Lee’s Summit council members tussle over “politicking”

rpulley@lsjournal.comMay 21, 2014 

Councilwoman Diane Forte called out Councilman Derek Holland on “council behavior” during the May 15 Lee’s Summit City Council meeting.

She said Holland had become the leader of the worst behavior on the council.

“Absolutely, unbelievable, behind the scenes politicking, trying to make sure he got his way at the expense of me not having my say,” Forte said.

She blasted an editorial Holland wrote regarding the Summit Place shopping center, which was published by The Journal.

Forte said Holland’s complaint about campaign donations to her and Councilwoman Diane Seif from donors connected with the project was meant to “strong arm” her.

Forte said Holland had called to ask her to cooperate with tabling the Summit Place vote After she refused, he later asked her to recuse herself from the vote.

One resident, Diane Kennedy, also addressed the council May 15 asking that Forte and Seif recuse themselves from voting.

She said before running for a council seat, she watched the treatment of former Councilwoman Kathy Hofmann and wondered if it was because she was a woman or if because Hofmann would not play politics.

Forte said she ran for the council to change its culture.

“I want it stopped...” Forte said. “We all need to take responsibility and be the leaders that this community elected.”

Council members Trish Carlyle, Diane Seif and Bob Johnson agreed.

“The voters voted us in here to lead them to a better Lee’s Summit and not to fight amongst each other,” Carlyle said.

Seif said “I hope we can move forward with cooperation, not confrontation.”

Johnson said he’s listened to council members agreeing for several weeks that they need to get along, but then rip on one another.

“Let’s just work together, this is a new council, let’s work for the betterment of the community and keep the personality disputes out of it,” Johnson said.

Holland didn’t respond to her during the meeting.

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