by Alan McArthur
The Tracy Board of Aldermen at a meeting last Wednesday night approved an ordinance that was not listed on its agenda.
The ordinance to approve a contract with Mid-America Road Works, L.L.C. was introduced by the city's attorney, Lisa Rehard. Three other ordinances were approved prior to the ordinance with Mid-America Road Works. The three other ordinances were listed on the agenda specifically to be approved.
The fourth ordinance was listed on the agenda under the “streets and parks” section and was not shown on the agenda as being an ordinance to be approved.
The three ordinances were each listed in this manner under the heading of “Attorney”:
“BILL NO. ______ ORDINANCE NO. ______ AN ORDINANCE APPROVING OF A PRELIMINARY PLAT BY DUDLEY ALEXANDER FOR RIVERVIEW 3RD PHASE, A SUBDIVISION IN TRACY, PLATTE COUNTY, MISSOURI.”
However the Mid-America Road Works ordinance was listed under the heading “Streets and Parks” and said simply “Up date [sic] on street repair from Mid-America Road Works, LLC.”
When asked about the ordinance after the meeting, Rehard said the board discussed the ordinance at the last meeting. Rehard also said she read the ordinance in full for the board because it had not been posted.
Jean Maneke, Missouri Press Association Sunshine Law attorney, said that approving an ordinance that is not listed on the agenda “does not sound right.”
“When they fail to list an ordinance it is a violation of the law,” said Maneke.
Maneke rhetorically asked that if other ordinances are listed on the agenda, then how is the public supposed to know a different item on the agenda will be approved as an ordinance?
A phone call to Rehard on Tuesday afternoon seeking further comment was not returned by deadline Wednesday morning.
At the beginning of the meeting, the board held a public hearing to discuss a preliminary plat application by Dudley Alexander for the third phase of the Riverview subdivision.
Rita Rhoads, mayor, formally opened the hearing and two citizens in the audience as well as some board members spoke during the hearing.
After the discussion the board then moved to approve the ordinance approving the preliminary plat and continued with the rest of the meeting. The public hearing was never formally closed.
After the meeting, Rehard said, “(the hearing) was not formally closed, but we just moved on.”
Maneke said there is not any case law or specific laws regarding how public hearings are supposed to be conducted.
At the end of the meeting, Alderman Larry Hill provided the city with a letter stating his intent to resign his position with the board.
In his letter, Hill said, “This letter is to inform you that I will no longer be able to serve as a member of the Tracy Board of Alderman [sic]. I will be moving to the Parkville area within the next few months and while I still currently reside in Tracy, I feel Tracy would be better served with someone that has a vested interest in the community for years to come.
“My hope is that Mayor Rhoads will appoint someone with fresh ideas and an independent out look [sic] on City issues. I apologize to all of those that voted for me for not finishing my term. During my 1 year and 4 month tenure I tried to work with the Mayor and the board to get things done. Sadly, I wish I could have done more. I wish you all well.”
Hill also said he was sorry he could not finish his term that he was elected to in April.
Rhoads will now have the ability to present a person to fill the position and will then need to be approved by the board. After being appointed to the position the person will serve until the April election and will then have the ability to be elected to the unexpired term.