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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • City attorney ordinance up for reading

  • Mayor Bill Jenks’s plan to make the office of city attorney appointive rather than elective will be presented in ordinance form for a first reading at tonight’s Rolla City Council meeting.
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      Comment
  • Mayor Bill Jenks’s plan to make the office of city attorney appointive rather than elective will be presented in ordinance form for a first reading at tonight’s Rolla City Council meeting.
    “Such a change would follow other such appointments in Rolla including city marshal, city treasurer and city collector,” City Administrator John Butz said in his agenda commentary. “The vast majority of Missouri communities have made such a change in order to open up the pool of qualified candidates for city prosecutor (including those living outside the city limits).”
    The council will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at Rolla City Hall.
    Butz noted that “three or four communications in opposition to such a change due to the loss of a right to elect various city officials” have been received at city hall.
    The issue appears to have aroused the interest of the public about as much as an actual election for city prosecutor. The electorate in the last municipal election for the office of city prosecutor, April 2012, couldn’t even muster up enough interest to cast 1,300 votes in the three-man contested race for the office. Countywide, less than 10 percent of registered voters showed up to cast ballots.
    The council could waive its rules and pass the ordinance on final reading, but Butz said, “There is no urgency on this matter other than the upcoming filing period for April 2014 election.”
    A possible discussion point is whether to limit consideration for appointees to just lawyers living in Phelps County.
    Two council members have spoken against the change, Jonathan Hines, representing Ward One, and Brian Woolley, representing Ward Five.
    In other business or discussion at tonight’s meeting:
    • The council will discuss the ward meetings and wrap-up session regarding the possibility of a parks and recreation sales tax being placed on the April ballot.
    • Disposing of the old Ransdall Recycling building on 18th Street will be discussed. The building was purchased by the city for $250,000 in 2005 with government grant money to improve the Walnut Street/North Highway 63 and Interstate 44 interchange.
    The city also bought three duplexes and an old commercial building from Tom Aaron in the deal. The Aaron buildings were demolished in May 2005, and the roadway alignment was completed. The Ransdall building was used for storage beginning in 2006, when the property was listed for sale.
    “While we could advertise the demolition/relocation of the structure locally, we have had good success selling unusual structures on GovDeals or EBay (airport dome structure, PCLB metal storage building) and promoting that site for on-line bidding,” Butz noted in his agenda commentary.
    • An ordinance to approve the sale of a city-owned lot at 584 Sycamore Drive will be heard for first and final readings.
    Page 2 of 2 - • Bids for a half-ton pickup and and motor grader will be reviewed and accepted.
    • Fourth Ward Councilman Don Morris will bring to the attention of the council ongoing noise concerns from neighbors of Fat Cats Entertainment Complex.

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