The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2, 2012

Turmoil continues in Baxter Springs government

By Roger McKinney
Globe Staff Writer

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — Baxter Springs City Council members on Tuesday had their first look at a resolution related to Council committees that allows Council members to decide committee assignments themselves, removing the mayor from the procedure.

The resolution will be voted on next week. Committee membership could come into play related to a charter ordinance attorney Kevin Cure plans to introduce next week, that would give committees the power to appoint certain department heads, removing that power from the mayor.

At least a 6-3 vote would be required for the charter ordinance, and it also would be subject to  a referendum petition.

Mayor Jenifer Bingham on Tuesday suspended City Clerk Donna Wixon without explanation again, though the City Council last week voted specifically to prohibit the mayor from doing that. The Council also voted to return Wixon to work after the mayor had suspended her the previous week.

Controversy arose on April 10, when Bingham appointed people to replace Wixon and Police chief David Edmondson. The Council voted against replacing the two.

Bingham sparred with Cure at Tuesday’s meeting, at one point threatening to order police to have him removed from City Hall.