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At Monday’s City Commission meeting, Incumbent Tim Reazin and newcomer Jolene Born will be sworn in as the newest members of the Commission. That we know. What we don’t know is how the Commission will decide to choose a Mayor.
With the form of government change voters passed back in November, the Mayor’s position is no longer an elected position and will be now chosen from among the five sitting Commissioners. Since the November election, we have asked how the Commission will make that decision. As of Wednesday night, the current sitting Commissioners we were able to talk to, still have not formalized a plan.
Anyone have some straws they can borrow? Short straw is Mayor….. (yes,that’s an editorial comment)
“After we go through the swearing in process, I imagine we will take some sort of vote,” Commissioner John Fiore told us. “I would think there will be some type of effort to find out where the Commission stands at that point.”
During planning sessions that took place last summer, the then City Council members did talk about this particular topic as part of the form of government change discussions. During those meetings, it was brought up that the Lawrence City Commission normally promotes the vice-mayor to the position of Mayor and then elects the winner of the most recent election to vice-mayor. The term of the Mayor in Lawrence is one year. Lawrence followed this exact process on Tuesday night at their City Commission meeting. The problem is Eudora has neither formally or informally adopted that policy, nor do we have a “vice-mayor”.
Another idea that has been discussed in the past, was naming the winner of the election two years ago as Mayor with the second highest finisher taking the Mayor’s seat the following year. If this plan is acted upon, it would mean Commissioner Ruth Hughs would be named Mayor with Commission Kenny Massey becoming mayor in 2014.
The only public discussion the Eudora City Commission has had about how to choose a mayor was brought up extremely briefly at the end of the March 25th Commission meeting. Mayor Scott Hopson introduced the question of how to choose a mayor and Commissioner Ruth Hughs said that she thought the consensus was to follow the plan mentioned above. Hopson stated that he wasn’t certain that that policy should be followed. Commissioners then dropped the topic and no more discussion occurred about it and the meeting was adjourned.
“Other than that brief mention of it at the recent meeting, there has not been a discussion about it for a while,” Hughs told us. “I really don’t know how we will make the choice. It will be something that we will have to discuss.”
I know, let get a bottle and spin it. Open end gets to be Mayor…. (there’s that editorial comment thing again)
Commissioner Kenny Massey had no opinion on exactly how to choose the Mayor.
“It seems like Ruth is interested in the position and I know she will do a good job, so I imagine it will be a quick vote and move on,” Massey said.
While the position of Mayor is more ceremonial in nature and brings no additional powers in the new form of government, the position is one of importance as a leader for citizens and the community as a whole. Every organization needs a leader and after 15 minutes or so into Monday night’s City Commission meeting, Eudora, for a time, won’t have one. It will be interesting to see how the new Commission comes together to figure this out. Apparently, it will all unfold in front of the public at the Commission meeting.
I know…a WWE style battle royal….build a ring and the last one standing inside the squared circle is Mayor…let’s get ready to rumble!!!! (My money is on Hughs…I think she could throw Massey and Reazin over the top rope and not even break a sweat….)