The atmosphere at last Monday’s Commission meeting was more congenial than it had been in recent weeks. Unlike the previous week’s meetings (April 18 & April 25), Commissioner Ridgeway and Commissioner Owen did not vote to adjourn early.
Presiding Commissioner Jerry Nolte was not physically present at the meeting and instead teleconferenced in. This made for some difficulty throughout the meeting as Nolte struggled to hear some of the verbal communication.
During the officeholder comment portion of the meeting Nolte again expressed concern about the automatic renewal of County Administrator Dean Brookshier’s contract, frustration with the tabling of Resolution 2016-101 Guidelines for the Use of Emails and Mass Mailings, and concerns about actions taken by the County Administrator.
TheNorthlandNews.com recently reported on a lawsuit that has been filed against County Commissioners Gene Owen and Commissioner Luann Ridgeway. The suit alleges misuse of County funds over mailings that Commissioner Ridgeway and Owen are contending are just constituent outreach.
We received a typed comment from Commissioner Owen at last week’s County Commission meeting in response to the lawsuit. This is the photo of what was handed to us:
“You wonder why it is hard to get good qualified people to run for office. Someone does not like what you are doing. The next thing to do is SUE. Sadly this is election year politics in Clay County. To promote the County, the County sends out small amounts of informational packets to residents each month. Included in this packet are emergency phone numbers, a ticket to the James Museum with a paper birthday card with the County’s seal. I am looking forward to getting this issue resolved. I get mailer [sic] from both State and Federal representatives. THEY ARE NOT SUING ONE ANOTHER. Politics as usual for Clay County I am committed to fighting these frivolous lawsuits and putting the citizens of Clay County first.”
Last week we received a copy of another “accountability card” that was received from Commissioner Luann Ridgeway. This one included a copy of a “Citizen Survey” that was included with the mailing. The survey is broken down into four categories that includes budget priorities, values, open government, and keeping tax dollars local. The survey is included below.
TheNorthlandNews.com submitted a Sunshine Request last Monday asking for the following:
- A complete list including addresses of all Clay County residents that received from Clay County or any of the County Commissioners, any free passes to any property or venue owned or operated by Clay County or the Clay Co. Parks & Historical sites Dept.
- A complete list including addresses of all Clay County residents that received from Clay County or any of the Clay County Commissioners any buy one get one free passes to any property or venue owned or operated by Clay County or the Clay Co. Parks & Historical sites Dept.
- A complete list including addresses of all Clay County residents that received from Clay County or any of the Clay County Commissioners, any free passes or buy one get one free passes to the Paradise Pointe Golf Course.
- Any and all purchase orders submitted or any payments requested or purchases in excess of $500 made by Nicole Brown or any other employee of Clay County or any person acting as an agent for the Clay Co. public relations or constituent services dept. from 1/1 13 – 4/30/16 for the following: Postage, paper, stationery, envelopes, printed mailers, greeting cards, birthday cards, signs of any type, any printing costs, or any other type of document or costs that are associated with any document that has been or will be posted anywhere in Clay Co., Mo. or mailed to any citizen of Clay Co., Mo.
To date we’ve received the 4th bullet point, and have been contacted about some of the other information requested.