Lansing City Council members on Thursday joined a growing number of governmental agencies calling for the resignation of Leavenworth County Commission Chairman Louis Klemp.
Council members voted 7-0-1 to approve a proclamation requesting Klemp’s immediate resignation for “egregious and outrageous conduct steeped in racism and bigotry while acting in the capacity of a county official.”
Council member Dave Trinkle abstained, noting that he works for the Klemp Corporation.
At a meeting Nov. 13, Klemp made remarks at a meeting to an African American female who was a consultant. He commented to the woman that she, like him, had a gap between her teeth and that because of this, “we are the master race.”
The other two commissioners, Doug Smith and Robert Holland, have said they believe he should resign, and Leavenworth city commissioners have also passed a resolution calling for that.
The council’s proclamation says the remarks are “unacceptable, exhibit an extreme lack of professional judgment, and simply are not representative of the values” held by local and all American residents.
Klemp was appointed to serve the remainder of the term of the seat held by Clyde Graeber, who resigned for health reasons. Klemp did not run for another term.
Also Thursday, council members voted to reserve salt for street de-icing from a company in Kanopolis for about $54 a ton, as needed. It was noted that the cost remains the same as last year and the city’s storage areas are full right now.
The council also approved an amendment to an existing conditional use permit that allows the Leavenworth County Humane Society to establish a dog park at 1151/1153 and 1155 Industrial Terrace. The plan is to use the property for the animals to play and exert energy as well as to serve as a site for fundraisers.
Council members also approved an amendment to the city code that refers to fences around swimming pools. The amendment calls for a minimum five-foot fence around the perimeter of a swimming pool, and the fence should be wood, wire, vinyl, wrought iron or another material approved by the city when the applicant submits paperwork for a permit.
The council also unanimously approved the final plat of Saddle Ridge Estates and went into executive session for 20 minutes to discuss acquisition of real estate.
Council members also congratulated library director Terri Wojtalewicz after she read a letter from the Northeast Kansas Library System indicating the Lansing Community Library has earned accreditation.
At the conclusion of the meeting, council members, City Attorney Greg Robinson and City Administrator Tim Vandall expressed frustration that the Lansing Historical Society has not communicated with them about acquisition of the museum. The two groups have discussed this since early this year, but negotiations have stalled recently and council members talked about options if they don’t hear from the group by Dec. 6.
Council member Andi Pawlowski suggested taking steps to abandon the building, as it would revert to the historical society, and in conjunction, cancel the liability insurance. Robinson suggested contacting the insurance company to see if this would be acceptable.