Tonganoxie councilwoman questions mayor’s phone call
Soon after voting against a measure that would strip one of the mayor’s privileges, Councilwoman Paul Crook accused Mayor Mike Vestal of an attempt to poll the council on a plan to replace Chief Kenny Carpenter.
Following up on a comment she made last month, Crook questioned whether a phone call from Vestal before the May 17 council meeting violated the state’s open meetings act.
Crook said Vestal floated the idea of saving the city $60,000 by appointing Deputy Police Chief Billy Adcox as chief and keeping current Chief Kenny Carpenter on in a part-time administrative position. Crook said the mayor informed her he intended to talk to other council members about the plan.
Crook said she found it suspicious Vestal pulled the charter ordinance from the council‘s May 17 agenda.
Councilmen Tom Putthoff and Burdel Welsh said they did not talk to the mayor about the plan. Councilman Jason Ward said he did but didn’t think the conversation was unethical.
He viewed the conversation as budgetary because of the goal of saving $60,000, Ward said. He added he didn’t think the mayor’s plan was practical because the city had already started advertising for the position.
But Ward said, in general, council members needed to be careful about any conversations they had with other council members outside of meetings.
Asked by Crook to reply, Vestal several times repeated “no comment.”