Voters reject clerk residency change
Tonganoxie voters, in a special election Tuesday, rejected a charter ordinance that would have allowed the city clerk to live in Leavenworth County and surrounding counties.
Current city regulations require the clerk to live in Leavenworth County.
Tonganoxie City Council members approved the ordinance in January that would relax the residency requirements for the clerk. That ordinance was challenged by a protest petition - signed by local registered voters - and submitted by Jean Lenahan, a downtown business owner.
Kathy Bard, who was hired as Tonganoxie city clerk in November, lives in De Soto, which is in Johnson County. Her title now is acting city clerk.
Poll workers said Tuesday night that some voters were confused about the ballot question.
"There were a lot of people who didn't understand the question," said poll worker Rosemary Hunter. And another poll worker, Connie Putthoff, said: "To just look at the ballot, you'd have to know what the ordinance said to know how to vote. There should have been some explanation."
Out of 281 voters casting ballots in Tonganoxie's special election on Tuesday, 113, or 40.21 percent, voted in favor of changing residency requirements for the city clerk, while 168, or 59.78 percent, voted against the measure.
A total of 16.7 registered voters cast ballots Tuesday.
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