Councilman Derek Holland resigned from the Lee’s Summit City Council’s budget committee last week.
At the March 6 council meeting, Councilman Ed Cockrell questioned whether the committee had too many members. He said termed the question “house keeping,” but said he did have concern that with five members, the committee had a quorum that could conduct council business without involving three of its members.
Cockrell asked if there had been a lapse in procedures. He said he couldn’t remember the council expanding the number of committee members on budget committee to five, nor could he remember voting to confirm the appointment of the fifth member.
He said that would be quorum of the council, so the committee could conceivably do council business, which could be a concern to him. He asked city staff to check whether a member was supposed to have dropped off the committee.
Councilman Bob Johnson, Rules Committee chair, said the city ordinances don’t put a limit on the number of council members on a committee. At the meeting Cockrell said he was satisfied.
Holland, however, voluntarily decided to resign, effective March 14. He said he was the last person appointed and therefore should be the first off.
He said he philosophically agreed with Cockrell that having a quorum of the council on a committee which could potentially act while excluding three members isn’t a good idea.
Holland said he voluntarily decided to resign and talked the issue over with councilman Allan Gray, who as mayor pro tempore makes council appointments.
Holland said Gray had appointed him with the expectation that Councilman David Mosby could be facing an opponent in municipal elections this April. The council’s philosophy had been to appoint Budget Committee members who were not up for reelection, to have continuity in those positions.
Gray said he appointed Holland to help provide continuity. He said a committee couldn’t act as the council.
When it became apparent Mosby got a free-pass for another term, Holland said, it breached the question of how many members ought to be serving on the commission.
Johnson said the ordinance covering how the council sets up its committees allows the mayor pro-tem to designate the number of members on a committee. He said the council as a whole is oriented toward maintaining the “status quo.”
“There’s nothing wrong or illegal about having five members on the committee,” Johnson said.