Olathe Councilman Bob Montgomery has taken the first shot in the city’s April mayoral election, saying Mayor Mike Copeland might have unfairly used his city-operated Web site.
In an e-mail to Olathe city mangers and the city attorney Tuesday, Montgomery said he was concerned that allowing Copeland to update the Web site could give the impression he is campaigning on the taxpayer’s dime. Montgomery is not running for any office.
City spokesman Tim Danneberg said all council members, including mayoral challenger Bev Wittenborn, can add information to their Web site profiles at any time so long as it does not become blatant advertising.
Wittenborn, who represents the southwest portion of Olathe, said she did not think there was a problem until an e-mail brought it to her attention.
The mayor’s weekly television show aired on the city’s cable channel and column in the community newsletters were pulled since he announced he would seek another term as mayor — something Danneberg said is spelled out in the city’s code of conduct and practices.
“We like to err on the side of conservatism” when it comes to current city council members running for office, Danneberg said.
Copeland said all he added to his Web site was the name of his new son, Joshua, where he lists his wife and two daughters. Joshua was born on Dec. 27, 2006 — the day after Copeland filed for re-election.
“I’m very proud of my son and did not want him left out,” Copeland said. “You know, if I have another, I’ll add him too.”
Profiles for each city council member can be found at www.olatheks.org.
Both Wittenborn and Copeland are operating their own campaign Web sites off of the city’s servers.
Posted by Mike Ekey