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Tie-breaking vote by Mayor may change

In the wake of a controversial appointment to the Board of Zoning Adjustments and Appeals, the Richmond City Council is taking action.
Mayor Lance Green last month appointed former Councilman Scott Marshall to the board. The vote ended in a 4-4 tie with Green casting the deciding vote.
After the vote, some councilmen raised questions about the legality of Green’s vote.
According to Missouri statute, a mayor may cast a tie-breaking vote unless they are an interested party to the vote. Councilmen argued at an Ordinance Committee meeting last month that Green is an interested party since he is making the appointment.
City Attorney Brian Hall agrees and provided the council with Missouri case law Chad v. City of Lake Ozark that describes the same situation.
Hall subsequently drafted an ordinance.
In that case, the city’s mayor recommended the removal of the city administrator. Three board members voted for the recommendation while three voted against. The mayor broke the tie.
Chapter 89 of Missouri revised statutes says a council may remove a citizen member of a planning and zoning commission for cause stated in writing followed by a public hearing.
The council has given no indication whether or not they will seek Marshall’s removal.
In a related matter, Green is requesting the council approve his appointment of former councilwoman Beverly Gorham to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Gorham lost a reelection bid in April to Councilman Roger Kepple. Gorham has publicly criticized the new council on two separate occasions.

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