I attended the January 5, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.
Commissioners Skelton and Gohagan were present.
This meeting was held in the jury room of the Justice Center. There was a pretty good crowd there. And yep. I couldn’t bring my phone in because I don’t have a Visitor’s Pass.
The meeting started off with a prayer.
The first agenda item was ULUC 15 foot roadside setback.
The roadside setback was initially 15 feet, but it was later changed to 25 feet. Commissioner Skelton said that they are considering changing it back to 15 feet, but in order to do that, they have to put out a 15 day public notice that they intend to change it. They desire to create a new Master Plan and modify the Unified Land Use Code, but until that can be completed, the Commission will make a few changes to the ULUC.
A motion to table the 15 foot roadside setback was approved unanimously.
The second agenda item was Butterfield.
The Commission voted unanimously to lift the existing county property ban on Josh Butterfield. So now Josh can go to the library without being escorted off the premises by a deputy. It’s interesting that it took so long to do this because US District Judge Harpool made a judgement last year that enjoined Camden County from banning any other citizens. Isn’t it crazy that we once had a county government that thought it could “ban” its own citizens?
The third and fourth agenda items were CART Maps and Crater Hill Road.
Commissioner Skelton stated that Camden County has been working on producing a more accurate CART Map that clearly identifies the county’s roads. Commissioner Gohagan said that the county’s resources need to be devoted to roads that are used by the citizens of the county, not spent on roads to nowhere.
A citizen asked Commissioner Skelton if the Commission was going to vote on the status of Crater Hill Road. Commissioner Skelton preferred to wait until the CART map was completed before they voted on that road. Road and Bridge said the CART Map should be done in a month.
The fifth agenda item was Schraeder Law Contract.
This was a $2400 contract with a legal firm for advice related to Missouri statutes. Elected officials can call them with questions. Some citizens voiced concerns that the county was paying for statutory advice when it has a full-time County Attorney who is capable of providing the same services.
This contract was approved unanimously.
The final agenda item was BKD Contract.
BKD was the company that Camden County contracted with to give advice on ARPA expenditures and assist with filing ARPA paperwork. There was some discussion about how much legal protection BKD actually offered to Camden County regarding ARPA-related issues. Commissioner Gohagan read aloud portions of the contract that clarified that BKD was not a municipal advisor and stressed the limitations of the liability coverage BKD offered the county. The Commission entertained a motion to end the contract, but then decided to table the contract until County Attorney Jeff Green could review it.
The good news was that the fees were not to exceed $200,000 and Camden County had only reached $8,700 in expenditure so far. That surprised me because I hadn’t heard this contract described as a “pay as you go” type of contract before. I was under the impression that it was a flat fee contract.
The Commission voted to table this contract unanimously.
Presiding Commissioner Skelton then opened the floor to the audience to discuss their issues. This resulted in a barrage of conversations that ranged from emergency management plans, selling local produce at grocery stores, establishing a barter system for the county, why we have the fire departments enforce building codes, and the like. Too much to write about, but it’s worth a visit to a Commission meeting just to listen.
And that was that.
I recently had the opportunity to speak to the Daughters of the American Revolution chapter in Linn Creek. We talked about my family’s genealogy and I read them my story about the Second and Third Battles of New Orleans. I really enjoyed the experience and I hope those gracious ladies had as much fun as I did. I think I might have even encouraged them to attend this year’s Walk Back in Time in Mexico, MO!