The Manhattan City Commission tonight will consider an ordinance on first reading that would prohibit a sitting commissioner from holding a dual office.
The move is a direct response to current commissioner Usha Reddi’s recent appointment to the Kansas Senate, to fill out the remainder of former Sen. Tom Hawk’s term. State law doesn’t currently prohibit someone from holding two offices simultaneously. According to the Kansas League of Municipalities, if the ordinance were passed, Manhattan would be the only known city in Kansas with such a restriction.
Commissioners have discussed a potential grandfather provision for Reddi, allowing her to resign at her own accord. However, Commissioner Wynn Butler tells KMAN he believes if the city proceeds, the ordinance should require Reddi to step down immediately.
Reddi, a Democrat, previously stated an intent to resign from the city commission at some point, noting a desire to be part of choosing her successor.
But with conservatives controlling three of the five commission seats, that option may not be desirable to a majority of the board. Butler noted on In Focus this morning that leaving Reddi’s seat vacant may also be an option.
Other items before the commission tonight are request from the K-State Foundation for an industrial revenue bond and tax abatment for an upcoming expansion project and first reading of an amendment to the Manhattan Development Code.
The meeting starts at 6 pm at City Hall.