Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Word About Recall

Once again, a disgruntled, uninformed citizen is demonstrating his ignorance by spouting off about "recall" of a city councilperson. It happens all the time, because whiny, frustrated, impotent people want to get a little attention, make a threat, and maybe even make the news. Especially if you have the cell phone number of a columnist who has resorted to writing about Connie Stevens for 3 weeks in a row, and whose ignorance of City Hall politics contrasts with his encyclopedic knowledge of dissolute heirs facing middle age. Recall sounds official - when you use the word, it sounds like you're somehow more serious than if you say "I'm really, really, really, really, really mad" at someone.

In fact, people who resort to using the threat of recall in Kansas City are announcing in clear tones that they are ignoranuses. They are stating boldly and clearly that they do not know what they are talking about, but they want attention, nonetheless. They standing on their soapbox and loudly embarrassing themselves, hoping you will watch.

Even if one of the "look-at-me" jerks who like to rant about recall were industrious enough to do all the work of drafting petitions and gathering signatures equivalent to 20% of the people who voted in the prior regular election (silly people rarely show such seriousness), they would be confronted by the real legal issues of when recall is appropriate. Here is the actual language from the Kansas City Municipal Code setting forth the standard for recall:
Grounds for recall must relate to and affect the administration of the officials office, and be of a substantial nature directly affecting the rights and interests of the public. Grounds for recall are limited to objective reasons which reasonable people, regardless of their political persuasion, could agree would render any officials performance ineffective, which must be an act of misfeasance, the improper performance of some act which may lawfully be done, or malfeasance, the commission of some act wholly beyond the officials authority, or nonfeasance, the failure to perform a required duty.
Folks, that's a high standard, as it ought to be for causing the city to spend money for an election to overturn the will of the people.

Recall is a valuable tool in Kansas City. It's valuable once in a great while for removing bad officials (which it can and has been properly used for), but it's much more frequently valuable for identifying who is foolish and ill-informed. And who thinks they're newsworthy.

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7 Comments:

Blogger emawkc said...

"ignoranuses" Nice one. But shouldn't it be "ignorani"?

10/10/2007 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Brooksider said...

Dan, would those thoughts apply to someone whose intials might be JN?

10/10/2007 10:30 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

Good post. But I hope the people who need to read it don't make it past your insult laden intro, because the very serious " why, some people are even talking recall" threats always make me giggle.

10/10/2007 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sophia, Dan is all knowing...including what is 'really' happening at City Hall

10/10/2007 4:14 PM  
Blogger thepaintman said...

Let me guess.........TONY?

10/10/2007 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does nepotism count? For a while there it seemed like the 29th floor had transformed into a mom and pop store.

10/14/2007 4:23 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Remarkably uninformed, anonymous - Go ahead and try to run a recall petition on allowing volunteer help in the office. Good luck with that.

Please, go ahead and spend lots of time and money on it.

10/14/2007 5:31 PM  

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