August 23, 2022 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

The Gadfly attended the August 23, 2022 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

All commissioners were present.

There were 8 people present in the audience besides the normal Camden County employees who attend.

The first agenda item was the Collector-Budget Amendment.

This issue involves the annual payment required for Camden County’s tax abatement program, the Commission meeting room video system, and internal software that allows various Camden County departments to interact with each other. The annual cost is approximately $100,000.

The Auditor stated that the original arrangement was that this annual cost would be divided up as 50% paid by the Collector, 25% paid by the Assessor, and the remaining 25% paid by the Commission from County Revenue. The Collector disagreed and she felt her department was paying too much for services that benefited the county across the board.

Commissioners Gohagan and Williams agreed and Commissioner Gohagan made a motion to reduce the Collector’s share to 25% and increase the Commission’s share to 50%.

This was approved unanimously.

Commissioners Williams and Gohagan then discussed that it was unfair that the Collector’s Office was expected to pay these appropriations out of their discretionary budget when it was clearly going to be an annual appropriation. They unanimously approved moving $86,000 from County Revenue into the Collector’s Tax Maintenance Fund. The Auditor mentioned that this would require a Budget Amendment and he was instructed by the Commission to prepare one.

It was a good day for the Collector.

The next agenda item was a road vacation petition from the July 11, 2022 Commission meeting. The petitioner had been informed he needed a recent survey and a better legal description for his land. It seems like he went out and got both of those.

The Commission reviewed his request and removed the road vacation from The Table (It had been tabled before, but I had never heard Charlie ask the Commission to formally remove something from The Table. Charlie seems to be upping his parliamentary rules of order game. Very fancy.) Once it was off The Table, the Commission approved the road vacation petition unanimously.

The next agenda item was from the Community Foundation for the Lake (CFL). I previously knew them as the Folks Who Are Always Talking About the Magic Dragon Bike Trail (FWAATAMDBT), but I guess they figured their acronym was a little simpler. I’m no marketing expert. The Gadfly abides.

They have really accomplished a lot over the past year and their goal is to create a network of hiking, walking, and bicycling trails that interconnect various areas around the Lake of the Ozarks. They have received funding from Camden County and various corporate sponsors. Their cycling skills course by the YMCA is complete and will be open to the public. Their ultimate goal is to create a trail course similar to the Katy Trail that will contribute to a year-round local tourism economy. They are hoping to build their trail network through easements and cooperation from local land owners.

They were also nice enough to let me take some pictures of their maps:

The final agenda item was the Board of Adjustment (BOA) appointment.

The proposed appointee for the BOA position was Lydia Porter, who had unsuccessfully run for Presiding Commissioner just a few weeks ago. Commissioner Gohagan stated that he was not told who the appointee was until that very morning.

Citizens in the audience asked why this proposed appointment had not been made public? Had an announcement been made or advertised that there was an opening available on the BOA? Why couldn’t they wait until the 2023 Commission was seated to fill the vacancy?

Planning and Zoning Administrator Kim Willey explained that the 5 member BOA has to have 4 members present to create a quorum by statute. She said that they do not advertise the openings and there is no formal procedure for appointing members other than a Commission vote.

John Beckett mentioned that he had applied for the BOA position. He asked why he hadn’t been appointed?

Commissioner Gohagan stated that he had never been able to appoint a member to the BOA and he would have happily appointed John.

There was then a lot of back and forth between the audience and the commissioners. The general complaint from citizens was that it would be better to advertise, get a pool of qualified candidates, and then publicly decide from that pool for future BOA appointments.

I expected the Commission to ramrod this through despite the outcry from the audience, but then I noticed that Greg Hasty was looking up to the side and into the heavens.

I’ve seen this look before. It’s as if Greg was saying, “Calgon, take me away!”

With Greg having an out of body experience, Commissioner Williams finally compromised with the audience and made a motion to table the BOA appointment until it could be advertised. Gohagan seconded and passed it with his vote.

And that was that.

So, if you want to be the fifth member of the Board of Adjustment, this is your chance. Email the commissioners a message including your qualifications and express your interest.

The Board of Adjustment has five members who serve for 4 year terms. They must all reside within the Planning and Zoning District and no more than 2 of them can live in incorporated areas. Their decisions can only be appealed by a judge so it’s a big deal to be on this board. The issues they hear include:

  1. Appeals where it is alleged there is an error of law made by an administrative official in the enforcement of the Unified Land Use Code.
  2. Applications for Special Use Permits.
  3. Questions involving interpretation of the Zoning Map.
  4. Appeals from certain decisions of the Planning Commission.
  5. Variances (These are the big ones).

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