The Lake Lotawana Board of Aldermen held their December Work Session on Tuesday December 11th at 6:30PM. The session was delayed for a week and a day as there was not a quorum available on the regularly scheduled date, December 3rd. Work sessions are held on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30PM and regular sessions are on the third Tuesday held at 7PM. Again, work sessions are a more open forum for the Aldermen to discuss City issues amongst themselves. Anyone can attend, but there is not a scheduled public speaks portion, but the Mayor makes every effort to accommodate questions.
This month the meeting included a presentation on storm water runoff, a Special Session to vote on a pending liquor license, and the work session. Following the work session was an executive session which was held to discuss legal issues. The City currently has only one listed civil suit listed on Case.Net, Village by the Lake v. The City for Breach of Contract requesting in excess of $2.25 million dollars in damages. The suit is posted elsewhere on this website.
The Special Session regarded the pending license for the former Lake House Pub, now rebranded as the "Captain’s Sports Bar." The new owner, Jake Dickey of C Street in the City, was trying to transition quickly and seamlessly from the current owner, but was delayed by the red tape generally encountered with a regulated industry and the government. (The City did not hold up the license through any act or omission.)
The Board of Aldermen voted to approve the liquor license with the provision that no alcohol be served until the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control license has been completed.
The storm water runoff presentation was done by Ted Martin of Northstar Technologies. Mr. Martin had been contracted by the City to prepare a Stormwater Management Plan as is required by MoDNR and must be renewed periodically. The complete report is available at City Hall, and will hopefully by posted on line. Mr. Martin highlighted that the City is already doing many initiatives that would normally be first steps for cities. Items that the City could increase compliance with MoDNR general regulations would be increased signage, establishing a "hotline" for reporting concerns, and compliance/non-compliance being added to the codes enforcement official’s duties. Mr. Martin also reinforced the added difficulty of managing the most prevalent runoff concern, sediment in a lakeside environment. The BOA will take up further action after the first of the year.
The remainder of the Work Session followed the agenda discussing the pending budget. There were some questions from Aldermen Jackson and Reed and Alderwoman Rita Ahern. These were mostly in regards to the Police Department expenditures. Mayor David Welsh spoke at some length about the budgeting process and how funds were allocated and the spent. He stated that individual line items would be discussed when it came time for the Aldermen to actual approve and authorize expenditures.
Alderman Reed asked a particularly pointed question when he inquired "Where does all this surplus come from Dave?" The answer, which is complex and deserves a full listing of the Mayor’s explanations will be presented in an additional article.
The CID Budget, the draft Employee Manual and Personnel Policy, as well as employee benefits was then shortly discussed. Alderman Jackson had one comment regarding the amount of time off for first year employees which he considered excessive. It must be noted that this is a draft document prepared by the staff, so printing of that document or of specific details would not be appropriate without permission. Due to the delay in the meeting, there was not time for the Tribune to discuss that with the City Administrator, Jill Cornett.
The Mayor also stated that the City and the CID would get together and hammer out a mutually agreeable arrangement for snow removal. Alderman Chuck Falkenberg restated a previous request by Alderwoman Aholt that as soon as possible the BOA should determine its total outstanding liabilities. This refers to the Missouri public employee pension and disability system (Local Government Employees Retirement System). WWW.MoLAGERS.ORG.
Please follow the www.lstribune.net for the complementary article on the Lake Lotawana budgeting process and the Mayor’s comments from this meeting.
The final meeting for budget approval is next Tuesday, December 17th at 7PM. The article will be posted over this weekend.