The meetings are always special in Mountain View
Tue, 02/06/2024 - 3:22pm admin
Laura Wagner, contributing writer
There is always something special about a meeting in Mountain View. The last two meetings of the City of Mountain View Board of Alderman have been a hot topic of debate as board members bicker, question expenditures/budget, and fail to follow basic procedures.
A special meeting was held on January 24, a meeting in which the board needed to finalize a Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) request. At some point prior to this meeting, Mayor John Krasuski had learned that Alderwoman Brenda Colter and newly appointed Alderwoman Judi Colter are related. This made Alderwoman J. Colter’s appointment null and void because Alderwoman B. Colter made the motion to appoint her.
The meeting started off after Alderwoman J. Colter voluntarily stepped down and Alderman Buddy Vines made a motion to go into closed session. According to the minutes, both Alderman Lindell Vandevort and Alderwoman B. Colter refused to speak or vote. There was no second to the motion on the table. Mayor Krasuski suspended the rules and overrode their non-vote at that time. Mayor Krasuski then asked the Mtn. View Chief of Police Jamie Perkins to compel the two aldermen to go into closed session. The closed session cited Sunshine Law 610.021 (1) “Legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving a public governmental body and any confidential or privileged communications between a public governmental body or its representatives and its attorneys.”
Just seven days later, another special meeting was held on February 1. The only items on this agenda were to reappoint Alderwoman J. Colter and name a mayor pro-tem. This meeting came thirteen days before the regularly scheduled meeting (Tuesday, Feb. 13). A motion was made by Alderman Vandevort to appoint Judi Colter as East Ward Alderwoman. The motion was seconded by Alderman Vines. When it came down to a vote, Alderman Vandevort voted aye, Alderman Vines voted no, and Alderwoman B. Colter abstained. Mayor Krasuski broke the tie with a nay vote, and the motion failed. The board then elected Alderman Vandevort as the mayor pro-tem.
The News asked the board after the meeting adjourned why this action could not wait thirteen days and why taxpayer dollars were wasted on this meeting. The aldermen present did not answer. City Attorney Deedra Nicholson stated it was by state law the board had to have a mayor pro-tem, and that this, “should have been done sooner”. Mayor Krasuski told the News at the meeting that Alderman Vandevort and Alderwoman B. Colter called for the meeting. The city attorney was the only city personnel present aside from two MVPD officers.
According to the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo) - Acting president (mayor pro-tem) - At the first meeting following an election, the board should elect an "acting president of the board of aldermen" (79.090). This person is referred to as mayor pro-tem and presides in the absence of the mayor. The mayor pro-tem doesn't forfeit his or her seat on the board of aldermen. When presiding and calling for a vote, the pro-tem still votes on the issue as an alderman. In rare circumstances when the pro-tem is presiding and the vote is tied, he or she breaks the tie. The board president term is one year.
According to Alderman Vandevort, there have been several requests by aldermen for certain things to appear on the agenda, and those things have not appeared on agendas.
The next regular meeting for the Mountain View Board of Aldermen will be held Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 6:00 p.m. Unless of course another special meeting needs to be called.