March 1, 2022 Camden County Commission meeting

I attended the March 1, 2022 Camden County Commission meeting.

All commissioners were present.

The only non-Camden County employees present during the meeting were myself, Lydia Porter, Commissioner Gohagan’s dentist, and a gentleman who was there to speak in the Public Comment section.

During the Public Comment section, a resident of Horseshoe Bend came up to complain about the high vehicle speeds on Kays Point Road. His neighborhood has approximately 25 kids under the age of 13 and the posted speed limit is 25 MPH. The residents have complained many times to the Sheriff’s Office about the problem. Deputies have occasionally been deployed there to perform speed enforcement, but it hasn’t had an impact on the issue. He wasn’t sure what the solution might be, but he wanted to bring it to the attention of the Commission. He suggested they might put in speed bumps or position radar warning signs in the area.

Presiding Commissioner Hasty explained that speed bumps aren’t allowed on county roads because the county was sued previously when they tried to install them.

I spoke to him after the meeting. It turns out that he reads this blog and is a regular listener of my Friday radio show with Kevin Burns on Key Radio 89.3 FM. It was great to see another reader make it to a Commission meeting. He told me that the speeding vehicles include visitors, work trucks and even the occasional Camden County vehicle. The typical speeds range from 50 to 100 MPH.

Lydia Porter then went up to the microphone and also complained to the Commission about the problem with speeding along HH and the danger it poses to residents.

This is an interesting problem for Horseshoe Bend.

They pay an extra $150,000 or so to the Camden County Sheriff’s Office each year to pay the salaries for additional deputies to be assigned to their area. It does make one wonder if these deputies are actually out there since the Sheriff has complained in the past that his department has been understaffed and overwhelmed by the higher emergency call levels associated with the busy tourist season. When the Sheriff encouraged voters to pass the new law enforcement quarter-cent sales tax increase last year, he said he would use $760,000 of the new revenue to hire ten new deputies in the first year. Hopefully, that plan is working out.

There’s also a question of how effective radar speed enforcement can be when a lot of the summer drivers are tourists who are only visiting the area. It’s not as much of a deterrent when the drivers aren’t aware that the speed limit in a particular area is regularly enforced with radar.

The first agenda item was the Sheriff Tahoe bid.

The Sheriff’s Office wants to purchase some new Tahoes for patrol, and they didn’t get any bids back. They can’t find any suitable vehicles in Missouri, but they can purchase them from Kentucky for approximately $38,000 each including some equipment. It wasn’t clear to me if these were law enforcement package Tahoes or if additional equipment like a cage, lights, and siren would have to be added after purchase.

The commissioners thought this was a good price and had a few more questions, but the Sheriff representatives were from the jail and they had limited information about the purchase. I think they said the Patrol Commander was testifying in court. Presiding Commissioner Hasty suggested the Commission approve the purchase.

They approved unanimously for the Sheriff’s Office to purchase three Tahoe vehicles for up to $45,000 each. I assume this money would come from the Sheriff’s budget.

The second agenda item was for Horseshoe Bend Road District Radar Signs.

This was a project Commissioner Gohagan has been looking into. He explained that the radar signs come with a variety of different options that can be added later as needed. T hey are bullet resistant (that’s not a challenge, folks) and they have a unique feature called “Possum Mode” which makes the sign play dead for 30 minutes as if it’s broken in the event that someone tries to attack it.

Wow.

Who knew there was so much anger unleashed on these poor radar signs?

This was a sole source purchase because of these unique qualities. The company is appropriately named “radarsign.” Commissioner Gohagan wanted to purchase six of them for $3,500 each.

The Commission approved the purchase unanimously.

It also sounds like it was a timely agenda item considering the earlier complaints about excessive speeding.

And that was that.

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