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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Resolution fails: Election concerning detachment of territory will continue

  • A resolution canceling a November municipal election that puts to voters an ordinance amending a city charter regarding detachment of territory did not pass at the Tuesday night Shawnee City Commission meeting.
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  • A resolution canceling a November municipal election that puts to voters an ordinance amending a city charter regarding detachment of territory did not pass at the Tuesday night Shawnee City Commission meeting.
    Prior to the vote, the item garnered lively discussion. Commissioner Linda Agee, who requested the item be placed on the agenda, initiated the conversation.
    “It seems like there’s a misconception that there’s not a process in place right now that allows the public to provide input, and that’s not the case,” Agee said in support of the resolution, noting citizens have access to a petition process.
    Commissioner Lesa Shaw concurred with Agee, explaining a vote to the people would require extensive public education to properly inform voters on the issue, an endeavor she expects would be costly. Shaw also said it’s important to acknowledge the long-term issue.
    “If we were to put this type of action into place, then we would remove certain citizens from our population,” she said of a potential scenario.
    Commissioner Keith Hall passionately opposed the resolution, stating other cities allow citizens to make choices regarding detachment of territory issues.
    “The city commission is not smarter than all of the city, all of the citizens,” he said, adding four commissioners should not be allowed to make the decision.
    Agee continued to favor the resolution, further providing support of the petition process.
    “If you automatically have an election, whether it’s needed or not, then I don’t really think you’re doing a justice to your tax-paying citizens by spending that money,” she said.
    Mayor Wes Mainord, Hall and Commissioner James Harrod opposed the resolution. Agee, Commissioner Micheal Dykstra and Shaw favored the item. Commissioner Gary Vogel abstained from the vote. Lacking a majority vote, the resolution did not pass, meaning the election will continue as scheduled.
    Also on the agenda was a commission appointment of a vice mayor. Hall motioned that Harrod should continue to serve the role. Harrod abstained from the vote and Shaw cast the sole opposing vote, resulting in a successful appointment of Harrod.
    The evening included a recess for a reception for outgoing and incoming commissioners. Cameras flashed as new commissioners Dykstra, Shaw and Vogel were sworn in, officially filling the seats of former commissioners Steve Smith, John Winterringer and Pam Stephens.
    The mayor presented outgoing commissioners with resolutions of appreciation.
    “A word of thank you is really not enough,” he said, commending the trio for the endless hours of work they contributed.
    Harrod, Hall and Agee will continue to serve their wards. Mainord will continue to serve as mayor.

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