1 of 1
Mary Rupert web
Mary Rupert web
One of the hottest topics around town focuses on the Unified Government commissioner appointment in the 1st District, at large.
After Commissioner Mark Holland is sworn in as mayor on April 25, his commission seat will be open, and the UG Commission will make the appointment, according to UG officials.
Some of the early names we have heard mentioned for this position are former state Sen. Kelly Kultala, Melissa Bynum, and the Rev. Jimmie Banks. Supporters of Commissioner Nathan Barnes also are mentioning his name this week as a possible appointee.
After April 25, when the commission seat becomes open, the UG Commission will figure out what sort of procedure it wants to use in filling it, Jody Boeding, UG chief counsel, said last week.
The ordinance governing vacancies on the commission doesn’t really specify a time limit for filling the position, or a very detailed process for doing so, according to Boeding. It does say the commission shall solicit recommendations from eligible voters who live in the district where the vacancy occurs. It goes on to specify that the commissioners will appoint from that list an individual to serve until the next election.
The last time a similar vacancy occurred, when Mayor Joe Reardon took office, the vacancy was announced publicly via the newspapers and applications were accepted from anyone in the district who was interested in serving. There was a fairly public process, and it included interviews with the candidates.
However, Boeding said that specific process is not required by law, and it’s up to the UG Commission to fill in the details as to how the process will be carried out this year.
Names we had not heard mentioned last week as possible candidates for the appointive seat are those commissioners who are stepping down from the UG Commission this year.
Boeding said, when asked, that although there is an ethics ordinance restricting UG employees from being involved again with the UG and its contractors within one year of leaving, it would not apply to the former UG Commission members and this appointive process for the commission.
Because the vacancy occurs at the same time as the mayor is sworn in, it is likely that the new commission, with several new faces after the election, will make the decision on the appointment. The new commissioner must live within the 1st District at large, which generally is the north side of Wyandotte County.
To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org.