Wyandotte & Leavenworth

Political impasse continues in Wyandotte County

Wyandotte County’s Board of Commissioners will be one member short, possibly for months, after the panel deadlocked again Thursday night on filling a vacant seat.

For the fourth time, the commission split 5-5 between developer Don Budd and former commissioner Nathan Barnes. The two emerged as finalists from an 18-candidate pool.

Commissioners then rejected a motion from Mayor Mark Holland to reopen the process to the 16 applicants who were not picked.

Afterward, Holland said he didn’t know how the commission would proceed.

“We’ve reached the end of the process,” he said. “We don’t have a consensus to move forward.”

The commission, which normally has 10 members plus the mayor, could leave the seat vacant until the next commission election in 2015, or it could hold a special election, which would be costly, members said.

The 1st District at-large seat became vacant after Holland, its former occupant, was elected mayor/CEO in April.

Commissioners considered the idea of casting more ballots, but Commissioner Hal Walker contended that would be a waste of time without new information.

A coin flip also was mentioned. Barnes said he would agree, although Budd was noncommittal.

“I’ve not thought about it,” he said.