Osage City Council admits KOMA violation; appoints Schoepflin as council member

During a special meeting Thursday evening, in a standing room only council room, members of the Osage City Council officially acknowledged they had violated the state’s open meetings law last week. Following the acknowledgement, the council then rescinded one by one all actions taken during Aug. 13 meeting, and then voted again on the actions.

One action that was reaffirmed was the appointment of Bruce Schoepflin to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of former council member Rick Martin. Last week’s secret ballot vote, which appointed Schoepflin to the position, resulted in the Kansas Open Meeting Act violation. As in last week’s meeting, several citizens spoke Thursday evening in support of appointing Denise Lauber to the position, citing her tie election with Martin in April, which was decided by a coin toss.

Following public comment, the council took a roll call vote on Osage City Council Member Becky Brewer’s motion to appoint Lauber to the position, with Brewer and council members Ed Mueller and Rob Rowe voting in favor, and council members Duane Peroo, Ed Berends, Linda Carson and Leroy Stromgren voting no.

That vote was followed by a motion by Berends to appoint Schoepflin to the position, with Peroo, Berends, Carson and Stromgren voting in favor and Rowe, Mueller and Brewer voting no.

Last week’s vote by secret ballot had resulted in a 5-2 vote in favor of Schoepflin.

After his appointment, Schoepflin was sworn in by Osage City Clerk Terri Fultz, and then took his seat at the table to finish the business of last week’s meeting.

The council then voted to rescind and then reinstate their actions in adopting the 2014 budget; approving an ordinance that authorizes tax revenues; appointing utilities director Mike Gilliland as a director and Peroo as an alternate director for the Kansas Municipal Gas Agency; and accepting bids to rehabilitate Nichols Road.

See related story here.

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