Playing to their strengths

Lee's Summit JournalApril 18, 2014 

A true test of the leadership of this city council and our mayor will be easy to spot. And decisions made over the coming weeks will set the tone for the coming years.

How will committee and council liaison assignments be handed out this time around?

And who will be handing out those assignments?

The selection of our Mayor Pro Tem was a hot topic in the past and will surely garner some headlines again here in a few weeks.

Allan Gray is currently the vice-Mayor, if you will.

While he hasn’t had to assume that title much – Randy Rhoads has a pretty stellar attendance record – the designation allows Gray the opportunity to seat committees and liaisons.

The interesting piece this year is the seating of Diane Forte, Diane Seif and Trish Carlyle on city council.

They will quickly have to jump into the battle, likely only armed with what knowledge they entered with on past Pro Tem votes, what they know of current council members and what others will likely be whispering in their ears.

The three of them didn’t run a campaign together. Politically that would have been dangerous. And they likely will not always vote together.

In fact, independent thinking and a healthy debate are good to see at our city council.

I wouldn’t expect that there would be any sort political partnerships made among the three new council members prior to taking office.

And even after taking office, deal making is dangerous.

However, the learning curve almost demands that the new members communicate with current council in a variety of different ways and for a variety of different reasons.

Votes with enormous community impact are ahead for our entire elected body.

These decisions will have impact that stretches for years and decades in Lee’s Summit.

It’s an awesome responsibility.

One that I know is not lost on Forte, Seif or Carlyle.

Get them seated, give them the tools and let them get to work.


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

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