CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2003
PRESENT: Mayor Bill Cross
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith
Councilman Shirley Smith
Councilman Carol Rudi
Councilman Wayne Beer
City Manager Kirk Davis
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson
City Counselor David Ramsay
City Clerk Cathy Swenson
Mayor Bill Cross opened the Regular March 10, 2003, City Council Meeting at 7:30 PM in the Gladstone City Council Chambers.
Item 3. on the Agenda. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.
Mayor Bill Cross led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, in which all joined.
Item 4. on the Agenda. APPROVAL OF REGULAR FEBRUARY 24, 2003, CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to approve the minutes of the Regular February 24, 2003, City Council Meeting as submitted. Councilman Carol Rudi seconded the motion. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (5-0)
Item 5. on the Agenda. CONSENT AGENDA
Following the Clerk’s reading, Councilman Rudi asked if there is an elevation that Council may see of the cover proposed for the Garden Center located on the Wal-Mart property,7207 N. M-1 Highway, (Building Permit 03-0094), and asked for an explanation of a “glazed canopy”.
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson made available to City Council members the cover elevation as requested. As Council members reviewed the elevation, Mr. Wingerson explained that a glazed canopy is a steel structure designed so that during appropriate times of the year it may be open on the sides. It will have panels that are a plexiglass or a similar material that will close, so that the greenhouse will be a functional retail space during inclement weather. In nice weather the panels may be opened to allow fresh air into the garden center. The roof will be a standing seamed type of material, although not technically standing seam, but a corrugated metal type construction. The canopy that exists over the garden center at the I-29 and Barry Road store near the Boardwalk Square Shopping Center, has this type of installation. This type of cover is generally regarded as attractive and a more functional garden space technology for the Wal-Mart stores.
Councilman Rudi commented that there are a number of staff recommendations, and asked if this Building Permit is approved under the Consent Agenda, will those recommendations be included in the Building Permit.
Assistant City Manager Wingerson replied, yes, and in fact Wal-Mart has agreed with all the conditions and has contracted with a company to repair the safety hazard on the parapet wall that Councilman Beer raised four weeks ago. That has been contracted to be repaired immediately, separate from this project. Wal-Mart has agreed to fix the fountain at the corner of 72nd and M-1, and to comply with the few safety comments that Building Official Alan Napoli has indicated in his staff report.
Councilman Beer remarked he had some of the same questions as Councilman Rudi, and stated he had two questions, one being in regard to Resolution 03-19, the purchase of two Patrol vehicles. Councilman Beer recalled that recently there was a budget amendment whereby the Patrol vehicle purchase was reduced from four to two vehicles, and asked if that is where this purchase originated and were there trade-in cars involved in the purchase.
City Manager Kirk Davis replied to Councilman Beer that he is correct, these are the two vehicles approved for purchase, and there were no trade-in cars. The Patrol cars are rotated between City Departments which ultimately results in a couple of cars being declared surplus property and being sold at the City auction in May.
Councilman Beer stated that it appears that these are good prices for the cars and a favorable purchase for the City.
Councilman Beer asked in regard to Resolution 03-20, which seeks approval of the 2002 Arterial Sidewalk Program, where the sidewalks are located for this contract.
City Manager Davis replied there are two sections. One is roughly at 63rd and Antioch, between the Quik Trip and McDonalds. The other one is also on Antioch, but on the other side of the street, between Conoco and the strip center where Tortilla Flats is located.
Councilman Beer inquired into the linear footage for both of the sidewalk projects.
City Manager Davis replied the linear footage is approximately 300 feet for a cost of $22,685.00.
Public Works Director Andy Noll reported that this project has a rather high per linear foot cost, because although the section between the Quik Trip and McDonalds is rather short, it has fire hydrants that have to be addressed, drainage issues, and quite a few peculiarities that drive the price up significantly in this section. The other section is longer but is rather straight forward. The original estimate was $18,000.00, but the bids came in a little higher. Staff realized that the area between the Quik Trip and McDonalds would be costly, but as people have difficulty in this area, Staff thought it was important to install this last segment of sidewalk in the area.
Councilman Beer calculated the cost per linear foot is approximately $75.00, and asked if the proposed sidewalks are four foot or five foot in width.
Public Works Director Noll replied he is uncertain, but would check the file and come back with an answer.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith stated that a building addition was discussed that would cost $50 per square foot.
Public Works Director Andy Noll stated that it is expensive, which is why this section has been put off for quite a while. It was felt that it is time to get this section completed.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith requested that Resolution 03-20, authorizing execution of a contract with Bob Muehlberger Construction for the 2002 Arterial Sidewalk Program be removed from the Consent Agenda for further discussion and placed on the Regular Agenda as Item 5a.
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to approve the Consent Agenda as modified, removing Resolution 03-20 from the Consent Agenda and adding it as Item 5a. on the Regular Agenda. Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (5-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to approve RESOLUTION R-03-19, authorizing the City Manager to purchase two (2) 2003 Chevrolet Impala Patrol Vehicles from Robert’s Auto Plaza for a total purchase amount of $33,680 from the General Fund. Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (5-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to approve RESOLUTION R-03-21, expressing the support of the City Council of the City of Gladstone, Missouri for the passage of House Bill 289 and Senate Bill 253, currently pending before the Missouri General Assembly, enacting the Missouri Downtown Economic Stimulus Act (Modesa). Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (5-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to approve a BUILDING PERMIT for the addition of a glazed canopy over the existing Garden Center located on the Wal-Mart property at 7207 N. M-1 Highway. Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (5-0)
Councilman Wayne Beer moved to APPROVE A LIMITED ONE DAY BEER & WINE LICENSE TO ST. CHARLES BORROMEO CHURCH, 804 SHADY LANE DRIVE, for a parish event on Saturday, March 29, 2003. Hours: 6:00 PM-12:00 Midnight. Managing Officer: Mr. Paul G. Danaher. Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith seconded. The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (5-0)
Item 5a. on the Agenda. RESOLUTION 03-20, authorizing execution of a contract
with Bob Muehlberger Construction for the 2002 Arterial Sidewalk Program in the amount of $22,685.00 from the Transportation Sales Tax Fund. (Project 025011).
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith moved to approve Resolution 03-20, authorizing the execution of a contract with Bob Muehlberger Construction for the 2002 Arterial Sidewalk Program in the amount of $22,685.00 from the Transportation Sales Tax Fund. Councilman Shirley Smith seconded.
Councilman Beer remarked that if the sidewalks are five foot sidewalks, that would make the cost $15 per square foot, which is a little high. If they are four foot sidewalks, that makes the square foot cost even higher.
Councilman Les Smith asked Counselor David Ramsay about a proposed Bill that was discussed at the Missouri Municipal League Legislative Conference which would exempt certain public improvements from prevailing wage requirements. Would this type of project fall under this proposed bill?
Counselor Ramsay replied that he would need to review the Bill, but he believes that there may be cost restrictions as well as other restrictions. Prevailing Wage generally applies to construction projects, but does not apply to supply contracts, or computer equipment, service contracts and so forth.
Assistant City Manager Scott Wingerson stated that in the absence of Public Works Director Noll, he would like to seek to explain the conditions specifically as it relates to the area between McDonalds and the Quik Trip. Mr. Wingerson stated that if Mr. Noll locates the contract bid tabulation, he believes that it will show that the actual concrete costs are very competitive to anything seen in the market. What happens between McDonalds to the south and the Quik Trip to the north is a very small area between the two driveways – the northern McDonalds driveway and the southern Quik Trip driveway. In that area are a lot of utility corridors, a fire hydrant, and a steep slope. People who walk through that area do so gingerly, due to the steep slope. A majority of the $22,685.00 project cost is involved in reconstructing that slope and ensuring that the sidewalk is wide enough and flat enough to allow safe pedestrian access, and not in the concrete cost. The other thing is that the traffic control in this area will be rather significant. That cost is included in the total project cost.
Traffic control at this location on M-1 Highway, while preserving access to the two businesses, will be rather complicated and significantly expensive.
Public Works Director Noll addressed City Council by saying that between McDonalds and the Quik Trip are two drainage structures. The project includes removing and replacing the corner edges of their drive approaches, which are 50 feet between McDonalds and Quik Trip. The price received on the actual sidewalk portion is right in line with what is normally received at $5.50 per square foot for four foot sidewalks. Everything else is in line; it is just the appurtenances that are in the project, such as the drainage pipe, that makes this an expensive project.
Councilman Beer remarked that he hopes that it is not believed that City Council is trying to micro-manage a project. It is certainly not his intent, but the project did appear to be costly.
Mr. Noll commented that five bids were received ranging from $22,000 to $34,000. Previously Staff thought the project would be less than $20,000. Proposals were requested, and four proposals were received ranging from $21,000 to $25,000. Of those four companies, none proceeded through the bid process. All together nine bids have been received ranging from $21,000 to $34,000, so it is felt the prices are in line. It is just a lot more than the sidewalk that is required in this project.
Councilman Les Smith agreed with Councilman Beer and remarked that he was interested in hearing what the cost is for a normal sidewalk project.
Mr. Noll replied that typically the cost is $4.50 to $6.00 per square foot for a sidewalk project. The winning contractor’s bid was at $5.50 per square foot.
City Manager Davis thanked the City Council for their indulgence in allowing the time for Staff to find the answer to these questions, hopefully in a satisfactory fashion, and provide the information needed for City Council to make a decision on this resolution.
Mayor Bill Cross asked if this resolution is approved this evening, will this project start right away.
Mr. Noll replied that all that would need to be done is execute the contract, conduct a pre-construction meeting, with actual work beginning in three to four weeks.
The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (5-0)
Item 6. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE.
There were no communications from the audience.
Item 7. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL.
Councilman Carol Rudi remarked that she enjoyed the reception for retired City Clerk Marilyn Ahnefeld. It was a great event and whoever coordinated the event did a wonderful job. Councilman Rudi agreed with Councilman Beer that City Council does not want to micro-manage, but she is still learning and so does ask questions.
Councilman Wayne Beer offered congratulations to City Counselor David Ramsay regarding his election as Director of the Missouri Chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Administrators. Although Mr. Ramsay says that the weather affected attendance and thus his election, Councilman Beer stated he is confident that if the entire state of Missouri had been in attendance, Mr. Ramsay would still have been elected.
Councilman Beer commented that he realized that it has been only a short time since Neighbors Helping Neighbors received funds from Gladstone’s 50th Anniversary Gala Fund and from the Mayor’s Holiday Tree Fund, however he would like to hear in the near future the status of Neighbors Helping Neighbors projects, how long is the list of projects, and what kind of progress is being made to reduce the list of projects, if it is a significant list. Northland Neighbors, Incorporated was providing some help that has ceased while awaiting grants. Have those grants been awarded or are we still waiting. If we are still waiting, then that will have an impact as to what Neighbors Helping Neighbors can do. Councilman Beer continued by inquiring as to the pool of volunteers. Do we have a good pool of volunteers, or is there difficulty in getting volunteers, which would have an impact as to what Neighbors Helping Neighbors can do.
City Manager Davis stated that Staff would be happy to invite Mr. Art Hammen, Executive Director of Neighbors Helping Neighbors, to a City Council meeting to provide an update as to what Neighbors Helping Neighbors is doing.
Assistant City Manager Wingerson gave a brief update by saying that progress is slow, and the list of projects is long. There are currently thirteen projects approved by the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Board. They are scheduled one each month, on the third Saturday of the month, in order to complete them in a calendar year. That assumes a lot of things - number one, that the volunteer pool is recruited and available. Currently service groups are being focused on, such as Rotary, Sertoma, church groups, and so forth. Number two, Northland Neighborhoods application was not approved in the last round of grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank, which Councilman Beer referred to. They are reapplying now in the secondary cycle for funds.
Mr. Wingerson continued by saying that Neighbors Helping Neighbors and the Gladstone Economic Betterment Council are now and continuously have provided letters of support and documentation of the good that it does for Gladstone residents when Northland Neighbors receives grant money. This would be the third application process that they have not been approved. The volunteers, themselves, are fantastic. Unfortunately there is not a pool of physical labor to do some of the projects that are being requested. The list of projects is growing. Part of that growth is due to some policies that City Council adopted effective the first of the year, having to do with code enforcement, inspections, and those sorts of things. Neighbors Helping Neighbors does have a challenge. Mr. Wingerson stated that Mr. Hammen will be much more articulate in providing an update for Neighbors Helping Neighbors. The group is working very hard and there is a long list of needs in the community that are not being filled by any other agency.
Councilman Rudi inquired into how one finds out about the projects, when to volunteer, and where to go.
Mr. Wingerson replied that there are 1.5 volunteer coordinators. One volunteer coordinator is working with the civic groups. There is also a volunteer call list that is called when a project is available that meets the time constraints and skill levels of the volunteers. Some projects require rather skilled volunteers, some projects require heavy labor, and some projects are just mowing grass. There is something for everyone when spread across the projects, but every project may not provide an opportunity for every volunteer as to where they are comfortable in working.
Councilman Rudi asked who does someone contact if they are interested in being on the call list.
Mr Wingerson replied, anyone interested in being on the call list should contact Mr. Hammen or any of the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Board members.
Councilman Beer asked, thinking about the City’s Use Tax and Sales Tax, how is it known that Gladstone is receiving the sales tax revenue that it is due, specifically large purchase taxes, such as on a vehicle. Many Gladstone citizens, when they make a purchase, either knowingly or unknowingly, state their address as Kansas City. The tax is collected by the state and distributed by the state to the tax collecting entities. In the case of someone who says their address is Kansas City, when in reality it is Gladstone, how does the City know that those taxes are actually paid to Gladstone.
City Manager Davis replied that we are privileged to have with us tonight a former state auditor who can help us answer that question. Mr. Davis stated he would attempt to answer the question, and then ask Finance Director Cash Sweiven to further elaborate. Mr. Davis stated that there are audits performed by the state. There are people with the state who check income tax returns and sales tax payments, and Mr. Davis believes that the state has its own auditing system to check businesses. Mr. Davis invited Mr. Sweiven to further explain the sales tax process.
Finance Director Cash Sweiven stated that, as Council is aware, in the case of sales tax, it is not an issue where the person lives, but rather where the item legally passes. So sales tax is not an issue as to address.
Councilman Beer stated he agreed, except in the case of cars and possibly other large purchases.
Mr. Sweiven remarked that, as an example, the Missouri License Bureau uses a code of 22 for Gladstone. Their system is based on street addresses and identifies a Gladstone street address as a code 22.
Councilman Beer asked if there is someone who actually checks that the street address is in fact in the appropriate city, whether it is Gladstone or any other city.
Mr. Sweiven replied, yes, that is his understanding. Although it is not one person who checks that a street address is in the appropriate city, but the system has been programmed to identify the city by the street address. As an example, Mr. Sweiven used to live in Pleasant Valley, but his address was Liberty. When he asked this same question at the Missouri License Bureau office, he was actually shown the computer screen and provided this explanation.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith asked how long this system has been in place, because he believes that it used to be if a person wrote down a city, that city’s code was taken from the chart, and that was the city that received the sales tax revenue.
Mr. Sweiven believes the system was implemented approximately four years ago, but he will be happy to check to see if the system has been updated or changed.
Councilman Beer and Councilman Les Smith stated they would appreciate that information.
Councilman Les Smith remarked that he believes there is a Bill pending that would force purchasers of large boats in the state to pay sales tax versus what they do now, which is document the purchase. What that means, as an example, on a $50,000 boat, instead of paying $3,500 in sales tax, an approximately $800 documentation fee is paid. This allows the government to use the vessel in times of, for example, an invasion. These types of changes could benefit communities, although maybe not Gladstone.
Councilman Les Smith stated that Councilman Beer made a good point inquiring into the City receiving its correct sales tax revenue, and agreed that he looks forward to receiving further information from Finance Director Sweiven.
Mr. Sweiven commented that he will find an answer to Council’s questions and report back with that answer.
Councilman Shirley Smith remarked that she was present when City Counselor David Ramsay was elected Director of the Missouri Chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Administrators. The weather was not that bad, and Councilman Smith found it interesting that Mr. Ramsay provided that information as a note in the middle of a memo to City Council. Another Management Team member did the same thing. Mr. Lynn McClure mentioned in a memo to City Council that he had been elected President of the Coalition of the Northland Development Organization for the year 2003. Councilman Smith continued by saying we have two Management Team members who have been elected by their peers to an office. It does show the caliber of people we have on the Management Team and we should be very proud of that.
Mayor Bill Cross and Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith agreed with Councilman Shirley Smith.
Item 8. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY MANAGER.
City Manager Kirk Davis had no comments at this time.
Item 9. on the Agenda. FIRST READING BILL 03-03, amending Section 2 of Ordinance 2.670 codified in Chapter 3 of the City Code, by enacting a new provision prohibiting the purchase or possession of intoxicating liquor, malt liquor, or non-intoxicating beer by minors.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith moved to place Bill 03-03 on First Reading. Councilman Wayne Beer seconded.
Councilman Carol Rudi asked how this ordinance is different from ordinances already in place.
City Counselor David Ramsay replied principally this ordinance expands the definition of possession to include consumption. The idea being that if a person consumes alcohol then they have within their system alcohol which in effect is possessed. Mr. Ramsay has been unable to find anything specifically in Missouri Law that would suggest that can’t be done. In illegal drug cases, a urine test or a blood test for marijuana for instance, may be conducted, but the fact that you tested positive for that substance does not automatically make you subject to prosecution for possession of marijuana. This is a bit of a unique approach.
Mr. Ramsay shared an anecdotal story that came to him via e-mail from the Missouri Youth Adult Alliance in Jefferson City, which is a group similar to TRY (Teaching and Reaching Youth). These groups try to focus on these types of problems. The story is that a car full of teenagers was stopped in a local town. The designated driver was not intoxicated, however there was an open container of beer found in the car and there were three girls in the car that appeared to be intoxicated. Being inside the car, they were not guilty of public intoxication. Because of Missouri’s lack of an enforceable open container law, they could not be mutually responsible for the open container. The story goes that a police officer had the dilemma of who to charge and what to charge, so he let them go, and the consequence later was that one of the girls did not arrive safely and was killed. The story does not say how, other than her death was directly attributable to being a teenager under the influence. The story indicated that the officer had no way of detaining that teenager, even for their own safety.
Mayor Bill Cross stated that in the case Mr. Ramsay refers to, what happened after the officer stopped the vehicle, and couldn’t do anything about the apparently intoxicated girls, was the designated driver took a girl to her car and she was so intoxicated that she did not know what she was doing or where she was going. It was a sad situation. At this time there is only one other city that has passed this particular Bill. This Bill will help Law Enforcement officers address a situation where a teenage person is in a car and has been drinking, they can be cited. Mayor Cross stated he is the one that has been pushing this through TRY and asked Mr. Ramsay to prepare a Bill, so Gladstone Law Enforcement officers may address a situation where there are apparently intoxicated people under 21 years of age.
Councilman Shirley Smith asked if she is correct in that this does not have to do with the changes of penalty, but just the expansion of the meaning of possession; the penalties would remain the same.
Councilor Ramsay replied, that is correct.
Councilman Shirley Smith asked what is the likelihood that someone would appeal this ordinance.
Counselor Ramsay replied that someone might appeal the ordinance, if they were particularly irate and wanted an attorney to appeal this ordinance or some civil rights group might decide it was worth challenging. The City is not looking at a great deal of expense if it were challenged. This would be a municipal court prosecution. If an individual pled not guilty and was found guilty, and wanted to appeal, it is a pretty straight forward matter to go to a court of appeals. Counselor Ramsay believes that the City prosecutor would be assigned to handle it, and it probably would not be a prohibitive expense.
Counselor Ramsay mentioned that he provided City Council members with both a draft Ordinance and the TRY suggested ordinance, which Counselor Ramsay felt was wanting in specifics. Mr. Ramsay included in the proposed ordinance a requirement that a chemical blood-alcohol test reflect a minimum of two hundredths of one percent blood-alcohol content. This is the standard used in the Missouri statutes relating to minors driving under the influence. There is a special section that basically provides that their license may be revoked for a period of time for driving with a two hundredths of one percent blood alcohol content opposed to the normal adult level of eight hundredths.
Counselor Ramsay stated he is concerned about the issue of consumption being possession. It is somewhat unique and is indefinite in Missouri law. Mr. Ramsay has discussed these provisions with a couple of very experienced defense attorneys that he knows. They raised the same issue that they were not sure consumption could be equated with possession, but they could not tell Mr. Ramsay that they have seen that issue. This may be appealed and may be found to be unconstitutional.
Councilman Beer commented that Counselor Ramsay mentioned in his memorandum to City Council that this ordinance could lead to a future court challenge. Nevertheless, whether it is likely or not this is challenged, Councilman Beer feels that the City would be derelict if every reasonable effort was not made to prevent purchase and consumption of alcohol by under age individuals. Not to be retributive to young people drinking alcohol, but young people are still developing and it has been well documented that alcohol can be damaging to the development of developing bodies. Because of the age and the lack of previous experience, alcohol has a greater effect upon young people. Couple that with young people’s feelings of indestructibility, Councilman Beer feels that the City would be derelict in not making reasonable efforts to reduce or stop underage purchase and consumption of alcohol.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith asked if he is correct, that consumption defining possession can only be used in the case that a person has been determined to be intoxicated.
Counselor Ramsay replied, yes, the ordinance does create a presumption that if a person has blood alcohol content by a breathalyzer test of two hundredths of one percent or more then they are presumed to be under the influence of alcohol for purposes of this ordinance and possession.
Mayor Pro Tem Smith asked if a 20 year old person is taking beer home in the trunk of his car because he went to the store with his parents, and is taking it to their house, is this person in possession of alcohol.
Counselor Ramsay replied they would be, if the officer had reasonable grounds to search the vehicle and found it. If the twenty year old is riding with his parents, then obviously the parents would be claiming possession and the 20 year old would not be subject to prosecution in that situation. In a practical matter, a twenty year old should not be allowed to go to a store in Gladstone and buy beer for his mom or dad.
Councilman Les Smith mentioned that he has gone into a store with his 20 year old son, and Councilman Smith has had to go one direction and his son has taken the groceries home with beer in the trunk of the car. His son was not in possession of the alcohol for any purpose other than taking it home. Councilman Smith supports the intent, but does not want to get to the point where government basically and totally dictates everything we do and the decisions a parent makes with their child.
Councilman Beer remarked it would seem if the beer is in the truck with other groceries, that puts the situation in a different light.
Councilman Les Smith commented as he understands it, by definition of this ordinance, wherever beer or alcohol is in the car, and if an officer sees it, that young person would be in possession of alcohol.
Counselor Ramsay stated that situation would be a violation under the present ordinance, as well, because the City currently has a minor in possession ordinance. It simply doesn’t incorporate consumption as being under the influence. As a practical matter, if Councilman Smith’s son or daughter were issued a citation, and a parent came to court with them and explained the circumstances to the judge, it is doubtful a conviction would be found. It would be a technical violation.
Councilman Shirley Smith commented that it would be interesting for the City to go ahead and approve this Bill and make it a City ordinance. If it should come to an appeal and it were decided that it were constitutional, it would give other cities the precedent to adopt similar ordinances, which might cut down some of the teenage drinking.
Counselor Ramsay commented that it seems to him, within the context of the story that was discussed, that this ordinance would provide police officers with a practical tool to protect young people. A police officer would be able to detain them without being overly technical or prosecutorial, but simply give the officer an opportunity to take a car load of young people to the police station to sober up, call the parents, or whatever practical results the officer might consider. This ordinance gives a police officer some means to address a situation, rather than simply having to let intoxicated young people go, because they have not violated an ordinance, even though it might be apparent they are 17 or 18 years of age and intoxicated. Mr. Ramsay stated he believes the City’s police officers would use the ordinance in practical terms. It is a small price to pay to have young people stay in the police station for a couple of hours while they sober up, versus possibly being injured or worse in an accident.
Councilman Les Smith agreed, with the exception of the provision of which he has already stated his opinion. Councilman Smith stated he is aghast that the State does not have an open container law. The fact of the matter is the “brewers” in St. Louis have better lobbying efforts and deep pockets. Councilman Smith wished to make it clear that he supports the ordinance except for the provision as discussed. Councilman Smith stated he has always supported what the City has done to protect young people, and suggested to Mr. Ramsay, that if this ordinance is passed, to share a copy of the ordinance with other cities, through Mayor Cross, who are looking at adopting the TRY’s ordinance. It might make the ordinance more enforceable for the communities, and help those communities.
Mayor Cross stated that he believes that other cities will adopt such an ordinance as a result of the efforts of TRY.
The vote: All “aye” – Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (5-0). The Clerk read the Bill.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 03-03, Waive the Rule
and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading. Councilman Shirley Smith seconded. The
vote: All “aye” – Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley
Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (5-0) The Clerk read the Bill.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 03-03 and enact the Bill as Ordinance 3.857. Councilman Shirley Smith seconded.
Roll Call Vote: All “aye” – Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross. (5-0)
Item 10. on the Agenda. OTHER BUSINESS.
There was no other business.
Item 11. on the Agenda. QUESTIONS FROM THE NEWS MEDIA.
Amy Newport, a reporter of the Dispatch Tribune newspaper commented that she thought it was illegal for anyone, regardless of their age, to drive intoxicated.
Public Safety Director Bill Adamo stated that is correct.
Ms. Newport stated that she finds it incredible that in the circumstance of a carload of teenagers who are intoxicated, and one is the driver, that the driver cannot be detained.
Counselor Ramsay stated that only the driver can be detained, if the driver appeared to be drinking. In the particular story that was discussed, they did have the good sense to have a designated driver, and the police officer determined that the driver had not been drinking.
Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith remarked that because the driver had not been drinking, the officer had no authority to detain the teenagers who were intoxicated.
Mayor Cross stated this ordinance will address such a situation where an underage person who is not driving, but has been drinking, may be detained by a police officer. Mayor Cross thanked Ms. Newport for her good question.
Item 12. on the Agenda. ADJOURNMENT.
Councilman Wayne Beer made a motion to adjourn the Regular Meeting and go to Closed Executive Session pursuant to the Missouri Open Meeting Act Exemption 610.021 (1) for Litigation and Privileged Communications Discussion, 610.021 (2) for Real Estate Acquisition Discussion, and Exemption 610.021 (3) for Personnel Discussion. Councilman Shirley Smith seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote: All “aye” – Councilman Wayne Beer, Councilman Carol Rudi, Councilman Shirley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Les Smith, Mayor Bill Cross (5-0)
Cathy L. Swenson, City Clerk
Approved as submitted: _________
Approved as corrected/amended _________
Bill Cross, Mayor