March 4 marks the first city council political forum here in Lee’s Summit.
While it is my favorite time of the year, I know not everyone shares my passion for the political potpourri that comes around here every so often.
I think it’s a fascinating time.
Because before any city council member in Lee’s Summit becomes one of the “insiders” or, somehow, they suddenly cease to be a real person and instead are branded with harsh words and constantly second guessed, they are just an average Joe or Jane.
Just like you or me.
They may be a business owner, involved in the Chamber of Commerce or active in their neighborhoods or churches, but they don’t have the mark of the elected official on them.
They are, in a way, green, non-political, untested and untainted.
That’s why this first forum will be a can’t-miss for any Lee’s Summit voter that has a race in their district, which this year is 75 percent of this town.
While Mayor Randy Rhoads and District 4 Councilman Dave Mosby get a free pass to another four years, three other races are wide open for the picking.
The race where the above may not apply, though, is in District 3.
Former Councilman Joe Spallo is looking to jump back in the fray after a four-year break from council (forced by term limits) and is running against the well-known community advocate, Diane Seif.
Sure, Spallo’s been gone long enough that some of the past political posturing may have subsided. But it’s doubtful it is gone.
This race is particularly interesting given the striking difference in candidates, too.
District 2 features a trio with vastly different backgrounds, too, in Trisha Carlyle, Tim Denker and Craig Faith.
The first jump into the political waters for all three surely proves newsworthy. New candidates running against other new candidates are usually more open to new ideas and don’t think in the city “bubble” oftentimes.
District 1’s race does involve two people familiar with the process, but not elected to city council. Diane Forte has served on a neighboring school board; Robert Dye has run for mayor and city council here in Lee’s Summit.
Mark your calendars for 6 p.m. March 4 (and again March 25) at the Gamber Center for our city council forums.
Much like a wedding, you’re likely to hear something old, something new, something they borrowed…but hopefully, they won’t make us blue.
John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lees Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.