Archive for Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lack of quorum stops city council

February 5, 2009

It was a world’s record at Monday’s Baldwin City Council meeting — shortest meeting ever.

With newly-appointed Council Member Mike Magers out of town and the absence of Council Member Doyle Jardon, there were only three council members and the mayor. That meant no meeting.

“We don’t have a quorum, so we can’t have a meeting,” said Mayor Gary Walbridge.

In 2000, the council changed its quorum — the number of members necessary to have a meeting — from three to four. That allowed two members of the council to discuss city business together without violating the Kansas Open Meetings Law.

That backfired Monday.

For the remaining five minutes, council members discussed when they could get together this week.

“We have to meet. We have to pay bills,” said Walbridge.

Several times and days were discussed and eventually 11 a.m. Wednesday was chosen. That’s the Signal’s deadline for having pages in Lawrence. An update from the meeting will be available online at

Other than the routine agenda items — such as approving the bills to be paid — there was only one action item scheduled. It concerned the purchase of a new vehicle for the police department. That had been tabled at the last meeting to allow City Administrator Jeff Dingman and the finance committee to review the city budget in light of the current economic times.

That was completed and Dingman gave the answers to what was found in the Signal’s new feature “5 Questions,” which is on page 2. He said the city’s financial shape is good, but reductions are being made, such as not filling two positions that are currently open.


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