Lebanon’s summer without a mayor


The summer of 2017 will officially go down in the history books as Lebanon’s summer without a mayor.

Lebanon has been without a mayor since June 12. That’s when the former mayor, Josh Ray, resigned the post.

The City Council at first seemed unprepared to even begin discussing the issue. It was two weeks before a plan for finding a new mayor began to take shape. 

When a process did finally begin, it was something rarely seen in city governments of this size. The City Council asked for applications from interested citizens to apply for mayor. The intention may have been good, but in practice it was more akin to a TV reality show. At a public interview session, candidates were asked to define leadership and some talked about their love for Lebanon. That is well and good, but we would have welcomed more discussion of actual issues facing the city.

Most of the candidates lacked experience in city government. One candidate who quickly dropped out later admitted he was not serious about the job and had basically joined the race as part of a social media dare.

The City Council originally announced it intended to name a mayor at its July 24 session. But the meeting ended with an announcement that the council needed to look into legal issues involving the candidates’ qualifications. We don’t know what prompted this announcement, but one wonders why these issues were not considered earlier.

Also of concern is the lack of a decision on how long the new mayor will serve. The council is considering appointing someone to serve until the end of Ray’s term in April 2020.  That is a long time to go without an elected mayor chosen by the city’s voters.

For the complete editorial, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.


The Lebanon Daily Record

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Lebanon, MO 65536
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