by Alan McArthur
Animosity is increasing again between the City of Parkville and the downtown community improvement district board.
On Tuesday the board of aldermen rejected the slate of directors submitted for the Parkville Old Towne Market Community Improvement District (CID).
The CID had presented Mark Bentley, Tom Hutsler, and Dave Williams to be appointed as successor directors for the CID.
The board of aldermen had previously rejected directors for the CID in February of 2015 after the city sent a letter with eight recommendations for changes to the bylaws of the CID, but no action was taken by the CID to make the changes and no new slate of directors was approved by the board.
Melissa McChesney, city clerk, told the board that a provision in the CID's bylaws allows them to appoint an interim director to fill any vacancy. These appointments are not required to be submitted to the city and so the city does not actually know who is serving on the CID board.
Nan Johnston, mayor, told the board that the city needs to receive information from the CID in order to clarify who the directors are currently.
“I will not recommend approving any slate with Tom Hutsler as a director,” said Johnston. “(Hutsler) tried to derail one of the biggest development projects in this city in a decade.”
Johnston alleges that Hutsler had been talking to property owners in the new Highway 9 CID area and was trying to tell them not to join the project.
A phone message for Hutsler seeking comment in response to the mayor’s allegation against him had not been returned as of Landmark press time Wednesday morning.
The Highway 9 CID is planned to provide funds for making roadway improvements to Highway 9 including adding trails and sidewalks from the intersection of Highway 45 to downtown. The city is currently seeking grants for partial funding of projects from Highway 45 to Clark Avenue with local match funds expected from the Highway 9 CID.
According to the bylaws of the Parkville Old Towne Market CID, the city has 30 days to approve or reject any slate of nominated directors. If the city does not take any action during the 30-day period then the directors are considered appointed.
The process can continue until the city approves a slate of directors, but the time period is reduced to 10 days instead of 30.
Jim Werner, alderman, also commented that he was concerned that only three directors were submitted for review by the city, but the CID board has four open positions and the fifth one will be opening soon.
According to the letter submitted from Tom Hutsler to the city, the CID held a meeting on July 21 to nominate the slate of directors. Hutsler dated the letter Aug. 8 and it was received by the city on Aug. 15.
The CID bylaws also require no more than five directors can be only business operators and no more than three directors should be property owners. There are a total of nine director positions on the CID board. City representatives are not sure who is currently on the board because the CID has not submitted a list of directors to the city.
The board voted unanimously to reject the proposed slate of directors for the CID.