Archive for Thursday, October 11, 2007

District didn’t need city’s ballot distraction

October 11, 2007

Last week, the Eudora City Council agreed to place a charter ordinance before voters Nov. 6, the same day the community will vote on Eudora USD 491's proposed $45 million school bond. The proposed charter ordinance would allow the mayor, with the approval, of the council to appoint department heads for two years instead of one.

The council had previously approved the charter ordinance. That prompted a dissenting councilman to mount a successful protest petition, which gave the council the option of either dropping the issue or putting it before voters.

Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle argues the change will provide greater job security for department heads. It's opponent on the council, said the change could leave a new mayor with a team he doesn't want. It would seem a logical compromise to suggest the change be delayed to be concurrent with the mayoral election cycle, thus sparing the city the expense of a referendum on what really seems an "inside baseball" matter.

Certainly in magnitude of importance to the community, the appointment of city department heads for one or two years pales in comparison to the school bond question. It's true the school board president was nonchalant about the city issue going before voters on the same day at the district's bond. But district officials can't welcome another issue muddling their message, especially when the issue brings with it a probable nonexistent constituency for support and what will probably be a small but vocal opposition going to the polls with a vote no mindset.

We find the council's civic etiquette a bit lacking in this decision to advance a limited interest question on a ballot with one of much greater priority to the community.

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