Government
5:15 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Courts Get First Crack At Clay Co. Charter Change

A radical change taking party politics out of Clay County government has been sidetracked on its path to voters in November.

Courts have been asked to intervene and declare the measure as unconstitutional.

The bipartisan panel that designed the change voters would decide drew wrath of the elected, 3-member County Commission. 

To Commissioner Luann Ridgeway it would be a costly experiment. That puts her at odds with a charter committee leader Craig Porter, and both are Republicans.

Porter told KCUR the 14 member panel on which he served for some 10 months just wanted the County to work better.

Kansas City Councilman Ed Ford lives in Clay County and hasn’t put a dog in this race yet.

Ford knows many northlanders see their older government form as superior to that of, for example, Jackson County.

The Councilman said he understands why a growing county might want to alter how it’s run, saying, “when counties get to a certain size, as Clay County has, the state form of county government,  3 commissioners and all the elected offices  is not real effective. And you always then are looking for a more effective form of government, a more efficient form of government.”

Ed Ford says he’s seen “three or four” proposed charter changes in the County over recent decades and none made much impact.