Entire Earlton, Kansas Governing Body Resigns

Entire Earlton, Kansas Governing Body Resigns

The mayor and city council for a small Southeast Kansas town have all quit.

So what’s next?

A box with the checkbook and keys to the city of Earlton, Kansas sits sealed in the Neosho County Clerk’s office.. hand delivered by then mayor Sam Stout.

Randy Neely, Neosho County Clerk:”He says, I think I’m just fed up with it, and I’m quitting and I think maybe some of the other people are gonna quit too.”

Earlton is a small town in Neosho County, Kansas, with a population of 52 people.

So.. what could have driven the mayor and five city council members to resign?

It started with speeding on 150th road in the heart of the town.

Sam Stout, Former Earlton Mayor:”My son called the sheriff’s department and he talked to one deputy, and he said the way they look at it, Earlton is just a place with a lot of houses.. they aren’t even incorporated.”

Neosho County Sheriff Jim Keith says the city being incorporated, or un-incorporated doesn’t have any bearing on their patrols.

Jim Keith, Neosho County Sheriff:”There are several small communities in this county. We travel in and out, and through those communities daily and many times a day.”

So, the big question still is.. is Earlton incorporated?

Neely:”I had not had that question asked in 11 years.”

When a city is incorporated, it essentially means they are a town that’s recognized by the state as such.. that has an elected governing body.

But Stout says not knowing for sure.. was a deal breaker for him, and the entire city council.

Stout: “In my eyes, if we’re unincorporated, I’m not putting my name on any signatures for fraud from the state of Kansas because we get money from the state of Kansas. So I went to the council, or to their houses, and said I’m turning my resignation in.”

We were able to confirm with the Kansas League of Municipalities that Earlton *is* an incorporated city.

But as of right now.. the box with the keys to the city of Earlton doesn’t have a home.

We’re currently waiting (on 10-25-18) to hear back from the Secretary of State’s office on what’s next for the town.

Stout says they might consider stepping back into their positions if they have written proof from county officials that Earlton is, in fact, incorporated.

If you would like to learn more about the city of Earlton, or the Kansas League of Municipalities, click here.

To find Earlton in the directory, select Neosho county and city class as 3.