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Timing changed for city officials to take office
New ordinance stems from state legislative changes
GB city office.JPG
The Great Bend City Council approved changing when newly elected officials take their oaths of office.

If all goes as planned, the next time City of Great Bend elected officials take office, the timing will be different following the approval of a charter ordinance by the city council Tuesday night. The ordinances specifies that newly elected city officials (council members and the mayor) take office at the first council meeting in January following their November election.

The Kansas Legislature last year passed legislation allowing cities to determine when persons elected in the November elections to city positions take office, City Attorney Bob Suelter said. The statute allows persons to take office at any time after Dec. 1 following the election to the second Monday in January. 

At the Aug. 19, meeting it was the consensus of the governing body that the newly elected officeholders would take office at the first meeting in January following their election. The council meets on the first and third Mondays of the month, or in the event of a Monday holiday, the first or third Tuesday.

So, in order to do this the city had to pass a charter ordinance allowing the determination of the date taking office by resolution, Suelter said. When the ordinance takes effect, a resolution will be brought before the governing body to make this change. 

In order to pass the charter ordinance, it is necessary that two-thirds of the governing body (the council and mayor) vote in favor, he said. In the case of Tuesday night, since nine members were present (eight council members and the mayor), six had to vote in favor.

Now, it must be published twice in the Great Bend Tribune, Suelter said. If no petition requesting an referendum election is filed within 61 days, the ordinance takes effect, Suelter said.  

Currently, the elected officials take office the second Monday of January, relatively unceremoniously. They show up without fanfare at City Hall in January and take their oaths of office in the City Clerk’s Office.