval. At the council's next meeting, which is set for 7 p.m. next Monday, Franiuk is expected to appoint members to the planning commission, the library board, the site plan review committee and the tree board.

On Monday, Franiuk did reappoint Russell Reed to the tree board.

City Administrator Chris Clark excused himself from that portion of the meeting because his wife, Stacey, is applying for a position on the library board. Mike Crow, city attorney, said it was his opinion that no conflict of interest would exist if Stacey Clark were appointed.

Janet Angell, council president, emphasized to all potential appointees that they could face difficult decisions.

The council originally had planned to interview the applicants in a closed-door session. But after hearing from a representative of The Mirror newspaper that a Kansas attorney general's opinion on the state's open meetings law would prohibit that, the council conducted the interviews in open session. The city attorney called the suggestion that meeting in a closed-door session could violate the Kansas Open Meetings Act a last-minute maneuver and chastised Caroline Trowbridge, editor and publisher of The Mirror, for not bringing it to his attention earlier.

"It was not my intention to attack anyone," Trowbidge said Tuesday morning. "I didn't think the interviews legally could be conducted in executive session, but wasn't sure, so I contacted the attorney general's office and was told about the opinion late Monday afternoon. I was passing on information to the council."

Janet Angell, council president, said she was not aware that such interviews cannot be conducted in private.

"It would have been nice to have been informed ahead of time, but it is our obligation to know these things," she said.

Training sessions set for council, workers

The city council will take part in training to prevent sexual harassment on June 11.

In a work session from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., council members will be trained by Steve Cohen, partner in Labor Management Advisory Group of Kansas City, Mo. The firm is conducting a review of salaries of city employees, and part of the $7,000 the city is paying the company includes training on sexual harassment prevention. City employees will receive training from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on June 11 at city hall.

School district plans portable classroom

City council members agreed to waive a building permit fee for the Tonganoxie school district, which wants to place a portable classroom near the administration building. Council members requested, however, that the fire chief review placement of the new classroom because it is planned close to the administration building.

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