Dennis Mertz and Iris Dysart recall, Basehor, Kansas (2012)
A vote about whether to recall Dennis Mertz and Iris Dysart from their positions on the Basehor City Council took place on February 28th, 2012. Mertz and Dysart were recalled. The recall effort was launched in October 2011. Mertz was elected to the council in 2009. Dysart was elected to her position in 2003 and has won re-election two times. Both of their terms were set to expire in 2013. Basehor is located in Leavenworth County. Terry Hill, Basehor's former mayor, was also recalled on February 28th.
In advance of the recall election, the Basehor Sentinel published a list of questions and answers about the recall election.
In the wake of the successful recall, city council member Fred Box resigned his seat on the council. Box's resignation leaves only two members on the city council, meaning the state may appoint a temporary trustee to run the city.
Reasons for recall
Recall organizers accused Mertz and Dysart of violating the Kansas Open Meetings Act when they voted to fire former city administrator Mark Loughry on September 19th. The recall petition alleges that Mertz and Dysart discussed Loughry's firing outside of a public meeting. Mertz and Dysart deny that they violated open meeting laws.
Trudy Stonacek, Maureen Weiss and Wendell King were members of the recall committee. A group called Citizens for Responsible Governing opposes the recall of Mertz and Dysart.
Path to the ballot
The recall petition was approved for circulation in late October. To force a recall election, recall organizers needed to collect 124 signatures for Mertz and 193 for Dysart by late January 2012. The number of required signatures is based on the number of total votes cast for Basehor City Council candidates in the year the member was elected. In December, recall organizers submitted enough signatures to force a recall election.
- Votes to recall Dennis Mertz: 556
- Votes to retain Dennis Mertz: 353
- Votes to recall Iris Dysart: 539
- Votes to retain Iris Dysart: 371
- LJWorld.com, "Recall vote set for Basehor officials," December 21, 2011
- KCTV, "2012 Election Returns," February 28, 2011
- The Mirror, "Effort under way to recall Basehor City Council members," October 31, 2011
- Basehor Sentinel, "Questions and answers on Feb. 28 Basehor recall election," February 22, 2012
- Kansas City Star, "Resignation, recalls deplete Basehor City Council," March 6, 2012
- Basehor Sentinel, "Basehor council members deny recall accusations at town-hall meeting," February 20, 2012