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Mtn. View City Council swears in West Ward alderman, filling all vacancies


MOUNTAIN VIEW - At the regular monthly meeting of the Mtn. View City Council held Tuesday, Ed Martin was appointed West Ward alderman and sworn in by interim City Clerk Jessica Smith, who was offered the job permanently during a closed session held at the beginning of the meeting, and accepted.

Smith was then sworn in by Mtn. View City Attorney Deedra Nicholson. Her salary was announced during open session as currently being $20 an hour from the end of March, when she began acting as interim clerk, with a raise to $24 an hour beginning July 1 and for a term of one year.

David Bauer was voted to be acting mayor, also known as mayor pro tem, during those times when Mayor Charry McCann is absent.

McCann was appointed director to the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission and Operations Manager Eddie Owens was appointed alternate director.

During McCann's address to the public, she gave an update about council member training and the conditions to be met by current council members regarding a closed session meeting held by the former council in late December.

McCann commented the actions brought the council to where it should have been on April 9, when newly elected aldermen where sworn in, installing an entirely new council with the exception of a West Ward alderman.

The mayor thanked all in attendance and again called for patience as the new council members move forward after months of contention between council members and the public, and resignations of council members.

Prior to Martin's appointment, McCann reminded the crowd the current council has no control over the actions of the previous administration, and a review of the nepotism rules under the Missouri Constitution showed Brenda Colter was legally removed from council, and could not be named her own successor under Missouri law.

Council members voted to pass an ordinance to add the title of operations manager to the city's list of appointed officers. East Ward Alderwoman Judi Colter was the only "nay" vote.

Colter had questions after the duties of the operations manager were read, remarking that it seemed like some duties, including the hiring and training of city employees, were more the responsibility of a city administrator. She asked if that might cause conflict in the future if a city administrator is hired.

The previous council had discussed the options of hiring a city administrator or promoting Owens to that position.

McCann responded that the part of the ordinance indicating the operations manager was to perform "all other duties not covered by the city administrator" would prevent a conflict; Colter voted against the ordinance.

The city's librarian and street department supervisor, hired by members of the previous administration, were confirmed by the current council with a unanimous vote.

The correction of bill numbers for ordinances and resolutions passed April 9 was also approved unanimously, as was the hiring of Adam Cattell, of Cattell and Son, for lead service line inventory.

A discussion was held regarding raising golf course rates, and Colter said the rates for golf cart shed rentals were among those rates being raised, despite golfers reporting problems with thefts from unsecured sheds, poor lighting and other security issues.

Other complaints were the condition of the course and poor maintenance, Colter added, and golfers said they didn't mind an increase in rates, but felt it shouldn't be done until the sheds and course are improved.

McCann pointed out the ordinance was about rates only, and other golf course requests like a new tractor would be addressed in a work session and voted on separately. Council voted unanimously to reject the increases and keep the rates as they are.

In a later vote, it was decided the rates for the city pool will remain the same and the minimum age for unaccompanied minors to be dropped off will be age 12.

McCann asked council members for approval of the budget as presented in December, subject to a line-by-line review after June 30. She gave a general revenue total of about $8.88 million, projected expenses totaling about $8.85 million and a balance of about $26,440.

"We have not been able to determine backup documentations for this, so that's why we're asking for the motion," she explained. "We need the budget approved before we can go on to do the other financial statement work."

Before approving the motion to accept the budget, council members confirmed with McCann they will have a work session on the financial statement.

She further explained the most recent city financial statement to be published publicly was from December 2022, and that state statute required a financial statement to be published in a local newspaper semi-annually, adding, "We will not have all the documentations to complete a statement until after June 30 of 2024, which will be after the review of the budget."

Council members unanimously approved the payment of bills. A bid for the purchase and installation of eight microphones and a speaker in council chambers submitted by Grennan Communications, the only company to submit a bid, was rejected.

The bid came in at $5,446.95 plus sales tax, and council members discussed alternatives that included buying the equipment and having it installed by city workers or a volunteer, requesting less equipment to bring the price down, or having future council meetings in the community center,where there would be no need for microphones.

A request by Wages Brew Company to have a beer tent on First Street at the upcoming food truck festival was approved, with Martin casting the only "no" vote.