Citizen Group Forms, Files Petition to Recall City Council Member Chris Moreno
October 28, 2016
Louise Horner, Chairman of
Lee’s Summit Citizens for Responsible Government
By Linda Ahern
A group of Lee’s Summit residents have organized to file a petition for the removal of Lee’s Summit City Council member Chris Moreno the group called Lee’s Summit Citizens for Responsible Government (LSGRG) filed the petition with the city clerk’s office on Wednesday, October 26.
According to the affidavit filed with the city clerk’s office, Louise Horner, Kent Ruehter, Jane Monroe, Andrew Barchak and Kevin Cochran, all of Lee’s Summit, constitute the petitioners’ committee.
Efforts to remove Moreno from his position as the council member representing District Four are rooted in complaints of voter intimidation, misconduct, and other serious offenses. Moreno was elected to the District 4 seat in April. LSCRG spokesman Kent Reuhter said that Moreno has not “remotely begun” to speak for his constituents in the district or serve their interests. He cited an attack on Target for their transgender bathroom policy, which he points out is not in the council member’s district, as well as outbursts at council meetings. “Mr. Moreno has let down the residents of District 4 at every turn,” Ruehter said.
“Mr. Moreno hadn’t warmed his seat at the dais yet when he was calling out local television stations to bloviate on Target’s bathroom policy, using Lee’s Summit City Hall as a backdrop. That sort of self-righteous behavior shows he is unfit to serves us,” Ruehter continued. “If this was his only misstep in his first six months, the electorate would likely forgive him. But time and again he has exhibited a pattern of incompetence, arrogance, and bullying.”
In a recent press release, LSCRG group members described other concerns including “Moreno’s lack of basic understanding of local governance.” Other problems include recent bankruptcy filings and lawsuits against the council member.
Other citizens have called out the council member and asked for his resignation. In the press release, Moreno’s behavior during a council meeting in October was called out. It was during this meeting during the public comment session that a citizen called for his resignation. According to the press release, Moreno was absent from his seat during much of the comment period but returned and interrupted a citizen during her allotted time to speak.
In order to recall Moreno, the group must collect 522 signatures from registered District 4 voters in order to recall the election. The signatures must be collected within 60 days of the petition filing.
Note: Kent Reuhtler, spokesperson for the group was unable to meet with the Tribune Thursday due to his scheduling conflict.
Full press release from Kent Reuhter.
Citizen group forms in Lee’s Summit to recall District 4’s Chris Moreno
Lee’s Summit Citizens for Responsible Government is calling for residents of District 4 to recall council member Chris Moreno.
The newly formed citizens group has filed a petition with the Lee’s Summit City Clerk’s office as of Wednesday, Oct. 26. The petition is the formal indication the group will be seeking recall efforts against council member Moreno.
In the petition, Lee’s Summit Citizens for Responsible Government have cited several reasons voters should consider in recalling Moreno, who was elected in April, including noting Moreno’s “intimidation of citizens, elected officials and business owners, repeated misconduct in office, suspicious campaign finances and abuse of power.”
“Councilman Moreno hasn’t remotely begun to speak on behalf of those of us that reside in District 4, much less serve our interests, since the day he took office in April,” said Kent Ruehter, a member of LSCRG and spokesperson for the group. “From his unprovoked attack on Target (which is not in his district) to immature outbursts at council meetings and pandering to certain interests that are not in the least tied to his city and civic duties, Mr. Moreno has let down residents of District 4 at every turn.”
The citizens group has noted Moreno’s lack of basic understandings of local governance, recent bankruptcy filings, lawsuits against Moreno and his constant barrages on social media as various factors that should lead District 4 voters to rethink their decision and instead cast a ballot in favor of recall, which will appear on the April 2017 ballot.
“Mr. Moreno hadn’t warmed his seat at the dais yet when he was calling out local television stations to bloviate on Target’s bathroom policy, using Lee’s Summit City Hall as the backdrop. That sort of self-righteous behavior shows he is unfit to serve us,” Ruehter said. “If this was his only misstep in his first six months, the electorate would likely forgive him. But time and again he has exhibited a pattern of incompetence, arrogance and bullying.
“During public comments at a council meeting in August, a citizen told Mr. Moreno he was not what Lee’s Summit is about. We couldn’t agree more and we plan to take firm and dedicated action to make sure he does not retain his seat.”
LSCRG must obtain 522 signatures of registered District 4 voters to force the April recall election. The group has 60 days from the petition filing to gather the signatures.
At least one citizen has called for Moreno to resign, also during public comments at a council meeting in October. Moreno was absent from his council chair during much of those public comments on Oct. 7, only returning to interrupt the citizen during her allotted time to speak.
The group says Moreno could help the city avoid this recall by simply stepping down.