Morrison’s tumultuous tenure on Prairie Village city council comes to a close

David Morrison at Monday's city council meeting.
David Morrison at Monday’s city council meeting.

One of the most provocative forces on the Prairie Village city council in recent years will be leaving his seat — for good, this time.

Ward 5 councilman David Morrison lost his reelection bid on Tuesday at the hands of Courtney McFadden, the woman appointed to fill the remainder of his term after he was ousted from his seat by Johnson County Judge David Hauber in October 2013. Hauber had determined that Morrison’s actions to provide unauthorized access to city hall to a homeless man with a criminal record and a history of drug addiction were sufficient grounds for his ouster from office. (The man, Kelley Malone, was hit by a car and killed in October 2015).

Morrison acknowledged he had used poor judgement in letting Malone stay overnight at city hall, but contended he had done so out of a humanitarian concern for a friend. In December 2013, then-Mayor Ron Shaffer appointed McFadden to fill the remainder of Morrison’s term. McFadden quickly made allies on the council, and was seen as a bridge between some of the longer-tenured members of the council and the fresh crop that had been elected since 2012.

But Morrison appealed Hauber’s ruling to the Kansas Court of Appeals shortly after being removed from his seat, and the court ordered he be reinstated on the council in fall 2014.

Morrison was first elected in 2008 after mounting an aggressive door-to-door campaign against incumbent Nancy Wallerstein that was focused on the preservation of Meadowbrook Country Club. He won his second term in 2012 unopposed. But discontent with Morrison among his constituents grew in the wake of his ouster, which cost the city thousands of dollars in legal fees. On Tuesday, Ward 5 voters delivered McFadden the most decisive victory of any candidate on the northeast Johnson County ballots with a 70-30 margin.

McFadden will be sworn in along with Serena Schermoly, who defeated incumbent Ruth Hopkins on Tuesday, at Prairie Village’s next city council meeting.