Thursday, March 29, 2007

Is City Council A Rubber Stamp?

A KY3 News survey of all 2006 meeting minutes found that the Springfield City Council voted unanimously 96% of the time.

Only 18 times did at least one council member vote "no."

Now some challengers in city council races are trying to use the issue in their campaigns.

Watch my KY3 News @ 10 report on the issue HERE.

Prosecutor Cindy Rushefsky says residents no longer believe they are being heard by council members. She says Councilwoman Shelia Wright is part of the problem.

But Wright says the number of unanimous votes is misleading, because most of what the council votes on is not controversial.

"They seem to be listening to each other," says Rushefsky, who is challenging Wright for her Zone 2 seat. "I don't feel any great compulsion to go along with the majority just for the sake of getting along. I'm not afraid of controversy and I'm not afraid of having people disagree. City council meetings should not be situations where it's a done deal."

But Wright refutes that.

She says while the council looks like a "rubber stamp" at meetings, most of the work is done through e-mails, committee meetings, luncheons and other venues. "We've got stuff in the pipeline for months or years that we've been working on," Wright says.

4 comments:

Steven Reed said...

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
SOUTHERN DIVISION

STEVEN L. REED, )
) `
Plaintiff )
v. )
) Case No. 05-3133-CV-S-SWH
CHOICE HOTELS INTERNATIONAL, )
INC. d/b/a CLARION HOTEL, et.al, )
Defendants )


PLAINTIFF EMERGENCY REQUEST FOR COURT ORDERED INJUNCTION

COMES NOW Plaintiff Steven Reed and asks the Court and United States
Magistrate Judge SARAH W. HAYES to ISSUE AN EMERGENCY INJUNCTION requiring Richard T. Struckhoff the Greene County Clerk to reprint Springfield Municipal Election ballot for the April 3, 2007 City Election. The ballots need to have a line for write-in candidates, including Mayor.

Specific Arguments

Plaintiff asks that an ORDER be issued by or before 10:00 a.m. Monday April 2,

2007 that requires the Greene County Clerk to reprint the ballots. This way the citizens

will be able to vote and after ballots are cast and received time will be allowed to make a

final legal determination whether the write-in votes are legal under local, state, and any

federal laws concerning the citizen’s rights of suffrage and voting.

Plaintiff argues he has talked with and made contact with thousands of voters and

that it would not be fair for them to go into the polling place and be told “you can not

write in any other candidates or people”. Plaintiff Reed argues that not allowing people

to write in a candidate for Mayor would be a breach of the spirit, if not the letter, of

electoral democracy, and possibly an illegal action carried out by county and city

officials.

Plaintiff Reed argues that the best solution currently at hand is to allow any votes

to be cast and then in a timely manner the legal issues that have been raised can

be addressed and hopefully resolved in a fair and open way.

Plaintiff is concerned that if no write-in lines are allowed there would be no

remedy except to hold a special election in June of this year if it is determined that write-

in candidates are under State Law and Statutes allowed. One problem with not allowing

votes now is that after the April 3, 2007 election almost everyone involved will just want

the issue to go away and they will say it does not matter anymore. That is why people are

not involved and are suspicious of a government that seems to do what it wants and make

its own rules so why worry about being involved or voting.

The Court is asked to take a look at the following news links and sample ballot

links that show write-in candidates for Mayor and Alderpersons are being allowed in

Cities all over the state of Missouri. Clearly many of the city charters of these cities

are likely silent on write-ins but state law prevails.

County Clerk Waiting on Ruling from this Court

According to an election judge, Greene County Clerk Richard Struckhoff

announced at a 2:00 p.m. meeting of all election judges on Monday, March 26, 2007:

“There is a gentleman who wants to be a write-in for Mayor and there is a federal

case pending concerning the matter. If the word comes that we have to count the votes I

will call and let you all know”.
All other Municipalities are Allowing


Please note these links can be found at www.reedforcouncil.com or can be typed as sites on the internet.

The Department of Justice is taking a look"
11:26 AM 3/26/07
ASKDOJ (ASKDOJ@usdoj.gov)
To: steven reed (stevenlloydreed@hotmail.com)
Subject: RE:
Thank you for contacting the Department of Justice. This is an automatic acknowledgement that your e-mail was received. It will be reviewed in the order it was received.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Proof is coming in that the City of Springfield is the only City in Missouri not allowing Write in Candidates!
1. The Board of Election Commissioners for the City of St. Louis says that Write In Candidates are allowed in Mayor Elections when they are held. See the current sample ballot which shows in April3, 2007 General Municipal Election – Sample Ballot Write Ins are being allowed.
Click here for more...
2. FAYETTE Missouri is allowing Write In Candidates:
Click here for more...
3. Joplin is allowing Write In Candidates for Mayor
Published March 06, 2007 11:32 pm -
Jasper mayor fires fire chief, chief's son
By Dustin Shipman dshipman@joplinglobe.com
Click here for more...
4. KANSAS CITY | Write-in candidates declare
Click here for more...
5. Branson allowing Mayor Write In Candidate
Click here for more...
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Municipal election: April 3, 2007/Three vie for Marshall mayoral post in April 3 election

Additionally the Legal section of the News-Leader printed sample ballots for

Greene County and the Cities of Fair Play and Battlefield show lines for write in

candidates for all offices. Springfield sample ballot did not. Does the City Charters of

those cities say anything one way or the other about write in candidates. It seems clear to

Plaintiff Reed that the City of Springfield is blowing smoke and never figured anyone

would be so persistent concerning such an issue. Comparing the 200 signatures that are

required to be placed on the ballot as a reason write-ins are not allowed is like comparing

the general make up of an apple to that of an orange, peach, or a tomato.


Reasoning and Right to File this Matter in Federal Court

The reason the plaintiff has asked a Federal Court to review and rule on this issue

is that the Missouri Secretary of State’s office told plaintiff in January of this year that a

write-in for mayor was allowed in Springfield, Missouri. Then the Secretary of State

back-pedaled and said, after hearing of the letter from the City of Springfield to the

Greene County Clerk, that it really had no jurisdiction over local elections. Clearly the

main function of a Secretary of State in Missouri is to make sure fair, honest,

and legal elections are held at the required times and places as required by law. So

Plaintiff is asking this Federal Court to make sure the law is properly enforced.


In Conclusion

Plaintiff Reed asks the Judge and Court to read the following letter mailed to

several newspapers. The letter may or may not be printed but it pretty well

clarifies Plaintiff’s argument for the importance of this issue:

If it talks and walks like a Duck then! On February 7, Richard Struckhoff Greene

County election official accepted my Declaration of Candidacy as Write-in for Mayor of

Springfield, Missouri for April 3rd, 2007 election. A few weeks later I received a letter

saying he wouldn’t count the votes as the city law department says the City Charter does

not allow write-ins.

Facts are the charter is silent on write-ins just as other city charters are.

Information on www.reedforcouncil.com shows ballot samples or news articles relate at

least, Kansas City, Branson, Marshall, Joplin, and St. Louis allow write-in candidates for

Mayor or alderpeople. State law allows write-in candidates and apparently Springfield’s

the only city in Missouri not allowing this democratic process. If it talks and walks like a

Duck then it’s a duck - count the votes!
We have very low voter turnout without throwing up road blocks. I’ve requested
the Department of Justice look into this matter and also filed federal paperwork asking a
federal magistrate judge to order the Clerk and Secretary of State to count the votes.
After working on community projects and registering over 14,000 voters, I won’t rest
until I believe we have free, open and legal elections in Missouri! Some people would
say ‘is this a life or death issue.’ My answer is yes because democracy and the suffrage
right of citizens to be involved in elections and to vote for people they want representing
them is the pillar our nation rests upon. The last time I checked this wasn’t a third world
country where corruption rules elections.



Certificate of Service---I certify that on _____________ a true copy of the above was mailed, postage pre paid or electronically to the last known mailing address of each party to this lawsuit.

Steven L. Reed

Respectfully submitted,
Steven L. Reed _________________________________________________
Steven L. Reed, Plaintiff Pro Se
Signed and dated February 2, 2007
1441 S. Estate Avenue
Springfield MO 65804
(417) 368-1481

stevenlloydreed@hotmail.com


David R. Wichmer, Esq.
City Attorney
City of Springfield
840 Boonville
Springfield, MO 65802
Attorney for the Defendants City of Springfield, MO, Springfield MO Police Department, and John and Jane Does

John W. Housley, Esq.
Attorney for Defendant Gail M. Campbell

Taylor, Stafford, Clithero, Fitzgerald & Harris, LLP
3315 E. Ridgeview, Suite 1000
Springfield, MO 65804

John G. Schultz
2100 Commerce Tower
911 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64105
Attorneys for Defendant Choice Hotels







Also an attempt to e-mail the following is hereby completed on this date:

Steven Lloyd Reed stevenlloydreed@hotmail.com

Warren E. Harris wharris@taylorstafford.com, jyoung@taylorstafford.com

John W. Housley jhousley@lowtherjohnson.com

Thomas E. Rykowski trykowsk@ci.springfield.mo.us, ttreat@ci.springfiled.mo.us

John G. Schultz franke.schultz@micro.com

Warren S. Stafford wstafford@taylorstafford.com

Daniel R. Wichmer dwichmer@ci.springfield.mo.us

Carl Stephen Yendes cyendes@ci.springfield.mo.us

###

The Libertarian Guy (tm) said...

Sounds like a rubber-stamp response. ;)

Busplunge said...

But Wright refutes that.

She says while the council looks like a "rubber stamp" at meetings, most of the work is done through e-mails, committee meetings, luncheons and other venues. "We've got stuff in the pipeline for months or years that we've been working on," Wright says.

And I am sure that all these emails, meetings, luncheons, and other venues were posted and were open to the public.

Steven Reed said...

www.reedforcouncil.com

To the People of Springfield I have enjoyed meeting so many of you and hearing about what is important to you and your hopes and dreams.

I hope you go vote Tuesday. We hope to get word any minute from saying that all the votes will count! Yes you can call the media and others and tell them we need more Democracy! Please print flyers and help spread the Word!

THANKS Steven Reed

click here to read more!

"The Department of Justice is taking a look"

The response:

11:26 AM 3/26/07
ASKDOJ (ASKDOJ@usdoj.gov)
To: steven reed (stevenlloydreed@hotmail.com)
Subject: RE:

Thank you for contacting the Department of Justice. This is an automatic acknowledgement that your e-mail was received. It will be reviewed in the order it was received.

The notice:

Please read the following motion that was filed at 2:00 p.m. on March 29, 2007 by clicking here.

People are asked to e-mail Secretary of State Robin Carnahan at elections@sos.mo.gov and tell her that write in candidates should be allowed this coming Tuesday and that she should inform the City of Springfield as such. Also please send a copy to the Department of Justice at askdoj@usdoj.gov

People are also asked to consider filing a friend of the court brief stating that write in candidates should be allowed and counted on election day next Tuesday, April 3, 2007.

This can be in the form of a letter and needs to be dropped off to the Federal Building in Springfield on Friday March 30 or Monday April 2.

Please address to:

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
SOUTHERNDIVISION

Case No. 05-3133-CV-S-SWH

Attention: United States Magistrate Judge SARAH W. HAYES with an additional attention to Jo Rita Gicinto the Court Room Deputy. For additional information on mailing it call 816-512-5789.

Thanks Steven Reed

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Proof is coming in that the City of Springfield is the only City in Missouri not allowing Write in Candidates!

1. The Board of Election Commissioners for the City of St. Louis says that Write In Candidates areallowed in Mayor Elections when they are held. See the current sample ballot which shows in April3, 2007 General Municipal Election – Sample Ballot Write Ins are being allowed.

Click here for more...

2. FAYETTE Missouri is allowing Write In Candidates:

Click here for more...

3. Joplin is allowing Write In Candidates for Mayor

Published March 06, 2007 11:32 pm -
Jasper mayor fires fire chief, chief's son
By Dustin Shipman dshipman@joplinglobe.com

Click here for more...

4. KANSAS CITY | Write-in candidates declare

Click here for more...

5. Branson allowing Mayor Write In Candidate

Click here for more...

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Municipal election: April 3, 2007/Three vie for Marshall mayoral post in April 3 election