• Last modified 888 days ago (Feb. 17, 2022)


A history lesson

To the editor:

Since moving back to Marion full time, you’ve appeared to be unhappy and disappointed with the operation of city government.

It appears that while you were gone, things had changed, so allow me to enlighten you to how governance has evolved in your absence.

Take, for instance, your current mayor. When he was the city administrator of Marion, a fellow came to him before purchasing a tract of residential property and wanted a permit from the City of Marion that would allow him to develop a boat and camper storage facility on it.

Rather than advising him to go through the Planning and Zoning Commission for a conditional use permit, the administrator’s solution was to decree that a “conditional use agreement” be written and then signed by his zoning administrator.

The agreement stated the fellow could use the land for any use as outlined in the light industrial zoning requirements.

Rather than follow the laws of the city and state regarding zoning changes, the administrator chose to suspend them and make quick work of his decision using the tool of deceit.

In a lawsuit filed by the landowner over a related issue, Judge Steven Hornbaker ruled that the zoning administrator who signed the agreement “didn’t have authority to enter into that conditional use ‘agreement.’ ”

That means they both got caught in a lie to a fellow citizen and were called out for it by the court. So what? Sometimes big brother gets caught. It’s not a big deal for Marion.

That same deceitful attitude continues today. Just look at the past year.

The mayor as well as the city administrator lied to the public and council when telling them the council had the right to cancel a dollar store contract should they choose when in reality they had no such legal right to cancel. There were no consequences for lying, just as they expected.

Recently, the mayor and his minions again suspended the law, taking away the planning and zoning commission’s responsibility for conducting a hearing on a matter and instead decreeing that the city council will interject itself into the process by holding an illegitimate hearing instead of abiding by the law.

That’s just how it works nowadays in Marion.

Mr. Editor, you should realize that democracy has been replaced with autocracy in the City of Marion, and Marion is no longer a town of laws but rather a kingdom on the plains. And the king and his minions are unhinged.

Roger Schwab, Topeka

Schwab, former chairman of the planning and zoning commission, included with his letter thorough documentation of the previous case, which also was reported by the newspaper at the time.

Last modified Feb. 17, 2022