The Board of Aldermen held a meeting on Tuesday night October 4, 2011 at 7:00 PM. Those present included Mayor Greg Richmond, Alderpersons Keith Kohley, Kristin Lett, JR Fisher and Bill Hess. Also present were City Supervisor David Brodie, City Clerk Paula Brodie, Chief of Police Tom West, Officer Curt Drake, Tax Collector Dawn Bunch. There were many guests in attendance (see attached list). Also present was Joyce Haynes from the McDonald County Press.
The Mayor called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.
The Board of Aldermen discussed the minutes from the meeting on September 20, 2011. Ald Fisher moved to approve the minutes. Ald Kohley seconded. Ald Kohley, Lett, Fisher and Hess voted aye with 0 nay votes.
The Board of Aldermen discussed the minutes from the meeting special meeting on September 29, 2011. Ald Fisher moved to approve the minutes. Ald Lett seconded. Ald Lett Hess, Fisher and Kohley voted aye with 0 nay votes.
The Department heads gave the following reports:
Tom West- had nothing to report.
David Brodie reported that he measured the streets that the Board had asked him to. He noted that he had given them a list of the manhole rings that would be needed and the measurement of the streets. He said the rings will cost an average of $ 87.00. Ald Fisher asked about delivery costs, David said that it would depend on how many the Board decides on. He also noted that he had talked with Swift and Blevins and they told him that they are both busy through the end of the year. He said that he talked with Swift about the low spots on the streets and they recommended that they could fill in the lower spots first and then the overlay. He also noted that he was told that when the City bid out the job it should be done by ton.
– reported that Billy Evert from Mo. Rural Water had been down and that they had figured out that the loss of water to the city was 11 gallons a minutes. He stated that the city is at a 15% loss, and that DNR would like to see no more than 10%, however when talking over the loss ratio with Billy Evert, he had said that actually the 15% the city is loosing is not bad. David stated that he had borrowed the City of Anderson’s leak detector to see if he could find any of the leaks however when he tried to use it he discovered that it was broken so he took it back to Anderson. He stated that the Board might like to look into purchasing one as they were handy for a municipality to own. He said that they cost between $2,500.00 and $3,500.00.
Denis Kolb- was not present but the board discussed the final draft of the IRIS letter. Ald Kohley explained to the public present what the IRIS system was. Ald Fisher moved to approve the final draft and to approve the postal fees to mail out the letter. Ald Kohley seconded. Ald Fisher, Kohley, Lett and Hess voted aye with 0 nays.
Dawn Bunch – noted that with her monthly report she had included the hours that she would be at the city hall during tax season.
Paula Brodie –noted that she had placed information on Missouri Prevailing Wage Law for the Board to review before bidding out the street project.
-Discussed abating old final bills from 2005-2007. (List of billing in packet). Ald Fisher moved to abate the outstanding final bills from 2005- 2007. Ald Kohley seconded. Ald Fisher, Kohley, Lett and Hess voted aye with 0 nays.
-noted the memo updating the Board on the City’s Web Page. Ald Kohley asked why the McDonald County Emergency Management phone number was on the web page and not the City’s. Paula stated that per the memo, Byrce Collings, who helped the city set up the web page in the first place, had removed all of the information from the city’s web page as it was full of viruses. She stated that he is the one who put what few items were on the web page at this time; however she had been trying to add all of the minutes, and would be working on the web page as she had time. She informed the Board that it would be a long process. Ald Lett offered to help with updating the web page.
-noted that she had included a copy of the ordinance from Southwest City in regards to banning the sale of items that included synthetic marijuana in stores in the Goodman Area. She noted that she had contacted the Missouri Municipal League for a sample ordinance and they had informed her that the State had passed legislation that made it a felony offense and therefore the city would not need to draft an ordinance of their own. She stated that she had talked with Duane during court and that after looking over the legislation he felt there was no need to have a city ordinance to. It was noted that the Governor had to sign the legislation but that he would be doing so in the near future. The Board discussed drafting a letter to businesses in Goodman informing them that they would need to remove the items from their stores. Ald Fisher moved to draft a letter to the businesses. Ald Hess seconded. Ald Fisher, Hess, Lett and Kohley 4 ayes, 0 nays
– noted the Missouri City Clerks and Finance Officers brochure on Disaster Preparedness. She noted that this was the annual fall seminar and that she had applied for a scholarship from her Southwest Division and received it. She noted that the scholarship paid for the seminar fees but would like to know if the Board would pay her normal hourly wage and mileage. The Board discussed her request. Ald Kohley moved to pay her regular hourly wages and mileage for her to attend the meeting on October 25 and 26. Ald Fisher seconded. Ald Kohley, Fisher, Lett and Hess voted aye, with 0 nays.
-noted that she had put the 8 month budget comparison in the Board’s packets.
– handed out information regarding Identity Theft protection.
The Board discussed the following old business:
Ald. Lett asked where the Betterment Club was at on building the fence at the play ground next to City Hall. Clyde Davidson representing the Betterment Club stated that they still intended on building the fence but had not set a date yet to put up the fence.
Ald Kohley asked where the Board was on obtaining the easements for Jesse Ruby’s water line easement. Ald Fisher stated that he had not checked on it lately. The Mayor said the discussion would be placed on the next agenda.
The Board discussed the following new business:
Greg Hammon was acknowledged by the Mayor. He said he wanted to thank the Board for patching the road on Stites Street. David noted that the contractor from the Bank did the work as they were responsible for the street cut.
The Mayor acknowledged Joshua Hawkins who stated that there was word throughout the community that the Board intended to get rid of the Police Department. The Mayor stated that the Board had no intention of getting rid of the Police Department.
Kelly Inman asked if there had been an issue regarding the police personnel. Ald Fisher said that they did have an issue and a closed session is going to be held on Thursday night.
Greg Hammon asked if anything from the closed session would be told to the people at the next meeting. Mayor Richmond stated that the Board would only release information if a roll call vote was taken during the closed session. He stated that state statutes give the Board 72 hours to notify the employee of their decision and then an announcement can be released to the public. He noted that only the roll call vote would be released as any other discussion within the closed meeting would remain confidential as it would pertain to personal information about an employee.
John Bunch stated that as the department only has two officers it is impossible for them to be on 24 hours a day He asked if the officers were salaried and the Mayor stated that Tom is salaried, Curt is hourly. The Mayor stated he would love to see more officers hired but the city’s budget would not allow it. John stated that he knew that the Board could remove an employee for cause or no cause at all but that he hoped that the Board would at least tell the employee the reason they were being terminated.
The Mayor stated that the Board had a closed session last Thursday night and will be having another on this Thursday night. John asked if the Board had done research on the closed meeting law. He was assured by the Mayor that the Board understood the closed meeting laws.
Dan Divine stated that it was hard for the officers to write tickets if there was no one violating the law. He stated that he wanted the Board to know that he felt that they had good employees now and that they were doing their jobs. He noted in the past that other Boards had difficulty keeping on good police officers. He stated that the Board needed to consider how difficult it was to hire new officers that would do a good job for the community.
A J Labreck, stated that he had tried to commit suicide by hanging himself and that if it had not been for Curt he wouldn’t be here. He stated that he wanted to thank Curt for helping him.
Kelly Inman stated that she could remember years ago Tom West started the community watch program and even though she was young at the time she was impressed with him. She asked that the Board consider that people did have good things to say about the officers and that comments were not always negative.
Joshua Hawkins stated that both officers have worked for the city for years and that they are well known. He stated that the Board did not know what it was like to be a police officer. Ald Kohley stated that he did know what it was like to be a police officer as he had been a police officer in the past. Mr. Hawkins stated that Curt Drake was very helpful.
Roger Coe, stated that when he heard the rumors he had looked into the police department and that after he made inquiries he felt that both officers were doing a good job.
The Mayor thanked the citizens for attending the meeting and for their comments, regarding the police officers.
Greg Hammon asked about reinstating the ride along program. He was informed that the City’s insurance would not allow it as the city would be liable if anyone was hurt.
Barbara, the manager from the Dollar General stated that she was concerned that the businesses would not get the same service from the county as they do from the city’s police department. Ald Fisher stated that if an officer was removed the Board would hire a new officer. Ald Lett stated that if the officers wanted to leave the city’s employment they could.
Judge Davidson stated that he had heard the same rumors. He also stated that he understood the need to have closed sessions. He stated that the citizens should know that before the closed session begins the Board meeting would start in open session, the Board then votes to go into closed session for what ever reason is allowed by statute and then they come back into open session. He noted that when the Board came back into open session they usually announce what was decided on if anything during the closed part of the meeting. He said that he wanted the Board to know that as their Municipal Judge he supported the police officers and thought they were good officers. He stated that if two board members meet and then one of them meet with another member of the Board it could look like they were circumventing the sunshine law. He asked the Board to consider keeping things open and above board. He stated that rumors are running rampant. He commended the Board on tonight’s session, saying that it was a much better reflection of how the board should be running its meetings.
John Bunch, stated that maybe the Board needed to have job descriptions drawn up for all of the employees, so that they would know what was expected of them. He said that he felt that most of the citizens would like to see the police officers rotated and be seen more around the community.
Marshall Long noted that he was a board member of the Goodman Rural Fire Protection District. He said that he wanted to go on record saying that the Rural Fire Department works well with the emergency management department and the police department.
Ald Lett stated that if Tom would like to make a statement about what the Board is investigating he could, but the Board could not disclose what was said during the closed session.
Kelly Inman, stated that she had read about the recent firing of a city employee, who was fired with out ever being told why. She said that this time she wanted to make sure that the board new her feelings about the situation as a citizen of the community before they made any decisions.
Ald Lett stated again that Tom was able to tell the citizens what the situation was, but the Board was bound by the Sunshine Law. Tom stated that all he knew was that the Board had held a closed personnel meeting. He said he was not aware that they were holding a closed meeting. He said that several people have been contacting him, telling him that they heard that the Board was getting rid of the police department.
It was noted that a radio communication regarding a suicide was heard and that the officer responded to 911 that he had a walk in and would respond as soon as he could get there.
The Mayor told the citizens present that at this time the Board did not intend to fire the current police officers and that there would always be a Goodman Police Department.
Carson Bunch stated that in past meetings he had asked the Board to remove ordinances that are not enforceable.
Calvin Wilson, stated that rumors got a lot of people to attend the meeting. He said that in all the time he was Mayor there had never been this many citizens present at a meeting.
Tom stated that citizens should attend the Board Meetings, and that he wanted to say that he appreciated all of the support they were giving the Police Department tonight.
Judge Davidson, stated that interest in the city should be all year around. He told those present that the city holds elections in April for Board Members that the terms are for two years and that people should get more involved.
Ald Kohley informed the citizens that he is the Assistant Emergency Management Director. He said that the citizens might not be aware of it but that all of the Board members have to be involved with emergency management. He said that some of the citizens might misconstrue meetings regarding emergency management as Board Meetings.
Mayor Richmond thanked the people for their comments.
Judge Davidson stated that he had received information on a two-day class for judges training that he would like to attend. He said that he did not have the information with him but would ask to have it put on the next agenda for the Board to discuss his attending.
Ald Fisher asked Marshall Long if he would help the Board by looking into and help write a grant for streets. He said that the city would need Federal help to have the streets redone. Marshall Long. Marshall Long stated he would help the city look into grants.
The Board discussed the bills for October 4, 2011 for $35,857.95 including transfers. Ald Fisher moved to approve the bills in the amount of $20,618.87. Ald Hess seconded. Ald Fisher, Hess, Kohley and Lett voted aye with 0 nays.
Ald Kohley moved to adjourn. Ald Fisher seconded. Ald Kohley, Fisher, Lett and Hess voted aye with 0 nays.
Greg Richmond, Mayor
Paula W Brodie, MRCC, City Clerk