Raymore City Council discusses mayoral veto

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From what appeared to be a fairly concise council agenda came a nearly 90-minute meeting which featured two separate debates between Councilmember Charlene Hubach and the majority of the other council members during the Monday night Raymore City Council meeting.

First, a few regulatory items were discussed.

Mayor Peter Kerckhoff presented a proclamation declaring June as being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The proclamation was given to the Raymore-Peculiar Sunrise Optimist Club for their contributions toward the awareness of childhood cancer.

Firework vendor locations for upcoming Fourth of July celebrations were announced. This year fireworks can be purchased in the lot between Perkins Automotive and Sonic Drive-In, the northwest section of the Walmart parking lot, the Pine Street Shopping Center, Willowind, and the lot next to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

Raymore resident Jeremy Howard (not the author of this report) was appointed to the Park Board, to fill the vacancy caused by the expired term of Mike Medsker.

Four second readings were passed unanimously. One of the passages included the rezoning of several Madison Valley Holdings’ lots in the Madison Valley Subdivision. These lots are rezoned from “R-1” Single Family Residential District to “R-1P” Single Family Planned Residential District.

Another decision was to grant Final Plat approval for Edgewater 3rd, a 46 lot single family subdivision proposed for land north of Creekmoor Drive in the Creekmoor Subdivision. Also passing unanimously were two awards of contract for 2013 street preservation and reconstruction projects.

When it came time to vote on amending the period for mayoral veto in the form of an ordinance, Councilmember Hubach caused much discussion.

The bill would give the Mayor fourteen days to veto a Council decision, a time frame that beginswith its passage, as opposed to its receipt, as it is stated currently. The fourteen days would start the next business day.

According to Councilmember Ryan Wescoat, the amendment is designed for “clearing up language” in the charter and to leave “no wiggle room” for interpretation. Councilmembers Wescoat and Derek Moorhead stated that although there has been no past Mayor that has taken advantage of the apparent lack of defined structure, it does leave loopholes for the future.
Councilmember Hubach sees it differently.

“We’re trivializing the charter,” she said as she explained that there are similar charters in other municipalities that function without problem. She went on to call the Council’s action on this matter “childish” and says she “expects more.” Hubach has previously suggested that a code amendment is preferable to a charter amendment for this purpose. The recommendation for the charter amendment to be put on the ballot passed 6-1.

In matters of new business, only one issue caused noteworthy discussion, and it was again started by Councilmember Hubach.
The resolution regarding a two-year extension to the preliminary plat for the Colonial Oaks Subdivision, proposed for the west side of Kurzweil Road, passed unanimously. The following were also passed unanimously: an amendment for the human resources policy regarding City pay policies; a resolution concerning the fees charged for City police research and reproduction of reports; an award of contract for the Hawk Ridge Park master plan; and the removal of the capital project to modify the Foxwood water tower.

The matter regarding an award of contract for a facilitator for the City Council goals setting session caused a stir. Councilmember Hubach responded to the proposed facilitation by Advisory Management Services, Inc. by stating that the Council should know more about this agency and the other agencies considered for the session. She said that there should be sessions for just the council members to help them understand their roles better. Hubach also referred to retreats as “the only way” to properly prepare for the City’s future, as opposed to goal-setting sessions.

Councilmembers Westcoat, Sonja Abdelgawad, and Richard Hall all expressed comfort with the City staff’s ability to choose a facilitator and explained the availability of opportunities for City council members to receive training on individual levels. City Manager Eric Berlin chimed in, stating that the goal-setting session can be designed in a custom fashion so that everyone gets the most from it, and that there will be opportunities for future sessions just for Councilmembers. The measure ended up passing unanimously, and the session was adjourned.

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