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State Sen. David Haley
State Sen. David Haley

by Mary Rupert
State Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., has drafted a bill that would offer some options to communities that have a vacancy on their governing board.

Sen. Haley said he plans to introduce the bill in the Kansas Legislature this year. The session begins in January.

He was motivated to draft the bill because of the 1st District, at large, seat on the Unified Government Commission that has gone unfilled for more than a year.

The commission could not reach six votes for the two finalist candidates, during several votes, and the seat has gone unfilled since then. At times the vote was 5-4 for a candidate, but six votes were needed to pass.

A lawsuit to force the UG to appoint someone to the seat was not successful. The UG charter did not give any specific instructions on what should be done if the commission could not reach six votes on any candidate, and it did not include any instructions for a special election.

UG officials now anticipate that the seat will be filled during the regular spring elections in 2015.

Sen. Haley said he expected that legislators would discuss the bill and offer their suggestions on it, so the final version may not be the same as the one he is introducing.

The draft of the bill stated, “Prolonged vacancies in the governing body of a municipality deprive citizens of their right to representation and act as impediments to the orderly function of government of municipalities.”

The proposed bill would require a vacancy on the governing board to be filled by an appointment within 30 days by a majority vote of the remaining members. If not, the governing body would pass a resolution calling for a special election to fill the vacancy within 45 days of the resolution.

Sen. Haley said he noticed that Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James said yesterday, on the same day as the announcement of a resignation by council member Michael Brooks, that the vacancy on its council would be filled quickly.

“I’m very excited about how quickly Kansas City, Mo., has moved to fill a vacancy. That’s the way real leadership works,” Sen. Haley said.

Sen. Haley said he also plans to introduce legislation this session on hate crimes and on body cameras.

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A Piper East Elementary student, Lexie Simpson, received a classroom party and a donation to the school library for winning a Price Chopper book cover designing contest. It is a program designed to encourage reading. (Submitted photo)
A Piper East Elementary student, Lexie Simpson, received a classroom party and a donation to the school library for winning a Price Chopper book cover designing contest. It is a program designed to encourage reading. (Submitted photo)

Student receives classroom party and $500 donation for school library

A fourth-grade student at Piper East Elementary School, Lexie Simpson, has won a metro-wide contest to design a book cover in the Price Chopper annual “Bag Your Favorite Book” contest.

Nine students from across the metro area won awards for designing a book cover as part of Price Chopper’s annual “Bag Your Favorite Book” contest. Winners will be surprised with their prizes at school assemblies. This year’s fourth grade winner is from Kansas City, Kan.

Price Chopper received more than 9,500 entries for the contest this year.

From Sept. 8 to Oct. 17, students in elementary, middle school and junior high entered the “Bag Your Favorite Book” contest by designing an original cover of a book. Teachers determined if their students could pick a favorite book or an assigned book. Nine students (one per grade, K-8) were awarded with a classroom party and a $500 donation for their school library.

Lexie is in Mrs. Schuler’s fourth-grade class at Piper East Elementary School. Her book cover was designed for “The Kicks: Win or Lose” by Alex Morgan.

“Bag Your Favorite Book” is one of two programs under Price Chopper’s “Feeding the Reading Appetite” literacy initiative. Price Chopper launched “Feeding the Reading Appetite” in 2007 to provide teachers a new way to provide incentives for their students to read more.

The other program, “Party for Pages,” allows classrooms to earn parties based on the number of pages they collectively read. Reading goals are established based on grade level. Classes who reach their page goal receive a classroom party! This program goes through May 8, 2015.

For more information on the Feeding the Reading Appetite program, email kelli@archmarketinggroup.com.

A book cover design from Piper East Elementary School student Lexie Simpson won a metro wide contest recently. (Submitted photo)
A book cover design from Piper East Elementary School student Lexie Simpson won a metro wide contest recently. (Submitted photo)

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