Wrist slaps for politicians who don't follow the law
The Kansas City Star
Public officials in Gardner, Mission and Shawnee have violated the public trust by refusing to follow the Kansas open meetings law.
Their punishment? Pleas from Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe to obey the law and, well, that’s about it.
Kansas doesn’t take its open meetings law very seriously, arming it with few real penalties.
It’s not surprising, but still disappointing, that too many elected officials have a cavalier approach to the law as well.
The latest incident involved Shawnee Mayor Jeff Meyers and the City Council members who basically agreed on a deal in private to elect the mayor’s uncle to the council in 2012, according to Howe.
As “punishment,” Howe said Shawnee’s elected officials should get detailed training on the state law, similar to a session Howe sponsored in October for other officials in Johnson County.
Meyers specifically needs to have his attitude adjusted. He also has complained recently that a City Hall critic is “asking for all kinds of open records.” Oh, the horrors of a having to deal with an involved citizen.
This is the same Meyers who parked illegally in a handicapped spot at City Hall during a public meeting, only to be outed by a critic who snapped a photo, spreading it on the Internet. Again, those pesky citizens.
Ultimately, Meyers and all the other politicians who have abused the public trust need to stop bellyaching about the open meetings law and start obeying it.