Terry Hill recall, Basehor, Kansas (2012)
A vote about whether to recall Terry Hill from his position as the mayor of Basehor, Kansas, took place on February 28th, 2012. Hill was recalled. The recall effort was launched in November 2011. Hill was elected mayor in 2009 after serving for two years on the city council. A separate recall against Basehor city council members Dennis Mertz and Iris Dysart was launched in October 2011, and Mertz and Dysart were also recalled on February 28th. Basehor is located in Leavenworth County.
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 Hill of misusing public funds by using a city credit card to purchase more than $400 worth of goods that were delivered to his home, including a $157 coffee maker and a $268 photo scanner. He was further accused of revising former city administrator Mark Loughry's contract to provide additional benefits, authorizing a $50,000 severance check to Loughry without approval from the Basehor City Council, and failing to attend all city council meetings. In January 2012, Loughry announced his plans to file a lawsuit against the City of Basehor. Loughry is seeking over $500,000 in damages.
Path to the ballot
Marilyn Townsend, Elaine Bundy and Bob Moore submitted the proposed petition to the county on November 7th. The recall petition was approved for circulation in mid-November. To force a recall election, recall organizers had a signature submission deadline of early February 2012. At least 190 valid signatures were required.Recall organizers submitted enough signatures to force a recall election in December 2011.
Hill filed a challenge questioning the validity of the recall against him in Leavenworth County District Court. A hearing in the case was scheduled for January 11th, 2012.
At the January 11th hearing, Hill's lawyer argued that the grounds for recall cited on the petition were too vague and consequently not sufficient to prompt a recall. Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson approved the petition language and grounds in November 2011. Judge David King of Kansas' First Judicial Court presided. King plans to release a written ruling that determines whether or not the recall election may proceed as scheduled.
On January 12th, King released a ruling allowing the recall election to proceed as planned. Hill announced his plans to appeal, and ultimately filed an appeal and an injunction to stop the recall election from taking place until the appeal is heard. Hill's request was denied by a judge, but Hill said he would continue his fight to keep the recall election from taking place.
The recall election took place on February 28th, 2012. Hill was recalled.
- LJWorld.com, "Recall vote set for Basehor officials," December 21, 2011
- KMBC.com, "Basehor Mayor, 2 Council Members Recalled," February 28, 2012
- The Chieftain, "New recall petition targets Basehor mayor; group alleges misuse of public funds," November 14, 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
- The Mirror, "Former Basehor administrator Loughry suing city for more than $500,000," January 23, 2012
- Basehor Sentinel, "Judge to rule soon on recall election for Basehor mayor," January 11, 2012
- The Chieftain, "Judge rules to allow recall election for Basehor mayor," January 12, 2012
- KCTV, "Basehor mayor fighting recall notice to keep job," January 17, 2012
- Basehor Sentinel, "Judge denies Basehor mayor’s request to put recall election on hold," January 26, 2012