Larry Fotovich has tendered his resignation from the Gardner City Council, effective Sept. 26.
“Due to the sale of my home, I am no longer able to meet the residency requirements necessary to continue to serve as a council member,” Fotovich wrote in an email to Mayor Chris Morrow and Council President Kristina Harrison.
Fotovich’s Gardner home was listed for sale for several months, and several Gardner residents had asked him to resign after he purchased a home in Olathe last December.
Kansas State Statute and Gardner city code do not have residency requirements for council members. The regulations only require that governing body members are “qualified electors,” or are registered voters in the community in which they serve.
City officials will now begin the process of appointing a replacement council member.
The new appointee will tip the balance of elected and appointed members on the board – giving appointed council members a majority. Former Mayor Dave Drovetta appointed Heath Freeman to the council in 2012. Freeman replaced council member Dennis Pugh. Pugh resigned from the council following a skirmish with Fotovich at Fotovich’s home in November 2011. Pugh was charged with battery and criminal deprivation of property and rendered his resignation. Freeman’s term expires in 2015.
After winning the mayor’s office, Chris Morrow appointed Tory Roberts to the council to fill his own seat in 2013. Roberts’ term also expires in 2015 as will the term of Fotovich’s replacement.
“It was a pleasure working with you to improve the lives of Gardner residents,” Fotovich wrote in his resignation email. “I wish you and the rest of the council and staff the best of luck in continuing the progress.”
The city adopted new regulations for appointing new governing body members in May of this year.
Under the new guidelines, the city will advertise the open position, seek and review applicants, conduct public interviews during a council meeting and then the governing body will vote to appoint one of the applicants.
Morrow wished Fotovich and his family luck in their new residence, new schools and new city.
“I want to thank council man Fotovich for his three-plus years of service on the city council,” Morrow said.
Fotovich resignation leaves council vacancy