Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz

Chris Morrow, Gardner mayor, has written a letter to the editor denying an accusation that he chronically and blatantly misrepresents facts, as alleged by a resolution to censure introduced by Rich Melton, councilman, at Gardner’s Feb. 6 city council meeting. The resolution was tabled for legal review.
A video of the complete meeting is available on the city’s website.

Morrow’s letter,and attachments, are:

An open letter to my Fellow Citizens of Gardner,
At the February 6, 2017 Gardner city council meeting, Councilmember Rich Melton made a spectacle of the proceedings while making a series of inaccurate, overreaching, and defamatory claims and statements.
Details play an important role in determining the truth. In this instance, Mr. Melton and I both have managed to mix up our dates regarding scheduling an item for a meeting. I don’t fault Melton for mixing up his dates, however, he has used this as an opportunity to libel and slander me.
Specifically, Mr. Melton provided in support of his claim, a three-month-old private Facebook message to Sheriff Frank Denning. The message was nonspecific as to subject but did ask the Sheriff to “please call me.” Melton also mentioned his memory of a three-month-old conversation with Denning as some type of proof. Obviously, Mr. Melton is attempting to brand me with broad and far ranging accusations. His suggestion to censure me by resolution, of misdeeds I have not committed, is reckless and beneath the dignity of the office he holds.
The censure resolution mentioned previously was tabled until the next council meeting on February 20, 2017. At that time, if the resolution remains on the agenda, I will demand the opportunity to defend myself against his unsupported accusations and warrantless motions.
I’ve served the citizens of Gardner for nearly six years in elected office. It has been my privilege to do so with great dedication, while remaining honest and forthright in all my dealings on behalf of Gardner. One thing I have not done is to impugn the character of my fellow members of the governing body.
The bottom line is, as Mayor of Gardner, I will not stand idly by and let any of Mr. Melton’s further attacks, against myself, or anyone else, go unchallenged during future city council meetings.

Chris Morrow
Mayor of Gardner Kansas