Archive for Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Letter to the editor: Reason for the ordinance

January 9, 2008

On Jan. 15, Tonganoxie voters will have a special election to change the quorum size of the city council. The Kansas Open Meeting law states that no more than 50 percent of a quorum can talk outside of a council meeting about city business. The council is made up of five-members. Three members make a quorum, so two members cannot talk about city business outside of a council meeting. In order to allow this, we chose to change the quorum size by passing a Charter Ordinance.

That means that in order to have a legal council meeting, it would require that four members of the council be present and then two members would be able to speak outside of a meeting about city business. In July we passed the ordinance 5-0 to change the quorum size. Once passed it was posted in the local paper and had the ordinance not been petitioned, it would have been implemented 61 days after it was passed. However, the voters of Tonganoxie have a right to submit a petition to bring a charter ordinance to a vote and they did this.

There are important reasons for this new ordinance. One is diversity in the professional/educational experience of the council. Two, it creates a cohesiveness for a more efficient meeting, and three, we have two council members that are on the council for their second term. Their experience is vital.

I have heard some comments concerning wrongful or deceitful acts possibly taking place. Changing an ordinance to improve communication between council members does not keep deceitful practices from happening. In my opinion those are issues of integrity and character.

The most important way to have your voice heard is to vote. Please vote on Jan.15.

Tom Putthoff

Council member

Tonganoxie

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