We’re sorry to see Independence City Council Member Lucy Young leave. For many years she was comfortable standing up, sometimes alone, for issues that she believed in.



Early in her career, she was full of energy and spunk, and she should be applauded for her contribution to making Independence a better community.

We’re sorry to see Independence City Council Member Lucy Young leave. For many years she was comfortable standing up, sometimes alone, for issues that she believed in.

Early in her career, she was full of energy and spunk, and she should be applauded for her contribution to making Independence a better community.

The city got two new council members in April. They seem to be asking some good questions in public. Note the issues of Independence Power and Light money being used as part of the Bass Pro development payment, the effort to protect the 91 acres of the Rockwood Golf Course from high-density housing and the water rate increase. Intelligent questions and good dialogue have greatly improved the phenomenally short, boring and uneventful City Council meetings of the last six years.

As we look forward to a citywide election process to fill the vacant slot (Lucy served at large) what should a community look for to make this decision?

Does the candidate have a track record? Has the person accomplished something already for the community (PTA, city committees, business owner, etc.) or are they one of the many who just want to see their name on a yard sign?

Will they do the work? Will they read the numerous reports to learn about the issues of running the fourth largest city in the state? Too often council members open “the packet” at 6 p.m. on Monday instead of studying that information prior to the council meeting. Doing homework also means independent study beyond what the various city reports indicate. Will we elect someone who diligently looks beyond the answers recommended by city staff?

Are they inquisitive enough to ask for a second opinion? What about challenging the status quo in order to assure that all ideas have been explored while dealing with an issue?

Do they have the strength of character to stand alone on occasion? Recently The Examiner noted that it had been more than three and a half years (prior to the April election) since there had been a split vote on the City Council. Teamwork is important but not at the expense of good public discourse.

Will they actively seek greater transparency? Will the new person go along with the two most recent additions to the council? Will he/she help end the sad era of “daisy chain” decisions being made out of sight of the citizens on the third floor of City Hall?

Is the candidate great with ideas but weak on real action?

Is the candidate comfortable with greater public engagement? We would like to hear council discussion on the big issues. Ask questions, challenge assumptions and discuss matters leading to better decisions.

Are they more interested in the community than winning the election? Too often candidates do not want to upset anyone and thus they hide from tough issues and promise every voter what they want. Let’s look for someone who will occasionally show some leadership instead of just running with the herd.

Our city is facing serious financial challenges, and we are in need of some fresh ideas to challenge the status quo.

What should a community look for when electing someone to help solve those challenges?