Defining normal isn’t something I can even pretend to do. What’s normal for me could be out of bounds or abnormal to another business owner or father.
So, in 2018, maybe I’ll stop asking for things to “normalize” around Lee’s Summit and ask instead for three things that might be more attainable: calm, communication, collaboration.
Let’s just be real cheesy and call them “the three Cs” — my wish list for Lee’s Summit this year.
First, in a few short months, we are going to have a new mayor in Lee’s Summit. Since filing hasn’t ended yet, speculating on who might sit in the big chair is frankly a waste of time, but that election alone could bring with it some elements of all three of the Cs.
Regardless of who is elected for the four positions to their left or right, the mayoral position can and does come with it a tremendous amount of responsibility and a call to lead communication on the council — both internally and externally — while encouraging collaboration and enforcing calm.
Second, collaboration could be the most crucial element to watch as our city council forms around this new mayor.
As of right now, we only have one contested race among the five for council seats in April, which includes two races in District 4. If public interest doesn’t ramp up in the next week, most of the existing council will return to surround the new mayor.
That’s a stark contrast to the line that formed out the door to jockey for the open District 4 seat that was vacant with the recall of Chris Moreno last April. The question has been asked: where are some of those candidates now?
Perhaps the tedious process they went through last year soured them on public service. Maybe their situations have changed, and they can no longer commit the time.
In the race for school board, we may see another new face in 2018 as that board continues to search for the right balance of calm and effective communication.
With a little more than a week left to file, four people have entered the race for the two seats, including incumbent Julie Doane. John Schuler, Ryan Murdock and Michael McMenus also will be on the ballot, the latter two of which were among the 12 to file for seats in 2017 — an election year coming off a tumultuous time on the R-7 School Board and with the departure of and search for a new superintendent.
The three Cs most certainly will be part of the school board discussion heading into the end of this school year and as we prepare for 2018-19 and beyond — continuing to evaluate our new superintendent, academic progress and overall district health.
When new council members and school board members are elected, and even well prior to that as they run for office and start to advocate for their individual platforms, look and listen for those who make communication, collaboration and calm part of their talking points.
As a city and school district, we need to demand these traits during this election season.
Lee’s Summit resident John Beaudoin writes about city and civic issues, people and personalities around town. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.