Notes from April 13, Board of Aldermen Meeting

Notes from City of Marble Hill Board of Aldermen Meeting April 13, 2009 

The City of Marble Hill Board of Aldermen met in regular session at the Marble Hill City Hall and the meeting convened at 6:00 p.m.

In attendance were Mayor Russell Masterson, Alderman James Sear, Alderman Clint Lacy, Alderman Tim McCain, Assistant City Administrator Gary Shrum, Public Works Director Chuck Kernan and City Attorney Stephen Gray. 

Citizens attending were Sandy Horton and Mr. and Mrs. Mitch Miller. 

The meeting began with the reciting of the Pledge and was followed by the roll call. The Board then approved the minutes from the March, 2009 meeting, the City expenditures and the canvass of votes from the April 7, 2009 municipal election. 

Afterwards Alderman Tim McCain (Ward I) and Alderman James Sear (Ward II) took the Oath of Office to serve another two years in the City Council. 

Presentations to the Board were made by Sandy Horton and Mr. Mitch Miller. 

Mrs. Horton (who was representing Mr. Norman Slinkard) discussed the City’s policy on water deposits and how they apply to the relationship between renters and landlords. Mrs. Horton suggested raising the water deposits so that landlords would not have to settle the bill if their renters move without paying their last month’s water bill stating that Mr. Slinkard had to pay for his former renter’s water bill using his water deposit. 

Mr. Shrum stated that it seems Mr. Slinkard paid the deposit for his renter and suggested requiring future renters to pay a security deposit. 

I stated that it was my understanding that the issue between Mr. Slinkard and the City had been resolved to which Mayor Masterson responded by saying that the call he received from me was that the City was about to cut Mr. Slinkard’s water off. 

“That’s not the case”, Mayor Masterson stated, “That is not going to happen. The rental property is another story”.

I stated that in my conversation with Mr. Slinkard, I did not get the idea that Mr. Slinkard had paid the renter’s security deposit and asked why he would have to pay a former renter’s water bill with his security deposit. 

Assistant Administrator Gary Shrum stated that he would look into the matter. 

Mrs. Horton also addressed the Board regarding a dangerous hill on Englehart Ln and asked if any improvements could be made to make it safer. 

It was the general consensus of the Board that the City could not afford to widen the entire length of Englehart.  Possible solutions included making Englehart Ln. a one-way street, or widening the street in front of Mr. Mike Lincoln’s home in order to reduce the risk of accidents.  Assistant Administrator Gary Shrum said that he would talk to Mr. Lincoln to see if perhaps an agreement could be made to widen the street in front of his home. 

Mitch Miller addressed the Board next and wanted to know how many dog licenses / tags had been issued recently, and the Mayor said his best estimate would be two. I checked the collectors report and stated that I thought this was an accurate number. 

In new business the Mayor stated that: 

“The Board had covered a lot of things this past year and that the General public for the most part does not how much we {the Board} does.” 

Mayor Masterson then made it clear that the City intends to strictly enforce nuisance laws this year (such as the cutting of tall weeds and grass and the removal of junk from properties) He also wants to pursue the idea of contracting out the service of mowing weeds and grass and generally cleaning up condemned properties. 

Attorney Gray indicated that Chief Willis could issue citations and file charges against violators and that solid waste disposal fees can be levied against property owners ( via a lien against the property). 

Attorney Gray continued by stating: 

“If the property is condemned through the courts, contractors will be hired to do so (which costs thousands of dollars), we try to encourage property owners to take care of any trash disposal and or demolition of buildings themselves”. 

Mayor Masterson then assigned the following aldermen to supervise the City’s various departments. They are as follows: 

Alderman Lacy:

      –     Police

Alderman McCain

–     Fire and Rescue

–     Humane (animal control)

Alderman Sear:

–     Streets

–     Parks

Alderman Southwick:

–    Water / Sewer 

Mayor Masterson said that the USDA had been out to conduct a pre-check of the City dog pound and they found that the improvements made thus far looked good and that the City of Marble Hill’s dog pound looks better than many larger towns. 

The Mayor stated that there are still a few items to complete but that the City would soon have its Department of Agriculture license. He also stated that he had been in contact with Mrs. Marylin Neville of the Bollinger County Rescue Project and that she will soon have her Department of Agriculture license as well. Once that happens the City will be able adopt the animals out to the Bollinger County Stray Project. 

(This is a good thing because upon looking at the Collector’s Report, the City had to euthanize three animals last month) 

In other new business Ward I Alderman Sear asked Assistant Administrator Shrum if the owners of Flood buyout properties were going to have to pay for the demolition of the properties that are being purchased. 

Assistant Administrator Shrum stated that, “No this is not the case. The demolition costs are added into the appraisal of the property” 

I had several items for discussion under “new business”. They were as follows: 

– What is the progress on the storm drain on Central Avenue?

I was told that the project is completed and that the City is waiting for the dirt to settle before it can be graded and seeded. The Mayor stated that the new storm drain is diverting alot of water that used to run onto resident’s properties. 

Alley @ 104 Lutes St. (Behind the residence of Nick Nanny) is in rough condition. Is there any way the City can grade it, possibly add more gravel and clear gravel off of surrounding neighbors properties?

I was told by Public Works director Chuck Kernan that a work order has been written to fix the problem.

 

The tennis courts located in Pelligreno Park have fallen into disrepair, are we taking steps to fix them?

I was told by Assistant Administrative  Gary Shrum that the new nets have been ordered and that a brace needs to be made to fix and stabalize one of the poles that holds the nets. 

– The entrance to Third St. at the corner of Third and Englehart ( that the City paved last year) is suffering from erosion and I fear that it will soon start to affect the new pavement that we put there last fall. Is there anything we can do to fix this problem?

Assitant Administrator Shrum said he will look at the problem and see what can be done. 

– A citizen who lives on Opossum Creek Road asked if the culverts for the drainage ditches can be cleaned out because water is not draining like it should.

Public Works director Chuck Kernan and Assitant Administrator Shrum said that they would try and get the culverts cleaned out. 

Have we heard from the Missouri Department of Transportation on the possibility of changing the speed limit on Highway 34 West?

Assistant Administrator Shrum said that the City had not heard from them. ( I will follow up on this) 

Has officer Mullehey recieved his pay increase following his probationary period after being hired by the City?

Yes. 

Last but not least, I addressed the Board about my concern over the recent Missouri Information Awareness Center. The report specified that the State Highway Patrol was to pay special interest to motorist that supported political “third parties” (such as the Constitution Party or the Libertarian Party) the report also singled out supporters of U.S. Congressman Ron Paul (a Republican candidate for President in 2008) also included in this report was a section entitled “political paraphernalia” which included U.S. flags, U.S. Civil Flags and U.S. Historical Flags. 

I informed the Board that Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder recently condemned the report and called for an investigation regarding it, as well as putting Missouri Department of Public Safety Director John Britt on Administrative Leave. 

Continuing to address the Board on this issue I stated that the Missouri Highway Patrol has stopped distributing the report and that the Missouri Legislature had amended the budget to insure that any similar reports are not funded by the State of Missouri. 

I submitted a model ordinance that I had found on the Missouri Municipal League website which I slightly modified to prohibit the act of “political profiling” in the City of Marble Hill. 

I stated to my fellow aldermen that this is important to pass because the recent MIAC report singled out “radical Christians, those that opposed abortion as well as those that opposed illegal-immigration. 

I reminded my fellow Board members that we had all taken an Oath of Office to uphold the Constitution of the State of Missouri and the Constitution of the United States of America and told them I would very much appreciate their support regarding this resolution and that we all hold different political beliefs and have different political ideals, but part of upholding the Constitution was to uphold the First Amendment. 

City Attorney Stephen Gray stated that the majority of the model ordinance regarding traffic stops and frisking is already contained in the City’s police manuals and suggested that I could make a motion for the City to issue a Resolution that contained the language I had included in the model ordinance which prohibited “political profiling” which stated: 

At this point I made a motion to pass a resolution which was to state: 

“Enforcement decisions will not be based solely on known political affiliations, political beliefs or political symbols (such stickers); unless the officer is seeking an individual with one or more of those identified attributes.” 

The motion was seconded by Alderman James Sear and unanimously approved. 

I then informed my fellow Aldermen that I greatly appreciated their support in this matter. 

I want to emphasize that despite our differences it really makes me proud that they offered their support to this measure. I again want to thank them, for upholding their Constitutional Oaths and the Constitutional rights of the Citizens of Marble Hill. 

Update: I talked to City Attorney Stephen Gray today and he informed me that he had made some minor changes to the resolution and that we could vote on these changes during our next meeting.  I also talked to Mayor Russell Masterson today (04/14/2009) and he assured me that the Resolution did pass last night and that we would only be voting on the slight changes in wording by City Attorney Gray during our next meeting. 

At 8:08 p.m. the Board of Aldermen went in executive session to discuss personnel issues.

At 8:50 p.m. the Board reconvened into Regular Session. 

Upon reconvening the Board voted on and passed unanimously: 

Ordinance: 09-06 which set the rate of pay for the City Treasurer at $10.00 per hour.

Ordinance: 09-07 which set the rate of pay for the City Collector at $ 9.25 per hour.

Ordinance: 09-08 which set the rate of pay for the City Clerk at:       $11.00 per hour 

The meeting also resulted in a small “shake up” at City Hall, as the Board opted not to reappoint Carolyn Surface as City Clerk. 

The Board voted unanimously to reappoint Mellissa Armstrong as City Treasurer however there were no nominations made for the position of City Collector. This means that the City will be advertising and taking applications for this position.

The Board nominated and unanimously approved former City Collector Carla Watt to become the new City Clerk. 

In other news the Board voted to return the City’s old ordinance regarding barking dogs which means that it will be enforced from 10: 00 pm – 6:00 am. Residents will get one warning about barking dogs. 

The Board also voted to extend the amount of time that dogs are held in the City Pound from 5 business days to 10 business days. 

The Board approved a zoning  back variance in for Gary Lincoln to set a carport on his property at 202 Phelps St.

The City will also be accepting bids for industrial and residential trash pick up this year, the City’s current provider for these services is Waste Management. The advertisement will read: 

City of Marble Hill

Is accepting bids from responsible contractors for trash services for the City’s commercial and residential customers.

Interested bidders should contact City Hall

For bid specifications.

All bids shall be submitted by

May 1,2009 at 4:00 pm

Bids to be considered at the May 11,2009

Board of Aldermen Meeting.

The City reserves the right to accept or reject all bids.

Contact City Hall at: 573-238-3622 

No doubt I will probably look back through my packet and notes and find that I missed something. In the event that I have, I will publish additional information on this blog. 

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman, Ward I

City of Marble Hill, Missouri.

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