December 28, 2021 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

The following is a summary of the meeting.

All three commissioners were present.

There was only one person present in the audience besides myself, Camden County employees, and elected officials.

Commissioner Hasty asked if there was anyone who wanted to comment publicly on the agenda items. Neither of us had anything relevant to say.

The first agenda item was the Accounting Policy. There were some changes in the Camden County Accounting Policy presented for approval by the Commission. There were a whole bunch of them mentioned by the Auditor, but here are some of the highlights I was able to jot down:

Employee raises are no longer allowed after September 1 in a year.

Someone (they wouldn’t say who) was no longer working for Camden County, but was paid for grant writing for the county. From now on, people hired to perform work in this manner will be hired as contractors and issued 1099 forms.

County vehicles should be used for county business, not personal business. The State Audit also advised that employees who have assigned county vehicles should use those vehicles for county business even if they prefer to use their own personal vehicles. This is a liability insurance issue.

The changes were approved unanimously.

The second agenda item was Sewer District Contracts. These are bid out every five years, but these contracts were up for an annual renewal. The Sewer Board approved renewing Parker Construction’s contract for maintenance and operation. I assume this is Alan Parker’s company. I heard him speak at a Commission meeting and that guy knows his stuff. It’s high praise when I say it’s worth attending a Sewer Board meeting just to hear him tell some stories.

They also approved the renewal of Accurate Accounting’s accounting contract. I have no idea if their stories are any good. The Commission unanimously approved the renewal of both contracts.

The third agenda item was McGrath Insurance Policy. This was for a renewal of Camden County’s main insurance policy and it is bid out by McGrath Insurance each year. There was only one bidder this year. There were 3 bidders last year and 5 bidders the year before. McGrath sent bids out, but Commissioner Hasty said that 8 to 10 insurance companies declined to bid on the policy this year.

Hasty said the county has had a lot of claims lately and he joked that the insurance company is losing money on its coverage of the county.

Travelers Insurance is apparently not interested in making money in the insurance business so they decided to roll the dice and cover the county. Fingers crossed!

They must not subscribe to this blog.

A question was asked about when the McGrath insurance broker contract should be put out to bid. Nobody seemed to know so I piped up and told the Commission that Missouri statute requires them to bid for insurance every 6 years and for health insurance every 3 years. Sheesh. What a know-it-all.

Apparently, the Travelers insurance policy also includes a cyber-insurance policy. The Auditor said these policies are very hard to get and only a few counties have been able to get cyber coverage. Commissioner Hasty said that he doesn’t sleep well at night because he worries about the cyber-threat to Camden County. I found it interesting that this would be the thing that keeps him up at night. Commissioner Hasty stated he wondered what Camden County would do if the day came when they couldn’t get cyber-insurance?

Commissioner Greg Hasty’s nightmare

I thought this whole discussion of insurance was pretty bizarre. Common sense would tell you that if you are having trouble getting insurance companies to insure you, that might indicate there is a risk problem related to how your organization is operating. If your best friend tells you he is having trouble getting car insurance, you would be reluctant to loan him the keys to your truck. And if he says there is only one insurance company that is willing to insure him, it’s safe to bet he is going to be paying through the nose.

Insurance companies provide insurance for profit. Full stop. It really makes you wonder what is going on in all of the Commission meetings they have in closed session to discuss legal matters and lawsuits? How much money is being paid on lawsuits to create a situation where only one fiscally “brave” insurance company is willing to insure Camden County?

This insurance policy was approved unanimously, but the Commission really had no choice because Commissioner Hasty said if they didn’t approve it, the county would be uninsured in 2022.

The final agenda item was a federal GSA bid for an X-ray machine with a rolling belt, lockers, and a magnetometer. Yep, that courthouse entry is going to look more like an airport every day. The bid was for $35,000 and since it’s a federal bid, it can be a sole source bid. Installing this equipment will allow the deputies to put purses and other items on the belt to be X-rayed and have storage lockers where visitors can store their items while they’re in the courthouse.

The Assessor related that he has had a whole bunch of irate ladies come into his office who were angry that the deputies were going through their purses and looking into all of those little purse pouches. I get it. My wife won’t even let me touch her purse. I honestly have no idea what’s in there.

So it appears this purchase will make things go much faster at the courthouse entryway which should alleviate stress on the deputies and the public. One of the Sheriff’s representatives did say that since Camden County has installed the metal detector at the entrance a few months ago, they have found no less than 150 firearms on citizens who were coming to the courthouse to handle county business. I thought that was pretty funny. If you are at all surprised by this information, you might be living in the wrong county.

And that was that.

Finally, I have been lucky enough to have been invited as a regular guest to talk on the Daily Show on Key Radio 89.3 FM with KB and Bill. They had me on this Monday. I talked about the last Commission meeting, but I also talked quite a bit about some of the things that are currently going on at School of the Osage School District. I’m just a parent like most of you. I offered my perspective on Social Emotional Learning and how I feel about it. Please check it out at the following link where I show up on air at the 0:40 minute mark. Thanks for reading AmongTheDogwoods and let’s all get involved!

2 thoughts on “December 28, 2021 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

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