OSWEGO — On Tuesday (today), the Labette County Commission will have to revisit its actions from Monday.
Commissioner Doug Allen, representing the Third District, moved on Friday and his new home is just across the street from his district boundary and he is living in Commissioner Lonie Addis’ First District now. The issue was discovered after Monday’s commission meeting adjourned when Allen was re-registering to vote at his new address. This means all actions voted on Monday need to be reconsidered because Allen legally forfeited his seat when he moved. The Third District’s southern boundary is Corning Avenue between the railroad tracks and 13th Street. The boundary then drops south along 13th Street to Grand Avenue and tracks east on Grand to 10th Street (Pratt Road). So anything on the south side of Corning and west of 13th Street to the railroad tracks and south of Grand Avenue in that area is in the First District, and that’s where Allen now lives. The Third District’s southern border west of the railroad tracks is Appleton Avenue.
Allen was going to resign effective Nov. 6, and he said Monday afternoon he thought his new house was still in his district because he thought Appleton was the southern boundary for the district.
The Second District’s northern boundary is Appleton Avenue and the eastern boundary is the railroad tracks.
Cole Proehl will be elected as Third District commissioner on Nov. 3 because his is the only name on the ballot for that seat. The Labette County Republican Party is to meet to consider nominating Proehl to complete Allen’s term, but a meeting date has not been set.
Allen said he was embarrassed to learn that he had moved out of his district, but he and his wife would still have purchased and moved into the house. Had he realized the issue sooner, he said he would have provided ample notification to the commission and others that he would be moving out of district.
He said there is no good faith exception to state law that would allow Monday’s votes to stand.
“Anything that requires commission action has to be redone,” Allen said.
Commissioners Allen and Addis attended Monday’s meeting. Commissioner Fred Vail did not. Vail will attend today’s meeting.
Commissioners on Monday voted on several items, including an easement for Commercial Bank to continue to operate its drive-thru window at its Oswego branch. Labette Health purchased the Commercial Insurance building for expansion of its future medical clinic site in Oswego on Commercial Street.
Commissioners also accepted bids for COVID-19-related improvements to the courthouse, approved a parcel search agreement and voted on spending for a COVID-19 relief grant, among other actions.
“I’m embarrassed. I should have known better, but I wasn’t paying close enough attention,” Allen said.