Friday, April 11, 2014

Walker: Commissioners should have power to terminate administrator


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- During a special Unified Government Board of Commissioners hearing Thursday evening, Commissioner and Mayor Pro-Tem Hal Walker suggested the board should have the power to terminate administrators.

"The inability of a board to terminate an administrator is dead wrong," Walker said. "There needs to be accountability of an administrator for each and every commissioner appointed."

Walker's idea: If eight commissioners have lost confidence and vote against maintaining an administrator, that administrator would be fired.

"It's nothing earth-shattering," Walker said. "But it sends a message that the commissioners are entitled to get an answer from the administrator - and not one six months later."

Walker's proposal kicked off a lengthy discussion on the checks-and-balances system of the Unified Government.

Multiple commissioners, particularly Ann Murguia and Mike Kane, argued that commissioners should have more of an input on the agenda.

"I'm not saying Mark (Holland) is doing a bad job," Kane said. "But if a commissioner wants to put something on the agenda, it should be on the agenda. Let the commissioners vote on it."

Holland, meanwhile, defended the current charter of the Unified Government.

He said the UG has a "hybrid" version of a government - one that allows both the commissioners and mayor to maintain power. He also said he's listened to commissioners when it comes to the agenda.

"I have placed everything on the agenda," Holland said. "I put everything that was relevant."

Holland said the UG is not broken and the county's form of government remains strong. Kane disagreed.

"I think the system is broken and it needs to be fixed," Kane said. "I want people to know that a decision was made and it didn't come from one man. We're only as strong as the weakest person."

No proposals were voted on during the special session.