Commission considers mayor’s 911 board appointment

By Leah Wankum, Editor

Several members of the community have again expressed their disapproval on the way the Ray County commissioners voted on the new makeup of the 911 board.

For the second time since last week, when the commissioners voted on a new makeup of the Ray County 911 Board of Directors, several people asked the commissioners to reconsider. This meeting came in light of a letter from Mayor Mike Wright, which the commissioners received the day before. It asked the commissioners to consider allowing him to have direct representation on the board. Wright cited in the letter the city’s annual contribution of approximately $152,000 for 911 dispatch services, as well as the fact that Richmond’s population is one-quarter of Ray County’s.

Wright did not mention in his letter that his seat as mayor is one of seven public safety agencies on the 911 board, as listed in state statutes. Because Ray County is Class 3, Missouri law requires the commissioners to appoint representatives from six of the seven public safety agencies listed in the statute. With the new makeup of the 911 board, the commissioners have only appointed four.

The commissioners Feb. 23 voted 2-0 to replace three founding members, Mike Arnold, Malcolm Cunningham and Gene Nolker, whose terms had expired in September 2016, with three new appointees, Cole Noble, Dan Powell and Jared Sartin. The former members represented fire districts in Orrick, Hardin and Lawson. Noble and Sartin represent Wood Heights police.

When the Richmond News asked if the commissioners were out of state compliance with the new makeup of the 911 board, Presiding Commissioner Gary Wilhite said he would have to check with the commissioners’ legal counselor, Prosecuting Attorney Camille Johnston, before he would answer.

The complete story is in the Tuesday, March 7, 2017 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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