Kansas residents get 2nd chance to dissolve small town
FREDERICK, Kan. (AP) — A tiny town in central Kansas is getting a second chance to vote itself out of existence after people in another community mistakenly cast ballots on the issue last year.
Residents in Frederick will get another chance Nov. 7 to decide the town’s future. Robert Root, acting mayor by law, told the Hutchinson News that the eight people left in town have committed to voting for disincorporation.
During the November 2016 election, 20 people cast ballots, but Frederick had only nine registered voters and only six of those voters went to the polls. The problem was that at the Eureka township voting precinct, election workers accidentally gave ineligible township residents ballots with Frederick’s incorporation question.
Thirteen of the people who voted on the matter supported keeping Frederick incorporated.
Because the mistake wasn’t caught until after results were certified by the Rice County commission, the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office deemed the vote “official” despite the numbers.
Root said he was surprised to learn the town hadn’t unincorporated.
“They let outsiders vote,” he said. “We couldn’t get it to pass.”
The town, which once had 150 residents, hasn’t set a budget in more than two years, which is required by state law. No one ran for re-election when positions were up in April 2015, including Root.
Frederick had more than $90,000 in funds when it filed its last budget in 2014, said Rice County Clerk Alicia Showalter. If the town dissolves, that money would go to Eureka township, which would maintain the area.
Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com