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6 Prairie Village council members call out prior to council meeting

Posted at 5:02 PM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 08:27:35-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Six Prairie Village, Kansas, council members told the city administrator they would not be able to attend the regularly-scheduled council meeting Monday night, forcing the cancellation of the meeting.

City Administrator Wes Jordan told 41 Action News reporter Ariel Rothfield that one of the absences was known ahead of time, another absence was a family emergency but four other council members canceled Monday and gave various reasons why.

None of the official reasons included avoiding discussion on an ordinance that had been scheduled for Monday night that would have given stronger protections to those in the LGBTQ community.

Currently, Kansas does not have a state-wide anti-discrimination policy. 

"Is it possible that all four of them had emergencies come up? Sure," Tucker Poling said."But, like I say, for this to happen at the same time would be a mind-boggling coincidence." 

Poling is spearheading the ordinance.

41 Action News tried to contact the council members who suddenly canceled. As of Tuesday morning, only one council member had responded.

Councilman Andrew Wang wrote the following email in response to our inquiries:

"Ariel, my absence had nothing to do with the ordinance. I am in Washington DC on a long-planned trip to move my daughter for her first job following college graduation. Councilman Runion and I were on the same flight. I have never known a council member who was afraid or reluctant to discuss any issue. I myself have never been reluctant or afraid to debate and cast my vote regardless of how popular or unpopular my opinion might be."

According to the city, the fate of the ordinance following the cancellation of Monday's meeting is in limbo. 

Jordan said he will sit down with the mayor and council president to decide when it will appear on the agenda next. He said it is unlikely to be the next regularly-scheduled meeting, which is Oct. 1. That meeting is anticipated to focus on neighborhood designs.