February 12, 2016

Council to research changes to appointment process

Danedri Thompson
Gardner City Council members will research changing the way appointments

Chris Morrow

are made to the council when there’s a vacancy.
“I basically have several points that I’m concerned about and would like to see changed,” Council vice president Chris Morrow said.
The governing body added another appointment, Randy Gregorcyk, to its ranks on May 4, and Morrow requested that council consider changes to the process during the meeting.
Currently, the Mayor appoints and the council approves. Under state statute however, if council does not approve a Mayoral appointment, they must draft and approve a resolution declaring the candidate unfit. If council simply chooses not to vote on a Mayoral appointment, the candidate is given the job after a several day waiting period.
Mayor Dave Drovetta suggested that council members may want to charter out of those statutes that govern appointments.
“A number of cities have chartered out of it,” he explained during the June 4 council meeting.
That’s Morrow’s first item of concern in considering a new appointment process.
The statute, Morrow explained, “is basically asking elected and appointed representatives to kick dirt on someone brought forward instead of just having an up or down vote.”
Morrow said he isn’t trying to take appointment authority from the Mayor, but he would like the council to have some input.
“That’s not really part of the process right now,” Morrow said. “I’m looking to add that the appointment is made after recommendations and advice from the council and then an up or down confirmation vote.”
Since his tenure began in 2009, Mayor Drovetta has appointed five people to the council. In some cases, he’s asked for input from the council. But, Morrow said, he doesn’t have to.
After former council member Brian Broxterman resigned last month, Morrow said council was not advised on the replacement process.
“(The Mayor) picked from a previous pool of candidates for the opening, but we were really unsure of what was going on,” Morrow said. “And he didn’t solicit recommendations from council members.”
Ideally, Morrow would like a policy that requires the council be asked for appointment recommendations in a work session or in a council meeting. The Mayor could still decide to appoint his own choice.
“But with five council members, you might get five other recommendations,” Morrow said. “Yeah, the Mayor may pick his own, but the appointment is going to have to stand up to scrutiny and pass a confirmation vote.”
Currently, those appointed to the council serve out the remainder of the term of the people they replace. That could mean serving between three and four years as an appointee. Morrow would like to see appointees go before voters at the next city election – even if there is still time remaining on the term.
“The next piece would probably be an opportunity to return to representative democracy in an expedited fashion,” Morrow said. “Basically if someone is appointed to a seat with more than two years left on the term, that council seat would be contested at the next election for the final two years.”
Finally, Morrow would like council members to consider creating a ward system within the city of Gardner.
State statute requires the city to move to a ward system once it becomes a city of the first class with 25,000 residents. After the last census, Gardner’s population clocked in at more than 19,000.
“There are people who are going to have different desires not just for their city but for their neighborhood,” Morrow said. “The people in the southeast side of the city are not likely to have the same concerns as the people in the northwest section.”
Council members have agreed to discuss the issue sometime after next year’s budget is approved in August.


  1. Judith Rogers says:

    Well, the rubber stampers, in my opinion, went along with the status quo once again on this latest appointment by their vote of 4 to 1. Our latest appointee, Randy, stated that if he wasn’t elected into office then he would look to be appointed to a position………one way or the other you will get the joker as long as Drovetta is in office and this really bothers me when I find Randy only votes when it is convenient for him and that very seldom, I question his financial stability which doesn’t leave me with a good comfort level in him making financial decisions on my behalf and his resume of numerous jobs doesn’t quite cut it with me either but I got stuck with him and even if he isn’t elected into office, he will lobby for an appointment………….more of the same ole cronyism government that I detest so.

    One thing about the ward system I would want clarified to the extreme is whether I could still vote for all candidates regardless of which ward they come from. If I would be limited in my voting right, then I want no part of it. That is what I hate most about the County Commissioners – there are seven of them and I only have the ability to vote for 2 which does not give me the voting power that I feel I am entitled to or should have.

    Our lovely Dictator and others have certainly pulled the power grabs and ran with their egos for years and it has not served me well. Whatever system you have in place, the people better be doing their jobs and that most importantly is being well informed and educated on issues (getting more difficult by the day when political/government entities stonewall and aren’t forthcoming with info on YOUR OWN GOVERNMENT), finding your voice and VOTING at every single election unless it comes to the point of there not being any quality candidate worth voting for and I believe that time is quickly approaching, like this fall and especially locally and in the state of Kansas.

  2. Judith Rogers says:

    Wasn’t the recall based on the so-called assertion that individuals were trying to usurp the Mayor’s powers??? When will the Dictator and his Beasley Bunch start the petitions to get Morrow out of office???? If they don’t, then you will know or be reminded of how the recall was merely a power play by Gardner’s Finest and how they utlized hate and lies (the Dist. Attorney stated no Open Meeting violations were made) to get what they wanted – that is my opinion. The city of Gardner citizens will be divided for years to come because of rotten politics of this nature being practiced by many and it goes on to this day. Some things never change – the wolf just changes his clothing as needed to make you think he is fine and dandy.

  3. Judith, I don’t know how many times we have to rehash this… Chris Morrow is doing this in an open manner and letting everyone know his thoughts and intentions. From what I can tell this isn’t a closed door power grab like your friends in the past attempted. I think having more input into appointments other then just the Mayor is vital.

    I know John Shepherd pushed a ward system for years, but didn’t have the support to get momentum for the issue. Maybe it was the way he went about it and I know things were stacked against him in regards to the council. The open process Chris is going about things, in my opinion, is very appealing to the citizens because we know what is going on. Chris is also very open to suggestions and comments. This is a trait often hard to find in a politician.

  4. Judith Rogers says:

    Yeah, Beasley, you and your co-horts will always be passing yourselves off as innocents when in reality you pushed the lies and the hate to get the power play you wanted……..your rationalization sell job just doesn’t cut the mustard…………and even more so when you covered up your finanicial backers by listing them as anonymous on your election financial report submitted to the election office…………you and your clones are tainted and stink to high heaven and I will never see you otherwise. You very much fit in well with the Dictator’s inner circle. Any citizen with any kind of a brain should be able to see through the smoke screens that you throw up to cover your sorry rearend – that is my opinion.

  5. Luckily we all understand you and your opinion Judith.

  6. Judith Rogers says:

    And all know or should know, that is if they WANT to know, what you and some others are, Beasley and how you operate. It just depends on whether the person is wearing rose colored glasses and doesn’t want to know the TRUTH or are part of your wrongdoings – the choice is theirs with all of the consequences to follow.

  7. nonamers says:

    As far as I’ve seen, Chris Morrow isn’t a “rubber stamper” of anyone. He’s always been an independent voice and doesn’t seem to be too interested in agreeing just for the sake of agreeing. He even sides with Larry Fotovich sometimes.

    Maybe the reason he upsets you is because you’d rather be doing the Dictator job on your own. That way you could tell us what you think we ought to think the TRUTH is and you wouldn’t have to deal with all that inconvenient logic or reality.

  8. I have never seen anyone wearing rose colored glasses.

  9. Judith Rogers says:

    I didn’t say Morrow upset me………..I said I don’t care for the haters and the liars who pull power plays to get what they want like the Beasley Bunch did on that recall and in the process show no integrity or ethics or in their other dealings. But I will say I have no respect for any politician or their supporters when rotten politics and power plays are their motivators and that is about all the people have these days. Sad and pathetic.

  10. Enlighten me Judith. What did I want or what did I get from the recall that you think was so great. Please tell me because I’m not smart enough to figure out what you’re talking about.

  11. Judith Rogers says:

    It is my belief Morrow has plans to run for Mayor next year and he is paving his way to hold that office. It is all about politics and the power plays and how to get the support you need to get into office and then run with your agenda. I would say 99% of the time it is not about what is best for the people but what is best for those who involve themselves in politics. Citizens need to be independent thinkers that is for sure and do their OWN research on issues and then try to protect their interests as best they can but myself I don’t have any hope anymore for the average citizen but much of that is due to the people not doing their jobs for so long and that apathetic voting records we have and an uninformed/uneducated electorate and way too many just go along to get along.

  12. nonamers says:

    Oh, please, Judith!

    If YOU were paying attention and doing your research, you would already know that Morrow has been very vocal about changing the appointment procedures. It was one of the big issues that he raised in the election. You insist on believing that just because Morrow is trying to fulfill a promise he made to the voters, he must be up to no good. And even IF Morrow has sights on the Mayor’s office, wouldn’t it make sense that he demonstrate his worthiness for the office by pursuing the priorities that he said he’d pursue? Why do you hate that he’s trying to fix the appointment process that you seem to hate so much? Can’t seem to make you happy…

    Oh. That’s right. You don’t seem to like representative government, where the voters elect politicians and, in cases like Morrow, they get dedicated public servants who do what they say they will. You wanna be Judith the Dictator so that you can condemn the people on your enemies list and and throw a tirade every time you don’t get your way. Maybe throw a few dissenters into the gulag while you’re at it.


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