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Home » Lee's Summit City Updates » Charter Review 2016-17 » Charter Review Minutes, July 6, 2016

Charter Review Minutes, July 6, 2016

Charter Review Minutes, July 6, 2016

ACTION LETTER
CITY CHARTER REVIEW COMMISSION 
COUNCIL COMMITTEE ROOM

5:30 p.m., JULY 6, 2016

Members present for roll call: John Beaudoin (left at 7:12pm), Lenny Cacchio, Brad Cox, Fred DeMoro, Jim Devine, Jose Ruiz, Terry Trafton, Ron Williams

Members absent for roll call: Mike Atcheson (arrived at 5:42pm), Gladys Bratton, Michael Dayton, Paula Derks

Staff Liaisons present:  Steve Arbo, Trevor Stiles, Denise Chisum, Stacy Lombardo

Call to Order: The July 6, 2016, City Charter Review Commission was called to order by Vice- Chairman Williams, at 5:33 p.m. at City Hall, 220 SE Green Street, in the Council Committee Room. Notice had been provided by posting the meeting notice with a tentative agenda, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, at both entrances into City Hall. A copy of the agenda was also placed on  the City’s Web site.

Roll Call:

1. Public Comments
(This is an opportunity for the audience to address the Commission on any items not on the agenda.)

Mr. Steve Arbo, City Manager and Mr. Jack Feldman, Management Analyst, supplied a handout and gave a presentation about the continuation of the out of state motor vehicle sales tax and ballot language. The legislation was written and approved by the Missouri State Legislators and may be confusing. A no vote is to continue collecting the out of state motor vehicle sales tax and a yes vote eliminates the collection of this tax. They also gave a brief overview of the sales tax levy; percentages, funds, etc. The Parks Department will also have a sales tax renewal question on the Tuesday, August 2 ballot.  For more information visit www.cityofls.net.
 
2. Approval of June 21, 2016, Action Letter.

On motion of Commissioner Beaudoin and second by Commissioner DeMoro, the Commission voted unanimously 9-0 (Commissioners Bratton, Dayton and Derks “Absent”) for approval of the Action Letter for June 21, 2016.  Motion passed

3. Commission Comments

There was a brief discussion about charter violations and violations of the code of ethics. The question was asked if some of these issues should be resolved behind closed doors to avoid the perception of unprofessionalism. A statement was made that once it goes to  press, the perception is already in the public forum. This will be discussed further during the recap at the end of the Charter review process.

Vice-Chairman Williams expressed his appreciation to Mr. Rob Stitt for his e-mail; taking the time to think the subject through and for his participation.

4. Discussion of Articles

A. ARTICLE VII.   MUNICIPAL COURT

1) Section 7.1 Jurisdiction – No discussion

On motion of Commissioner DeMoro and second by Commissioner Trafton, the Commission voted unanimously 9-0 (Commissioners Bratton, Dayton and Derks “Absent”) to accept Article VII, Section 7.1 as written with no amendments. Motion passed.

2) Section 7.2 Judges –

Section 7.2 (a) Election and Terms – Discussion items:

-Is there a need for a presiding judge?
-What does striking the presiding judge accomplish?
-Confusion over who is the senior judge, the one that was just re-elected or the one with the most continuous number of years?
-Elected Officials interfering with City personnel decisions, already clearly stated in the Charter.
-Would decisions from the 16 Circuit Court be made in a timely manner?
-Rotating presiding judge appointment to add different perspectives. It was noted that the Mayor Pro Tem is rotated every year.

Section 7.2 (b) Powers and Duties – No discussion Section 7.2 (c) Qualifications – No discussion Section 7.2 (d) Prohibition – No discussion
Section 7.2 (e) Vacancies – No discussion Section 7.2 (f) Forfeiture of Office – No discussion
Section 7.2 (g) Removal from Office – No discussion

Section 7.2 (h) Filling of Vacancies – A suggestion was made to add the word “qualified” before “person will be publicly elected by qualified voters”. After discussion it was decided that it wasn’t necessary because only those that are qualified are allowed to run for elected office.
 
Section 7.2 (i) Compensation – No discussion

NOTE: Commissioner Beaudoin advised he will abstain on any votes pertaining to Article VII, due to his association with the Municipal Judges and Municipal Court.

There was a motion made by Commissioner Cox and second by Commissioner Beaudoin to accept Article VII, Sections 7.2 (a-i) as is with amendments to Sections (a & h). Following discussion, the motion and second were both withdrawn.

There was a motion made by Commissioner Cox and second by Commissioner Cacchio, to accept Article VII, Section 7.2 (a) as written with no amendments.

There was a motion from Commissioner Trafton and second by Commissioner DeMoro, to amend Article VII, Section 7.2 (a) to include a two year rotation of presiding judge. Following discussion, the motion and second were both withdrawn.

On motion of Commissioner Trafton and second by Commissioner DeMoro, the Commission voted 4 “Yes” (Commissioners Atcheson, DeMoro, Ruiz and Trafton), 3 “No” (Commissioners Cacchio, Cox and Williams), 2 “Abstain” (Commissioners Beaudoin and Devine) 3 “Absent” (Commissioners Bratton, Dayton and Derks) to amend Article VII, Section 7.2 (a) to direct legal staff to draft language for a two year rotation of the presiding judge. Motion failed, due to Commission’s requirement for seven affirmative votes to pass a motion.

On the original motion of Commissioner Cox and second by Commissioner Cacchio, the Commission voted 4 “Yes” (Commissioners Cacchio, Cox, Devine and Williams), 4 “No” (Commissioners Atcheson, DeMoro, Ruiz and Trafton), 1 “Abstain” (Commissioner Beaudoin), 3 “Absent” (Commissioners Bratton, Dayton and Derks) to accept Article VII, Sections 7.2 (a) as written with no amendments. Motion failed.

The Commission deferred to Mr. Brian Head, City Attorney, for a decision on direction after both motions failed on Article VII, Section 7.2 (a), to be presented at the next Commission meeting.

On motion of Commissioner Atcheson and second by Commissioner Trafton, the Commission voted unanimously 8-0 (Commissioner Beaudoin “Abstain”) (Commissioners Bratton, Dayton and Derks “Absent”) to accept Article VII, Sections 7.2 (b, c, d, e, f, g and i) as written with no amendments. Motion passed.

On motion of Commissioner DeMoro and second by Commissioner Atcheson, the Commission voted 8-0 (Commissioner Beaudoin “Abstain”) (Commissioners Bratton, Dayton and Derks “Absent”) to accept Article VII, Sections 7.2 (h) as written with no amendments.  Motion passed.

3) Section 7.3 Court Administration -

It was suggested that the Court Administrator should be appointed under the authority of the City Manager as opposed to other departments. That would still give the City Manager the purview to delegate that responsibility if he would so desire.  This would remove an elected person from personnel issues.

The current Court Administrator, Kelly Elliott, was asked what she sees in the Charter that is problematic for court administration. She responded that there isn’t anything that she would consider problematic.  Management assistance by the Director of Finance, as provided by the Charter, falls in line with the court and court administration because of the many financial documents and reporting requirements that they have.

The current Director of Finance, Conrad Lamb, was asked the same question and his answer was pretty much the same as Ms. Elliott’s, he doesn’t see anything problematic and it is set up that way because of the financial documentation and reporting requirements.

Mr. Steve Arbo, City Manager added that the Director of Finance falls under the guidance of the City Manager so the proposed change would make a statement but the function would be the same.

The Court Administrator was then asked what interactions she has with the judges on a day by day basis, what her role is with the hiring/firing of employees and with performance reviews.

On motion of Commissioner Devine and second by Commissioner Cox, the Commission voted unanimously 8-0 (Commissioners Beaudoin, Bratton, Dayton and Derks “Absent”) to amend Article VII, Sections 7.3 to now read “The Council shall provide for a Court Administrator, clerks and other personnel for the Municipal Court. The Court Administrator and other court employees shall discharge and perform all duties incident to the court administration under the direction and control of the City Manager except as otherwise provided by law. All personnel of the Municipal Court shall be subject to the administrative policies and procedures of the city, except as otherwise provided by law. All Municipal Court personnel who shall have any duties or responsibilities in connection with the collection, deposit, transfer, transmittal, disbursement, safekeeping, accounting or recording of funds which come into their hands shall enter such surety bonds, payable to the city and such other governmental unit in whose behalf such funds have been collected, as may be required by the judges or by ordinance. The cost of the premium for such surety bonds shall be paid by the city.” Motion passed.

4) Section 7.4 Traffic Violations Bureau – No discussion

On motion of Commissioner Atcheson and second by Commissioner DeMoro, the Commission voted unanimously 8-0 (Commissioners Beaudoin, Bratton, Dayton and Derks “Absent”) to accept Article VII, Section 7.4 as written with no amendments. Motion passed.

B. ARTICLE VIII.  PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD

1) Section 8.1 Composition – A representative from the Parks Department was asked why the Department is structured the way it is and what are the advantages or disadvantages. Mr. Tom Lovell, Administrator of Parks and Recreation gave a brief history on how the Parks Board came to be 47 years ago. The advantages are that the Board can remain focused on just parks and recreation; there is great incentive for the board to represent the city; and there are very little politics involved.  The Parks Department is very intimately connected with the City through payroll, Police, Fire, etc. The decisions made by the Park Board are all subject to review by the City Council if they choose to do so. The current system has produced exceptional results that the Park Board is very proud of.

Section 8.1 (a) Appointment and Terms – It was noted that there is not a provision for term limitations.  The Charter provides that three directors of the Board are appointed each year and hold office for a term of three years and until successors are appointed. The appointment of new Board members can bring about a loss of institutional knowledge or bring in new ideas and talents.  The City Clerk was asked to check the list of pros and cons to see if any public comments had been submitted on Section 8.1 (a). None had been submitted.

On motion of Commissioner DeMoro and second by Commissioner Cox, the Commission voted unanimously 8-0 (Commissioners Beaudoin, Bratton, Dayton and Derks “Absent”) to accept Article VIII, Sections 8.1 (a) as written with no amendments. Motion passed.

Section 8.1 (b) Council Liaison – Clarification of who appoints Council Liaisons.

On motion of Commissioner Trafton and second by Commissioner Devine, the Commission voted unanimously 8-0 (Commissioners Beaudoin, Bratton, Dayton and Derks “Absent”) to accept Article VIII, Sections 8.1 (b) as written with no amendments. Motion passed.

Section 8.1 (c) Officers – No discussion

On motion of Commissioner Atcheson and second by Commissioner Cox, the Commission voted unanimously 8-0 (Commissioners Beaudoin, Bratton, Dayton and Derks “Absent”) to accept Article VIII, Sections 8.1 (c) as written with no amendments. Motion passed.

Section 8.1 (d) Removal – No discussion

On motion of Commissioner Atcheson and second by Commissioner DeMoro, the Commission voted unanimously 8-0 (Commissioners Beaudoin, Bratton, Dayton and Derks “Absent”) to accept Article VIII, Sections 8.1 (d) as written with no amendments. Motion passed.

5.  Roundtable – None

Adjournment: The July 6, 2016, City Charter Review Commission meeting was adjourned by Vice- Chairman Williams at 7:40 p.m. at City Hall, 220 SE Green Street, Council Committee Room.
Action Letter by Stacy Lombardo, Public Works Administrative Assistant, Recorder.


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