October 14, 2021 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

Commissioners Gohagan and Williams were present. The following is a summary of the meeting.

There were eight other people present at the meeting besides the usual Camden County employees so we had a pretty good crowd in the audience and we had complimentary coffee provided by Firefly Valley Farms.

The first agenda item was for an appointment to the Senior Citizen Board. The appointee wasn’t present at the meeting and the Commission tabled the item.

The second agenda item was for reimbursement of CART funds to the Horseshoe Bend Special Road District. The reimbursement amount was $306,000. The County Treasurer presented the commissioners with the necessary paperwork. It appears that she had reviewed them and found a $1,000 overpayment so it was nice to see she was able to save Camden County some money.

The commissioners signed the papers and unanimously approved the reimbursement.

The Commission then voted to adjourn.

And that was that.

A woman named Jessica was present and asked if the Commission had considered their proposal a few months earlier regarding the Magic Dragon bike trail plans. No one was sure of the status so she asked if the Commission could put it on the agenda for a future meeting. Commissioner Gohagan told her she should email all three of the commissioners to get it on the agenda.

I then asked Commissioner Williams who decides what gets placed on the agenda. Williams stated that Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty decides which matters get placed on the agenda. Williams said he doesn’t know of anyone who has asked for a matter to be placed on the agenda and been denied.

So there you have it. According to Commissioner Williams, if you want to get on the agenda to discuss a matter with the Commission, just email the three commissioners and Greg Hasty will put it on the agenda.

Here are their emails:

As the meeting ended, I was surprised to see Nathan Rinne walk in and sit down. For anyone out there who hasn’t been following this, Commissioners Hasty and Williams voted to ban Rinne from all Camden County property back in approximately March of 2021. The ban letter informed him that if he set foot on Camden County property, he would be escorted off the premises by deputies. Rinne then went to the Camden County courthouse to vote and posted a video of himself leaving the courthouse to Facebook.

A detective from the Camden County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office then wrote a criminal search warrant for Rinne’s Facebook account and seized all of Rinne’s Facebook content pursuant to that warrant. Apparently, no Camden County Sheriff’s deputies would write the warrant and no Camden County judges would sign it, so the detective took it to a Laclede County judge to get it signed.

At this point, Nathan Rinne filed a federal lawsuit alleging that his civil rights had been violated by the ban.

Now you’re up to speed.

So this explains why I was surprised to see Nathan walk right in to the meeting room at the courthouse. Sheriff Tony Helms was present and was talking amicably with him. Commissioner Williams saw Nathan there. No deputies responded to escort Nathan off the premises.

So this leads me to believe that Nathan Rinne is no longer banned.

This is really remarkable because Rinne’s lawsuit against Camden County is still ongoing. One can surmise that one of two things happened:

Scenario A: The Camden County Commission came to their senses and voluntarily voted to rescind Nathan Rinne’s ban. This would be disastrous for their legal position in the current lawsuit since it would undermine their justification for banning him in the first place.

Scenario B: The federal judge in the lawsuit issued an order that Nathan Rinne’s ban be rescinded. This would be an even stronger indicator that Rinne’s lawsuit against Camden County has merit since no judge would make such a decision if the county had provided compelling evidence as to why he was banned in the first place.

We won’t know for sure either way until the case is adjudicated, but it definitely seems that this is good news for Nathan and bad news for Camden County and those involved in banning him. Federal lawsuits, depositions, and trials aren’t fun for any of the involved parties and I’m sure this has been an eye-opening experience for everyone.

I personally hope that Nathan Rinne wins his lawsuit. It would be heartening to see that one Missourian can stand up for his principles and Constitutional rights and face a government, our government, with all of its resources arrayed against him, and prevail.

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