Friday, Dec. 28 2012 4:55PM
Mayor explains tie-breaking vote
When the Lee’s Summit City Council debated whether to include $3 million for Orchard Street reasons for the convoluted vote were a muddle.
Councilmember Ed Cockrell had asked the council to add it to the list, after an ad-hoc committee split on the issue and did not include it in the committee’s recommendation heard by the council Dec. 20.
At first the idea was rejected, with Mayor Randy Rhoads voting no to break a tie. Allan Gray then changed his vote and Orchard is tentatively on the ballot, along with arts facilities and paved shoulders for Pryor Road.
The City Council is to make a final vote on the package Jan. 10.
Asked about his tie-breaking vote which threatened to keep Orchard off the bond issue, Rhoads said it was an error he made because he became confused.
Rhoads said that the way the issue was being discussed he mistakenly believed there was going to be two separate ordinances, rather than one ordinance with different ballot questions, so he voted no. He wanted only one ordinance, he said.
“I had no problem with the Orchard thing, it was more of a process thing,” he said.
Gray had voted against Orchard Street as a member of the ad-hoc Capital Improvement Projects Committee, then again voted no at the Dec. 20 council meeting. But when it was apparent Orchard was not going to be on the bond issue, he asked the council to reconsider the issue.
He said in an interview that he’d voted no at the committee because he needed more information and he drove through the Orchard Street neighborhood before the council meeting.
He said when Cockrell moved to put Orchard’s reconstruction on the ballot he voted no the first time because of procedural issues “it wasn’t positioned properly.” But when he saw it would fail to get on the ballot, he was in a position to ask the council to reconsider.
Cockrell said his motion to put Orchard on the ballot caused confusion because of pre-conceived notions of other council members.
“It didn’t fit the process fixed in their minds,” Cockrell said. “The ends came out where I wanted them and where Mr. Gray wanted them.”