Protecting the Second Amendment
On Monday night, Alderman Ann Hennigan asked the Cassville City Council to consider approving a resolution in support of the preservation of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Hennigan presented the council with a sample resolution prior to the session.
"I would like to discuss a resolution for the city that would make it clear that we would like to preserve our Second Amendment rights," said Hennigan. "This is just a resolution to make a statement that we don't feel our citizens should lose their right to bear arms."
Hennigan went on the say that she felt the city should make a stand to acknowledge the dangerous situation that would be created if city police officers were required to ask individuals to surrender their guns.
"On Jan. 9, Vice President Joe Biden said that the Obama Administration was determined to take action on this issue," said Hennigan. "He said executive orders and actions could be taken, but they haven't decided what that would be yet.
"I'm not saying this is going to happen," continued Hennigan. "I would just like to assure the citizens of Cassville that we are here and resolve to protect the rights preserved under the Second Amendment."
Alderman Darrell Ledenham asked if the city attorney had reviewed the proposed resolution. City Clerk Noelle Harmon indicated that the resolution would be presented to the city attorney if the council expressed interest in pursuing it.
"This is not up for a vote tonight," said Harmon. "It is just up for discussion."
Mayor Bill Shiveley pointed to the third paragraph of the proposed resolution, which states "It shall be the duty of the governing body of Cassville and within all of its boundaries within the state of Missouri to adopt and enact any and all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of any federal, state or local acts, laws, orders, rules or regulations in violation of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States along with section 23 of the Missouri Constitution."
Shiveley expressed concern regarding the cost to enforce the commitment made in the statement.
"As a resolution, I don't think it will cost anything," said Hennigan. "It is a statement, not an ordinance."
"My concern is that if we say we are going to do this and we don't, will someone be able to come back on us because we didn't do what we said we would," said Shiveley. "I agree that we need to say something, and I agree with the Second Amendment. I just think we need to have our attorney look at it."
After the council indicated that there was a general consensus in favor of a resolution supporting the Second Amendment, Harmon said the proposed resolution would be presented to the city attorney for review and the updated resolution would be brought before the council for a vote in February.
"The wording in this resolution is similar to the ordinances that have been enacted all over the country right now," added Harmon.
The council also reviewed the end-of-the-year court report during the meeting. The report showed that there was a 13 percent increase in the total number of cases handled by the municipal court when compared to the 2011 figures.
"The number of warrants issued was 637 and the number active is 423," said Shiveley. "We only processed a third of the warrants. Dana, is there any way to do better?"
Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr said that the department is now doing periodic warrant sweeps.
"That's helping some," said Kammerlohr. "Of course, a lot of them are not in the city limits. We have been checking with other agencies."
Shiveley also expressed concern over fine collections, which stood at 26 percent at the end of the year.
"Those are dollars we could use some place else if we could get them in," said Shiveley. "I do realize that if we bring them in and put them in jail, we will have the fee for the jail too."
Although in the past the city has not used community service as an alternative to fines, Kammerlohr is working with Steve Walensky, public works director, on a new community service program.
Walensky said he has provided probation and parole with a list of criteria for individuals who are eligible for the community service alternative.
The alderman approved a $8,509.20 purchase order to Source One Environmental for pipe patch equipment and a $624.99 purchase order to Race Brothers Farm and Home Supply for equipment that will be used with the pipe patch system.
"I discovered this product at a MRWA (Missouri Rural Water Association) conference I attended about a year ago," said Walensky. "This is a more cost efficient way to patch sewer lines. We can actually fix them while in service. The patch is equal to, if not stronger than, the existing pipe."
The system pumps material into a faulty pipe and then the material expands outward to create a fiberglass pipe inside the sewer line. It takes around two hours to cure, said Walensky.
"What we are offering is a solution to move forward with patching our collection system in keeping with the voluntary compliance agreement that we signed with DNR (Department of Natural Resources)," said Walensky. "This is a cost effective way to do business."
The collection team, public works foreman and Walensky will review sewer line issues using the televised video system and determine if a patch will correct the problem or if a more extensive excavation project will be required.
Shiveley, who attended a demonstration of the system a few months ago, agreed that the patch works very well to correct sewer line issues.
In other business, the Cassville City Council:
* Commended the public works team for a dugout improvement project that was recently completed.
* Discussed animal nuisance violations.
* Received an update on the meter replacement project, which will likely begin in February and be completed sometime in May.