Regarding the article, “Critic of mayor passed over for appointment,” which appeared in the Aug. 18, 2021 edition of The Landmark, some further explanation might be enlightening. In May when I applied for the opening on the Parkville Ethics Commission, I wondered how Mayor Nan Johnston would respond. On Oct. 6, 2020, I had addressed the Parkville Board of Aldermen asking that they hold the mayor accountable for her recent DUI arrest and ethics violations during her re-election campaign. I wondered if the mayor would appoint someone who had been openly critical of her public behavior. It took her more than two months to even acknowledge my application, at which time she said she was still reviewing applicants for this position.
On Aug. 11, 2021, the article, “Maki wanted to protect clerk from being ‘fall guy'” appeared in The Landmark where I was quoted questioning Parkville’s transparency regarding details of their settlement with Jason Maki over violations of Missouri’s Sunshine Laws. I called for a full accounting of their behavior in this lawsuit, including their refusal to settle the case for less money. That would have necessitated them passing an ordinance prohibiting the city from using private emails to conduct public business, which they wouldn’t do.
The very next day on Aug. 12, I received an email from the mayor informing me that she was recommending another candidate for the open ethics commission seat. The following day, Aug. 13, the city posted the agenda for the Aug. 17 board of aldermen meeting which included a vote on the appointment of Bryan Dehner for chair to the Parkville Ethics Commission through May 2026. His application (included on p. 59 of the packet) was signed on Aug. 12 and he marked mayor/alderman as how he learned about the opening. So he applied the same day she rejected my application.
Well, gee. I applied for the position within a week of its being posted. It went unfilled for over three months until either the mayor or an alderman sought out Bryan Dehner to fill the position. What was advertised as a three year appointment became a five year chair appointment when it was offered to him.
It doesn’t look as if the mayor ever had any intention of considering my application. When Johnston told me in July that she was reviewing applicants, was she really? Besides me, did anyone else apply for the opening before Mr. Dehner was approached?
Obviously, the mayor wants to keep tight control over who sits on committees in Parkville. She finds ways to keep people who disagree with her out of city government.