To the editor:
The Mayor and City Council were within their rights to appoint Tina Mingenback to the once again vacant 4th Ward City Council seat, but was it right, considering the circumstances and the results of the Nov. 7, 2023, election?
Giving you a little background, in November 2022, Brock McPherson was again elected to one of the two 4th Ward City Council Seats (The term for this seat running Jan. 2023- Jan. 2025). Brock was later in 2023 removed from his seat due to his failure to take the oath of office as well as his continued failure to attend Council Meetings. When this action was taken by the council this left approximately 15 months of his term left that needed to be filled.
Rickee Maddox and Randy Myers applied to fill the vacancy left by Mr. McPherson’s removal. The Mayor along with a committee of his choice made the recommendation of Rickee Maddox to fill the open seat and the council approved, with Rickee being sworn into office in October of 2023.
Both Rickee Maddox and Randy Myers had also already at the time filed to be put on the ballot for the other 4th Ward seat that would be coming up for election in November of 2023.
Rickee Maddox then won the election for the other 4th Ward seat, in November. Rickee won with 56 votes, Randy Myers had 52 votes, and the incumbent, Natalie Towns, had 43 votes.
Rickee winning the election of the other 4th Ward seat, essentially removed her from Brock McPherson’s remaining term seat and re-opened this vacancy. The Mayor according to procedure, again, opened the vacant seat (with remaining term of one year) up to applications.
Randy Myers, once again, applied for this open seat, but the Mayor and committee members of both Jolene Biggs and Rickee Maddox instead recommended Tina Mingenback for the once again vacant seat.
The Mayor and the committee members were well within their rights to recommend someone else than Randy Myers, but considering the election had only been two months prior to this forced vacancy, and due to the fact that Rickee Maddox only won the election over Randy Myers by 4 votes, I have to wonder, was this the right thing for the Mayor and committee to do?
Personally, I don’t think so, and I don’t necessarily agree with some of Randy Myers opinions and/or ideas, but I do think that the people that took their time to vote in the last election spoke their choices, and the two top choices were Rickee Maddox and Randy Myers.
Again, the Mayor and Council do have the right to fill a vacancy seat with the applicant of their choice, and I feel that is exactly what they did.
“Doing what you have the right to do is not always the right thing to do.”
Disclaimer: This OP-ED is in no way a reflection on Ms. Mingenback’s character or on her ability to serve the citizens of Great Bend.