Alderman resigns in Purdy

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Aldermen accepted the resignation of Sean Priest from the Purdy City Council during the December meeting.

Priest, who ran unsuccessfully in 2011, was elected to the Ward 1 seat in 2012. Mayor Ron Dutra said Priest had moved out of the city and no longer qualified to serve.

Council members saw no need to appoint a successor for the three months prior to the April 2 election. Filings are being accepted for Priest's seat, which is open for one year, and the two-year seat held by Steve Roden in Ward 1, as well as the two-year seat held by Wayne Rupp in Ward 2.

A resolution in support of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted unanimously. Aldermen endorsed the effort to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that gives corporations the right of personhood and declares that corporate money can be spent in unlimited quantities as an expression of free speech.

Dutra said a survey on the subject had been available at city hall Those who returned it endorsed the proposal brought to the council by Jim Burnett, of Monett.

"None of us at the table have a problem with [the resolution]," Dutra said.

Aldermen agreed to buy four tires for the city police car from Friendly Tire in Monett. The price was $130 less than other quotes presented by Police Chief Jackie Lowe.

No action was taken on a proposal by Police Officer Russ Nichol to purchase an in-car video system for the squad car from WatchGuard Technologies for $6,095. Nichol said a grant sought to replace the old camera system, which no longer can be serviced, had not come through. Grant money had been awarded to purchase flashlights and raincoats.

An extended discussion with J.L. Daugherity, who served as the city's animal control officer for two and a half years, reviewed maintenance problems at the city's dog pound. Daugherity had volunteered time to make repairs. Austin Drake is now washing down the pound compound weekly.

Police Chief Jackie Lowe submitted reports on officer activity for October and November, since aldermen did not meet in November.

Lowe described how a credit card taken from a wallet in a vehicle parked on Fifth Street was used in an attempt to purchase several big ticket items at the Monett Walmart. The attempt failed due to a charge limit on the card. Smaller items, including gasoline, were purchased. A suspect was later identified and arrested.

A suspect in a strong-arm robbery on Oct. 12 at the community convenience store was subsequently arrested in a traffic stop. A photograph and license plate information taken by the clerk helped in the arrest.

A homeowner who let persons stay at 800 Washington Street in exchange for making repairs found the subjects had left. In the process, a central heating and air conditioning unit, valued at $2,000, had been stolen, along with the storm door from the front of the house.

Officers responded on Nov. 2 to another in an ongoing series of scams perpetrated against an elderly female resident. Lowe described the victim as "a gambling addict" of sound mind, and no one will intervene to stop the situation. The scammers have been traced to new York, Las Vegas and Jamaica.

The fire chief reported the fire alarms at the Cedar Towers had been disconnected due to malfunctions. The property manager was being contacted to have service restored. Council members agreed after the fatal Thanksgiving fire in Wheaton, all precautions were needed to protect residents from fires.

Lowe reported that the Missouri State Highway Patrol conducted an audit of the police department's uniform crime reporting submitted monthly. No errors were found.

Public works superintendent Teddy McIntire reported hauling five loads of gravel off Business Highway 37 following chip and seal efforts. He received approval from aldermen to have Richard Fulp paint a center line on one mile of city streets, including two dash bars at stop signs, for $500. Fulp expected to finish the work on a mild day before cold weather set in.

The next council meeting will be on Jan. 14.

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