Merriam’s City Council started Monday with eight members and ended the evening with six.
Mayor Ken Sissom reported Tuesday that Ward 1 representative Chad Rowe and Ward 4 representatives Todd Boyer both stepped down from their elected seats during Monday’s council meeting. Rowe announced he was moving to a new house in the Timber Ridge neighborhood. Because Timber Ridge is outside Rowe’s Ward 1 district, city ordinance requires that he relinquish his council seat.
“It’s kind of a shame, because he’d been on the council for a long time and was one of the better councilmembers we had,” Sissom said.
Boyer announced he had accepted a job as a trainee with the Olathe Police Department, and stepping down from all elected offices is a condition of his employment. Boyer was an active figure in local politics, and ran a popular blog that provided information on the council’s actions and new developments in the city.
“Some of us take a little longer than others to figure out what we want to be when we grow up,” Boyer wrote on his site Tuesday. “I’m no spring chicken, that’s for sure, but, with providential timing, I’m about to begin a new career journey. This journey will require a great deal of sacrifice and one of those is letting go of my position on Merriam City Council.”
Sissom said the city would begin proceedings to fill the openings with hopes of having new council members seated not too far into the new year. The city is required to make an official announcement of the openings in the next 30 days. Then, Ward 1 and Ward 4 residents interested in being considered for one of the open seats will submit a letter of interest and then have an interview with the remaining seated council members at a council meeting. The councilors will then vote on which applicants should assume the remainder of Boyer’s and Rowe’s terms, both of which expire in 2017. Should there be a tie in the council vote, Sissom would cast the deciding vote.