An Open Letter to the Citizens of Baxter Springs:
The election is within sight. For months I have refrained from responding to various untrue articles that have been submitted to area newspapers and news affiliates, inaccurate postings on Facebook etc. The letters were slanderous and without merit, written by individuals that have misused both the press and social media to purposefully thrust untruths upon the people. Many times the letters were written by persons who have never stepped foot in City Hall or attended a single City Council meeting. Some were letters written by individuals not even registered to vote.
I have instead found it to be in the best interest of the residents of the City who elected me to serve them as their Mayor to stay focused on what is truly at the heart of this matter and is the good people of Baxter Springs.
The recall of the three (3) councilmen is not an effort by the Mayor -- it is an effort by the people of Baxter Springs, who are exhausted with out of control government. The purpose of the recall is to place individuals on Council who will work with the people that elect them and to allow for transparency in local government, as well as to allow the people a voice in the individuals that represent them and manage their city.
The voices of my constituents were received clearly when I was elected by the people to make change that had been long overdue in our City. Unfortunately, my role as Mayor was interrupted by six (6) of the council who took it upon themselves to use taxpayer's dollars to hire outside legal counsel and strip the Mayor’s office of all powers. These councilmen deadlocked the governing body, have continually allowed the city clerk to exclude the Mayor from daily business and meetings, have worked to conceal records and wrong doing, and have pushed forward antics that have placed our City in jeopardy.
My mission, as your Mayor, remains the same since I served on the City Council: to listen to the people and bring control back to the people. To alleviate any confusion about the recall I state clearly:
Vote YES to recall the three (3) councilmen if you are exhausted with the irresponsible ways the Baxter Springs city councilmen have misused your tax dollars, continue to support highly inflated salary for the city clerk, allow city clerk to control the council, conceal public records, float services for certain individuals, and continue to retain legal counsel apart from the appointed city attorney by spending your dollars to fund their mission of control and manipulation.
Vote NO for the recall of councilmen if you believe the council seats are for personal gain, can spend your hard earned dollars as they wish, shut your water and cable off for non-pay and float late/non-pays for their buddies, and if you agree that the city clerk should be the top authority in the City, not the mayor and council who were elected by the people
As your Mayor, I will respectfully abide by the decision that is made by the people at the polls on November 6th.
Jenifer Bingham, Mayor
City of Baxter Springs