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Etter apologizes to community; explains details of past month in letter to editor

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Thank you for your input. +26 Vote up Vote down james day · 207 weeks ago I think if they make you resign, then the mayor and vince wetta need to resign also. I hope you get a lawyer and fight this. Then the people of wellington came blame the mayor and wetta for the wasted money the city has to spend on legal fees. This is becoming a circus in wellington. Report Reply 0 replies · active 207 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down tax payer · 207 weeks ago Whatever Kip. You played the good Ole boy system until it turned on you then you threw a fit and left. Stop wasting our time and money. Leave the council or I’m sure we can get a recall election to help you leave. But don’t misunderstand me…..you can take the mayor with you. If it wasn’t for her name she’d never have been elected. Rest of council isn’t doing too bad of a job, But they all should be on notice that we as citizens are tired of paying for every whim they have. Council should be voted on every 2 years so we don’t get a group in for so many years that can screw the town over before we can get them off the council. Wetta knows procedures and Jim is the wildcard. Love that about him. But all council members should be on notice…..stop raking the tax payers over the coals and trying to get all of the money we need back at one time. Lighten up on the electric or people will leave town. Report Reply 1 reply · active 207 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down CueballSumnernewscow 94p · 207 weeks ago Remember if it doesn’t have a valid e-mail address, your comment is not going on. Report Reply 0 replies · active 207 weeks ago +33 Vote up Vote down Wes Smith · 207 weeks ago I’m quite sure most if not all of Wellington, Sumner County and numerous folks across the US is following this…debacle. I can’t say legally who’s in the right or the wrong but I do hope Mayor Shelley takes a long hard look at this with some legal council and come to a determination if the Council is correct in the manner this has all transpired before we end up with a legal battle over this, spending more of Wellingtons dollars. Report Reply 0 replies · active 207 weeks ago -12 Vote up Vote down Anon · 207 weeks ago Is there someplace we can donate to help support you in seeking legal counsel? Report Reply 2 replies · active 207 weeks ago +21 Vote up Vote down SuCo Pride · 207 weeks ago Regardless of which side you stand on, I think Kip outlined the details of this matter very clearly. He makes it clear that he offered no definite resignation, does not intend to resign, and doesn’t feel that the Mayor has the power to force him to do so (which he’s right about). The Mayor, The Council, and The City, have no legs to stand on in this case, and I think it in their best interest to rescind the invitation for application to the City Council appointment, and welcome Kip back into the fold. The law is not on their side in this case, and they will not come out on the right side. Report Reply 3 replies · active 207 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Anonymous · 207 weeks ago Well said. Report Reply 0 replies · active 207 weeks ago -3 Vote up Vote down Jeannie Murray · 207 weeks ago I back Kip Etter. He explained his side and did it very well. Let us all move on to make Wellington a better place to live. Report Reply 0 replies · active 207 weeks ago +24 Vote up Vote down Debbie Woodrow · 207 weeks ago Mr. Etter states that when he said he was resigning, he said it in haste, under his breath, and it would not have been heard without the audio equipment. He also mentioned that it was not directed to anyone in specific. What Mr. Etter has failed to mention, is that he told 5 people in the lobby (myself included) that “I resigned, they hired Shane Shields”. This was stated to us in a very calm manner. Report Reply 0 replies · active 207 weeks ago -8 Vote up Vote down John Munro · 207 weeks ago I can see this story going real ugly by some people who start typing without thinking about what they are saying. I urge anyone who responds to this story to first go back and read my letter to the editor that was printed Sunday. Especially that part about Opinions. We’ve got enough discontent going on here without fanning the flames some more. Both sides of the story have been told, I think it would be a good idea to just let things die down for awhile. Report Reply 1 reply · active 207 weeks ago 123Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! 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Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments To the editor: I would like to start off by taking complete responsibility for my actions and admit that I could have handled myself in a more professional manner. I’m only human, I’m far from perfect and I have made many mistakes in my life (this being one). I am certain that I will make more mistakes, most likely on a daily basis. Kip EtterHowever, with that same certainty I can assure you that I will make every effort possible to identify those mistakes, learn from them and better myself. To all of the citizens of Wellington, please accept my apology for my unprofessional behavior at the August 2 Wellington City Council Meeting. I know now that I could have handled myself differently. I will now take this opportunity to provide you with some insight as to what I was thinking; why I took the actions that I did, along with some questions that I now have. Please bear in mind while you read this, that based upon obvious reasons this is the only platform that I have for communication. With regards to my comment: The audio clearly states that I said “I’m Resigning”. I never specified a date that said resignation was to begin, it was not directed to anyone in specific, and was said in haste under my breath and would not have been heard had it not been for the audio equipment. Given the fact that no specific date was given, it’s not a binding resignation. Furthermore, an elected official has the right to change his/her mind without Council (or The Mayor’s) approval. My comment was not followed up with anything in writing so it isn’t official, nor was it accepted and/or voted on by The Council so it is not a valid resignation. In addition there are two separate cases in which The Kansas Attorney General’s Office ruled along with the current scenario involving John Rubin and The Kansas House of Representatives that clearly show The Mayor has grossly overstepped her authority. These examples also show that The Mayor was given incompetent advice from The City’s legal counsel. I also find it to be a major double standard for The Mayor to hold me to such a high standard when it is common knowledge that she hasn’t always been capable of such standards in the past. With regards to my leaving the City Council Meeting abruptly: My attempt was to keep myself from saying expletives as I have witnessed happen by other Council member(s) during various meetings. At the time I witnessed these behaviors I felt it then, as I do now to be unprofessional and I didn’t want to follow in those steps. First of all, I was completely surprised by the motion, had zero clue it was coming. I was very heated, frustrated and felt attacked by the manner in which the motion was made (not following the agenda) and knew based upon experience that the deal had already been made. There was nothing more to be said. The four council members had already sealed the deal. On this point, I would like to discuss a few points. Councilman Wetta said that he and Mr. Shields had met and discussed Mr. Shield’s hiring, numbers concerning his contract, etc. I have been “spoke to” by other Council members and the Mayor for speaking to staff one on one. So why was Mr. Wetta conducting himself in this manner? I would like to note that I ALWAYS notified the city manager and/or the mayor and/or other Council Members either prior to or immediately following said interaction(s). With regards to the accusations that I never spoke with or contacted The Mayor, The Council or Mr. Shields after the Aug. 2 meeting is simply not true: The Mayor contacted me on Tuesday evening, Aug. 2. During our phone conversation she urged me to “hang in there” and “let things cool down”. On the morning of Wednesday, August 3, I met with Mr. Shields in his office at which time I communicated to him that I was still extremely upset by the previous night’s doings and that I would contact him at a later date to further discuss everything. I also spoke with Council Member Jan Korte later that week at which time she expressed her hopes that I not resign. My thought process over the next two weeks was based upon the Aug. 2 Council meeting and that it is best for me to not reach out to others concerning city matters , especially given the fact that in my mind I am clearly still a City Councilman in complete disagreeance. I would like to add that to the best of my knowledge I’m not required to contact The Mayor, City Manager, City Attorney and/or any fellow City Council Members. If there is something in writing I’m unaware of it and it was not discussed during our one and only training since being on The Council. Also, please understand that sitting on The City Council is not like a “normal job” where you have a supervisor that you have to check in with. I view the voters as my bosses, certainly not The City Manager as the Council is his boss nor The Mayor as she was elected the same as myself. With regards to Mr. Valentine’s misinterpreted comment of having me arrested during the Aug. 16 meeting: This is an old law on the books that if in the event of the city being in immediate need of a quorum in order to conduct official City business, most likely in the event of an emergency they can send the police out to find the needed council member(s) and bring them to City Hall so that a meeting can take place. On August 2, the Council had a quorum, even upon my premature exit. I personally find it interesting that Mr. Valentine would misquote this law in an attempt to further his agenda of my removal from The Council. When as it’s been explained to me by several individuals in attendance that prior to my being elected to The Council, Mr. Valentine attended a City Council Work Session in his full military uniform in a display of his disapproval of this exact law? With regard to the timing of Mr. Shield’s appointment: It took almost six weeks for this Council name an Interim City Manager and The Mayor refused to call a meeting to discuss this matter even after repeated requests by citizens and myself. I felt it very unprofessional and displayed a major lack of leadership on The Mayor and Council for us to allow The City of Wellington to have no clear City Manager in addition to a major liability. Why if it took almost six weeks to name an interim and it was said numerous times by Mayor and Council that “we need to take our time” was there a need to deviate so abruptly from the agenda on Aug. 2 and name Mr. Shields The City Manager pending contract approval? Mr. Wetta then told Mr. Shields to write his own contract and get it back to The Council! Where in the free world does an entity with an annual budget of roughly $10 Million conduct business like this? Regarding Mr. Shields as The City of Wellington’s new City Manager: Wouldn’t it be a display of strong leadership to contact The Attorney General’s Office to get an official ruling instead of being bullied by The Mayor and the Council into something that could potentially be found to be a major overreach of power? Not to mention it’s the right thing to do? What about the City Attorney? Wouldn’t contacting The Attorney General’s office and requesting an official ruling be something he should advise the mayor and Council to do, especially if he is confident in his advice so as to put validity in it? His job is to advise the city on legal matters not be the judge and jury. Who is he to stand in the way of and make decisions for the voters? Furthermore, who is The Mayor to allow him to act in such a manner? I can tell you that I did personally contact The Attorney General’s Office on the afternoon of August 17th . I spoke with an assistant to The Attorney General and he said after reading me the Statues relating to Cities of the Second Class “She does not have the authority and you should obtain counsel.”Coming full circle, I would like to explain that I do not take lightly the fact that in the last election, as a 38-year-old man, in a City with an aging median voting age and along with the principles of our Democratic government, I will not let this end this way without a fight. These are the reasons that I will do everything possible to make The Mayor, City Attorney, City Manager & City Council understand that an elected official by the people cannot be ousted as they are attempting to do. In closing I would like to again take responsibility for my part in this extremely unfortunate circus like event that that has been playing out over the recent weeks & again, apologize for my actions. I look forward to putting this behind us and focusing on the serious issues our awesome hometown faces. Teamwork makes the dreams work and together we can accomplish great things! Sincerely, Kip J. Etter Follow us on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter.last_img

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