Archive for Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Petition drive against quorum change picks up assistance

October 10, 2007

A former City Council president has volunteered to help get the necessary signatures needed to challenge a charter ordinance unanimously that would change the number of members the council needs for a quorum from three to four.

The quorum change would allow two council members to meet outside of council meetings to discuss city business with each other.

"I personally feel strongly that meetings should be open," said Velda Roberts, the former council president. "With the size that we are, there is certainly no reason why council members need to meet outside of open meetings."

Roberts wanted to help Roger and Phyllis Shilling because she wasn't sure if they way they originally worded the petition would be valid.

"She was very knowledgeable and helpful," Phyllis Shilling said. "She called to our attention the fact that our petition wouldn't be accepted."

Roberts said so far she has gathered around 100 signatures, though only 74 signatures of registered voters living in Tonganoxie are needed to challenge the ordinance. She said she is going to push strongly for more signatures as the deadline for the petition gets closer.

The charter ordinance will take effect 61 days after the second publication date in the city's official newspaper. Kathy Bard, the assistant city administrator, said the petition must be turned in to the county by Oct. 19.

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