Councilmen challenge former councilman’s appointment to board

Some current city councilmen are now challenging the appointment of a former city councilman to the Board of Zoning Adjustments.
Last month Mayor Lance Green appointed former Councilman Scott Marshall to the board. The final vote ended in a 4-4 tie with Green casting the deciding vote.
Now councilmen are looking at a state statute and city ordinance that conflict with Green’s vote. The ordinance states: “(The mayor) shall not vote except in case of a tie in said council, when he shall cast the deciding vote; but provided, however, that he shall have no such power to vote in cases when he is an interested party.”
“If he makes an appointment then he would be an interested party to that appointment?” questioned Councilman Jim Dunwoodie.
Councilwoman Terrie Stanley said she contacted the Missouri Municipal League for help. She said she was told by someone at MML that the ordinance could be read as the mayor having an interest since he chose the person for the appointment. Some contend that Green voted twice when he broke the tie.
“If he’s got the power to appoint and the power to vote, then he has two votes,” Dunwoodie said.
Mayor Pro Tem Mike Wright said he does not want Green voting on anything. He said when he was on the council before, then-Mayor Ed Lee Swafford would never vote.
“When I was on the council before, Ed Lee would never break a tie on a vote,” Wright said. “He wouldn’t do it.”
Councilman Roger Kepple said the new council needs to pay better attention to what’s going on.
“He wasn’t challenged on that,” Kepple said. “That’s our fault.”
Stanley said she disagreed. She suggested that Green knows what he’s doing and does not set an example.
“I don’t have as much knowledge as everybody else in this room on proper protocol,” she said. “When the mayor doesn’t insist on proper protocol then where am I going to learn?
“I thought, ‘OK, that’s the way the program goes.’” She added, “It’s not the way the program goes.”
Councilmen also brought up the discussion of the issue. The issue was discussed with a second to the motion for some time.
City Administrator Rick Childers said the issue was sent to MML and attorney Brian Hall and returned with approval from both.

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