Archive for Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mayor’s vote helps pass Tonganoxie charter ordinance

October 21, 2015

After another vote, the Tonganoxie City Council has approved a charter ordinance changing its form of government.

The Tonganoxie City Council voted, 3-2, to approve a charter ordinance earlier this month changing the city’s form of government.

However, as City Attorney Mike Kelly explained Monday, the charter ordinance differs from some other ordinances in that it requires a 2/3 majority.

At Monday’s meeting, Kelly also clarified that the mayor is considered part of the voting governing body and has the option to vote in the case of a charter ordinance.

The mayor normally only votes in the event of a tie among council members, which generally would only happen if someone is absent from a meeting. The council has five seats along with the mayor.

Mayor Jason Ward voted in favor of the change in government, making it a 4-2 vote with Curtis Oroke and Jim Truesdell voting against the measure as they did originally. Chris Donnelly, Andy Gilner and council president Kara Reed again voted in favor of the measure.

Charter Ordinance 26 gives superintendent authority to the city manager. That title currently is city administrator.

Under the ordinance, the council keeps 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, is to be published twice in The Mirror, the city’s official newspaper. There then is a 61-day protest period in which citizens can collect signatures for a protest of the ordinance.

New animal control officer named

Tonganoxie has a new animal control officer.

The City Council approved Frank Robinson as its newest animal control officer.

Robinson is a retired patrol officer from Basehor who also worked for the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office as a school resource officer.

Robinson will receive a base annual fee of $14,400, along with vehicle allowance not to exceed $2,400. He also will receive a one-time stipend of $500 for equipment.

The two-year agreement automatically will renew annually unless terminated by either party at any time.

Stone Creek development OK’d

The council unanimously approved an 11-lot expansion of the Stone Creek subdivision. The measure passed, 4-0, with Donnelly abstaining. He lives in the subdivision and is a part of the development group.

The phase is the seventh and final in the subdivision’s planned growth and is in the northeast section of the subdivision.

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.

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