By Stephanie Edwards
Members of the City Council Rules Committee discussed the role of alternates on various council committees and the procedure to follow when a council appointee is absent from committee meetings. Members of the council are appointed by the mayor pro-tem. The pro-tem also serves as an alternate in the event of an absence.
Councilmember Diane Seif, committee chair, explained that there has been some discussion among councilmembers regarding the Finance and Budget Committee regarding the seat that had been held by Councilmember Chris Moreno. The alternate for the Budget and Finance Committee had been absent. I just wanted to bring that to the committee and to Mayor Pro-tem Binney,” Seif said. “Are we going to replace the committee member?”
Councilmember Binney asked if the alternate, Councilmember Craig Faith, had been at the last three meetings. Councilmember Seif said that he had missed the meetings
Councilmember Faith, who serves as the alternate, has not been able to attend the meetings due to work obligations. The committee meets at four o’clock in the afternoon.
“Now that we are going into the budget process I think we need a full committee,” Councilmember Seif said. I would like to encourage representation from District Four because there currently is none.”
“Councilmember Faith missed some meetings; that happens,” Councilmember Dave Mosby said. It is disappointing that there are just three members on that committee.” Twenty-five percent of the people in Lee’s Summit do not have a say in the budget and finance activities in the city which, he said. “is inappropriate.”
“However,” Mosby continued. “We could be flexible and if there was another individual on the council that could step in even if they weren’t from District Four in this case, that would be okay, too.”
City attorney Brian Head said that the mayor pro-tem can attend committee meetings as an alternate for purposes of quorum.
Councilmember Mosby went on to say that having just three members on the committee is inappropriate. “Maybe that’s another area we need to refine,” he said referring to committee structure. “Do we want someone from each district there?” He said that it would be healthy to take a look at the subject.
Councilmember Edson said she wanted to have a discussion over the role of the alternate. “It seems like the role of the alternate is that of a seat warmer. The alternate is there for a quorum but is not allowed to vote. It seems kind of pointless.”
No action was taken on the item since it was merely an item for discussion.