De Soto Mayor Tim Maniez and Council member Bill McDaniel are both named in recall petitions under review by the Johnson County Election Board. If approved, residents say it would be the first time a mayor or City Council person has been recalled.
On Thursday, Judy Macy and several other De Soto residents filed the petitions in Olathe. "There is a process to get rid of elected officials that are not doing their job, and we took advantage of that process.”
The petitions cite a lack of control, order and decorum of the council from August 2015 through February 2016. In them, highlighting that, "The mayor should have done a better job controlling this group. The conduct is ridiculous. It's embarrassing to all of us,” Macy said. A separate petition is under review for council member Bill McDaniel, "Who is so argumentative and so negative and so hostile."
Maniez learned Thursday night that a group filed the recall petitions. "Oh they did. Am I on the list?" he asked.
Maniez called the situation disappointing but told 41 Action News, "I was elected by the majority that voted, and I'll stay as long as I'm wanted."
Frustrations began to mount in De Soto when the city announced the termination of Cynthia Wagner, the city administrator from June 2014 through February 2016.
Circumstances surrounding her firing are confidential. Part of the terms, though, included $60,000 as part of a severance package.
"We cannot afford to have more good employees leaving the city,” Macy emphasized. "We will gather the required signatures on our petitions and then it will be up to the citizens of De Soto to decide whether or not to keep these two people, the mayor and Councilman McDaniel.”
Johnson County officials plan to notify them next week if the recall petitions are accepted. Then the group will have 90 days to collect signatures. For the recall, signatures will have to be gathered for a percentage of the registered voters who cast a ballot in the winning election.
"Really they have gotten away with it way too long. It's time. It's time for them to step down and to let the city get back on track,” Macy said. "It is a very serious thing and not something that we take lightly. We don't like to do this kind of thing, but you have to step up and do something. You can't let them go unchecked."
Dia Wall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.