Moving the cheese

Lee's Summit JournalJune 6, 2014 

The Lee’s Summit City Council had an opportunity to “move the cheese” awhile back. They didn’t take it.

Citing whatever reasons – experience, fear of newcomers, whatever – five of the eight council members opted not to switch out the mayor pro tem and stick with Allan Gray.

Gray brings experience to the position, yes, and an eye on downtown, arts and other agenda items.

After the vote, a notable Lee’s Summit resident commented about that missed opportunity to “move the cheese,” which, for those that don’t know, is a nod to shaking up the establishment a little, moving some pieces of the chess board around – whatever analogy best fits.

Moving the cheese is risky, sometimes even ill-advised.

Of course, in my world, moving the cheese would be perilous to whoever moved it. It would be almost as egregious moving my bacon.

Since we didn’t move the cheese, then, we have to trust those powers-that-be to make the right decisions, the biggest and earliest on being committee and liaison assignments.

In looking at what is to be approved at city council this week, not much will change on that front, although there are some noteworthy assignments and designations.

I am sure Councilman Rob Binney will thoroughly enjoy his duty on the License Tax Review Committee. Please let me know when that one meets, sounds like a “can’t miss.”

Newcomer Diane Seif nets the coveted Board of Aeronautic Commissioners liaison assignment. If only District 3 counterpart Derek Holland had garnered that seat…those might have been fun to attend.

The Lee’s Summit Arts Council will now get Bob Johnson, who replaces Gray as the council contact person for that organization. Of course, Johnson may be exiting the scene to Jefferson City in a few months so perhaps the LSAC shouldn’t get too cozy with him just yet.

Committee assignments are interestingly similar. If you like change, you won’t be cheering Johnson as chair, again, of both Rules Committee and Finance and Budget. Or Mosby, again, chairing Community and Economic Development.

Maybe the consistency will help with long-range goals and planning. I would have thought that, perhaps, naming one of the new council members to a committee chairmanship would have been in order.

Running for state house will certainly be eating up some of Johnson’s time, so, why not have Holland chair rules committee and move Trish Carlyle to chair Legislative? Or let Seif chair CEDC? Or flip-flop Johnson and Diane Forte on budget? Forte, Seif and Carlyle were all given vice-chair seats, but none have the power of the chair position.

I don’t know…just spit-balling here.

These assignments are at the pleasure of the pro tem. I suppose what each council member does with them is what we need to keep an eye on for the future.

Political maneuvering seems to be alive and well in Lee’s Summit.



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

Lee's Summit Journal is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service