Archive for Thursday, November 2, 2006

Mayor should look for fairness, confidence

November 2, 2006

Last week, Kevin Miller announced his resignation from the Eudora City Council. His quick exit came with a plea not to be approached about his reasons for leaving.

With the announcement, Mayor Tom Pyle suddenly has the opportunity to nominate someone to the seat who will change the political balance of the council, which on many issues seems split 2-2 with him being the deciding vote. With much at stake, including the future of City Administrator Cheryl Beatty (who retains the mayor's favor), the temptation may be to nominate someone he can reliably count on to side with him.

The temptation ought to be resisted, although it would be naive to think the mayor would nominate someone at odds with his fundamental principles. Our best advice is the mayor look for a fair-minded individual confident in his or her abilities to make sound decisions and with a passion to serve. The growing city is filled with professional talent waiting to be tapped.

Those seeking the position know what they would be getting into. The successful candidate will not only be taking on the time commitment demanded of a council member, the all-hours phone calls from constituents and occasional probing by this newspaper, but stepping onto a divided council with no record as the contested swing vote. Obviously, the new council member is going to be subject to a great deal of pressure and scrutiny. Self-confidence will be a needed asset.

The appointment will give the appointee the opportunity to establish that person as a candidate for next spring's election. At that time, a record of fairness and sound independent judgment will count most with voters.

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