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8-21-13

Parkville schedules
special election

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

Parkville residents will in fact hold a special election in November to decide whether the mayor's term will be three years instead of two.

The board of aldermen had earlier this month approved an ordinance to place the measure on the ballot at an estimated cost of between $5,000 and $6,000. Later Jim Brooks, mayor, contacted the aldermen, urging them to reconsider and informing them he had declined to sign the ordinance.

Instead of November, Brooks had pointed to the fact the city could place the measure on the ballot in April and face no additional charges to be on the already-scheduled municipal ballot.

If the measure is approved in November it would then be in effect for the mayoral election in April 2014. However if the measure had not been approved until April, then it would not go into effect until the next mayoral election in April 2016.

During Tuesday's meeting, Brooks apologized to the board and said he should have given them warning about his intentions during the previous meeting.

“I apologize for not warning you in advance that I would probably veto or simply not sign the 'November Ballot' ordinance, due to the estimated $5k-$6k cost involved. Obviously you were caught off-guard when I took that action. But frankly, I didn't expect that this fiscally-responsible board would ultimately pass it – especially with no discussion when it came time to vote,” Brooks read from a statement.

All of the aldermen then sat quietly when Brooks asked if there were any motions or comments about reconsidering the ordinance.

“Not hearing any recommendations to reconsider (the ordinance), so it will take effect at this meeting tonight,” said Brooks.

Steve Chinn, city attorney, told the board that if the mayor declines to sign an ordinance then the ordinance will go into effect at the next meeting if the board takes no action.

The board also approved a request from the Parkville Economic Development Council for matching funds up to $1,500 for an initial conceptual site plan toward a possible youth sports complex between Interstate 435 and Brink Myers Road.

The location to the southeast of the intersection of Interstate 435 and Missouri Highway 45 could include numerous sports fields, including a possible indoor facility.

Parkville's EDC is pursuing the facility because of the “potential economic spin off.” The EDC is working with several potential developers on a future feasibility study following the initial site plan.

More details of the possible development will be available following the completion of the site plan.

The $1,500 will come from the city's economic development fund which is budgeted to have a surplus of $1,600.

The funding was approved by the board with a vote of 7-0.

The city also hired Timothy Blakeslee as assistant to the city administrator. According to his resume, Blakeslee received his Masters of Public Administration from Ohio State University in May and was working as an intern in the city administrator's office of Dublin, Ohio since October 2012.

Blakeslee will begin the post on Sept. 9.