Mayor Carson Ross has lived in Blue Springs for more than 40 years, and he’s seen his town develop into a growing suburb.
“At one point, Blue Springs and Olathe were the two fastest-growing communities in the metropolitan area,” he said.
But Ross also has witnessed ups and downs and thinks Blue Springs is on the upswing again now that more money is going to basic needs.
“We’ve dealt with infrastructure issues,” he said. “We’ve dealt with public safety. We’ve hired police officers, put a mandated radio system in.”
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Now Blue Springs voters are about to consider five ballot questions dealing with the how the city is governed.
Among other things, Question 1 asks voters to make the mayor a full member of City Council.
“Being the leader of the city, the only time I vote is in case of a tie,” Ross said. “So people don’t really know where I stand on the issues because I don’t vote.”
Ross, who’s also been a state representative, said mayors vote in many other cities, such as Independence and Kansas City.
“I just think it’ll be better for the city, and that anybody who serves in these positions needs to be accountable,” Ross said.
Two other questions also stand out:
▪ Question 3 would allow the city to put most official notices on its website in lieu of published newspaper notices for issues including: public hearings, public inspections of proposed budgets and capital improvement projects. The provision also would apply to listing the candidates for election to city offices.
▪ Question 4 would remove the prohibition against elected and nonelected city employees making contributions or taking part in the political campaign of candidates for city government.
Question 2 clarifies the authority and certain duties of the city administrator and clarifies that the mayor appoints the administrator with the approval of the council.
Question 5 is a housekeeping matter.
All require a simple majority to pass. Ross said there is no organized opposition.