Archive for Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Charter ordinance does not pass council

Measure required super majority

October 14, 2015

The Tonganoxie City Council voted, by a slim margin, to approve a charter ordinance last week changing the city’s form of government.

Though initially reported that the ordinance passed, it actually required a 2/3 vote or super majority. The vote was 3-2, with Council Members Jim Truesdell and Curtis Oroke voting against the measure. The charter ordinance required four votes to pass.

Charter Ordinance 26, if approved, would have given superintendent authority to the city manager. That title currently is city administrator.

The council would keep authority over the city attorney, city manager and municipal judge, but day-to-day operations would be transferred to the city manager instead of the mayor.

The council discussed the ordinance initially at a special meeting Sept. 29. Truesdell said at that meeting that he would like to have discussion about who makes appointments to the various boards and commissions and wanted to discuss a new process that would be more inclusive of the city council.

The ordinance, per state statute, would have been published in twice in The Mirror, the city’s official newspaper. There then would have been a 60-day protest period in which citizens could collect signatures for a protest of the ordinance.

Jamie Shockley, assistant city administrator, said the item would be on the council’s agenda for the next meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. Monday in council chambers, 321 Delaware St.

Spooktacular is Oct. 30

The annual Spooktacular event, which the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission is sponsoring with assistance from local businesses, will be 6-8 p.m. Oct. 30 throughout downtown Tonganoxie. Various activities are planned. Children will have the opportunity to trick-or-treat along Fourth Street and participate in various games and other activities.

Tree lighting next month

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting has been scheduled for 3-6 p.m. Nov. 21 in downtown Tonganoxie.

Youths will have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus. Musical performances and carriage rides are planned for some of the festivities before Mayor Jason Ward officially turns on the tree lights in the pocket park at Fourth and Delaware streets.

Second mural approved

A second mural in the downtown pocket park could be finished before the tree lighting ceremony.

The council approved a contract with Chillicothe, Mo., muralist Kelly Poling to paint a second mural on the south wall of the council chambers. The mural will cost $5,000, the same amount as the mural just completed on the west side of the office of the late Dr. Phil Stevens. The murals are being funded in part with a Pete and Margaret Leighty grant. The second mural will coincide with the first mural, in essence bringing to life the characters of the “books” on the completed mural.

At the Sept. 29 meeting, the council approved a $500 donation from JW Evans for a plaque on the park’s bench in remembrance of former library director Winnie Turner. The council also approved a small book lending library to be constructed in the park.

Poling will paint the mural early next month or in the spring, depending on weather.

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