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Commission modifies agenda again, public comment sees more discussion about boat slip fees

Commission heads into early executive session for second week in a row. County citizens Stacy Long and Terri Welk return to podium for public comment.

For the second week in a row, the Clay County Commission modified the agenda and entered executive session for legal matters at the beginning of the meeting. The move was proposed by Commissioner Owen and supported by Commissioner Ridgeway who was physically absent for the second week in a row.

Commissioner Nolte seemed surprised by the request to enter executive session and voted against the early adjournment which lasted nearly an hour. Usually executive sessions fall at the end of a county commission meeting.

The meeting saw a smaller regular agenda, only having a total of four items up for discussion.

For the second week in a row, Stacy Long appeared before the Clay County Commission to attempt to find some kind of resolution dealing with the County’s decision to refuse to accept late fees from existing slip holders at Smithville Lake. Long appeared the week prior and spoke with the county commission after waiting for hours to speak with the Commission.

Long told the Commission she was back for the second week because she had failed to receive any communication from Clay County staff. Commissioner Nolte asked County Administrator Dean Brookshier if he’d like to address Long. Brookshier told the commission and Long that he would not be commenting based upon the advice of legal counsel.

County Counselor Kevin Graham was asked to address Ms. Long and her questions. Graham stated that since there were threats of litigation against the County by slip holders that it was better not to talk substantively about the subject.

Nolte told Long that since the county commission and staff had restrictions, she was still welcome to make comments.

Long went on to reiterate that she had received no communication from anyone at the County after she made her comments the week prior.

“If you went to a business and said I think something got mixed up can I talk to a manager. The manager comes out and says whatever it may be. Typically you can make progress or someone hears you. I feel like when I come here I’m being told you can say whatever you want. I’m doing a public speech here. I’m still looking for an answer.

Why am I having to go through all this just to be told that I can pay a lot of money for something that I already have. I don’t know where else to go. I don’t know what else to do. I’m living in fear that I’m going to get an eviction notice which I’ve been told by marina staff has already been written.

What about the other boat owner, I have his name, who now owns are slip. He’s already paid his money and signed his contract. You are the ones pushing me into this corner. I didn’t ask for this. I’m willing to fight to draw back the curtains on something bigger.

You can watch her full public comment below:

After Long stepped from the microphone, Terri Welk approached to make a comment. Readers may remember Welk as the individual who brought issues about sailboat cove to the Commission last year. She was also the individual that was called a vulgar name by former Clay County Parks Board member Fred Walters.

Welk mentioned that she and other boaters had attempted to work with the county on a list of items that her and other boaters had wanted addressed at the lake. She was concerned that the County had broken off all communication prior to the 2016 election and had been unresponsive since that point.

Welk went on to tell the commission that she had been contacted by a personal friend who had ran into issues similar to those experienced by the Longs. She’s also concerned about how county staff has treated members of the public related to this topic.

You can watch her full comments below:

After the meeting adjourned we witnessed County Administrator Dean Brookshier have a brief conversation with Stacy Long. Brookshier offered her his card and encouraged her to contact him.

The county commission is scheduled to meet Monday morning in a combined business and work session. It will be one of only two meetings for the entire month of February.

You can see the agenda for the meeting by clicking HERE. There are numerous items on the agenda. Commissioner Nolte has added numerous items to the agenda including an item that would cease all actions related to the eviction of slip holders and an attempt to amend the order of the Commission agenda which would return public comment to the beginning of the meetings.

Update 2/6 10:42 AM: Ms. Long left a comment on TheNorthlandNews.com’s Facebook page after publication of the story.

“I checked the email address and forwarded Mr Brookshier the previous two emails that I had sent him immediately after that meeting last Monday. I also requested a response of receipt of that email. I have yet to receive any sort of response.”

About Andrew Palmer