Short line for mayor’s office

Lee's Summit JournalOctober 30, 2013 

There seems to be a lot of rhetoric and rally cries lately about who may be bold enough to take on Lee’s Summit Mayor Randy Rhoads for his office come April.

Thing is, right now, it’s all just talk.

Rumors have swirled for months about District 2 Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Allan Gray throwing his name on the ballot.

More recently, District 4’s Bob Johnson has also been coy about rumors he may run, although his non-verbal signals have been much stronger. Stay tuned on that one.

And there’s always the feisty and fierce Ed Cockrell. The long-time District 3 councilman might be a long shot to run, but if this race opens up to multiple candidates, anything can happen.

So, why has the race for mayor been so quiet?

First, there doesn’t seem to be an immediate call to action right now in Lee’s Summit.

Sure, we have lingering economic development needs, bond issue needs, land needs and (maybe, if you believe some) a slight shortfall in our city budget.

But running for mayor is far more detailed than that, from an image standpoint, at least.

Last week alone, Randy Rhoads was seemingly everywhere – from the Boo Ball fundraiser, Dancing with the Chamber Stars and even attending the Summit Theatre Group’s performance of “Love Letters.”

Of course, he wasn’t there Sunday to see yours truly and Trisha Drape. But hey, even the mayor needs a day off from “mayoral” stuff once in a while, eh?

Lee’s Summit, by current design, has a weak-mayor form of government.

Rhoads doesn’t vote unless there’s a tie, he doesn’t make the committee appointments and often says little during key discussions at the dais.

Would Johnson, Cockrell or Gray be as content with such a role? Would any of them have the support that is clearly necessary to beat an incumbent mayor?

November is here and in just a few weeks, the clock will be ticking on official documentation to get on the Lee’s Summit ballot for city council and mayor.

Rhoads has announced his intentions, as have a handful for the opening District 2 seat.

Other than that, things have been left to innuendo and speculation.

But that window of ducking the question is quickly closing.


John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail

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