January 24, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

The Gadfly attended the January 24, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

Commissioners Gohagan and Skelton were present. Commissioner Williams was on vacation.

The meeting was held in the conference room of the Commission Building.

The first agenda item was a proposal to change the road setback requirements of R-1 properties from 25 feet to 15 feet, side setback to 10 feet, side corner setback to 15 feet, and rear setback to 15 feet The only change was the front setback. There were no comments from the public opposed to the change and it was approved unanimously by the Commission.

The second agenda item was the Marijuana Tax.

There was a discussion between the two commissioners regarding where the tax revenue should be spent. Commissioner Skelton mentioned that if a county does not have any dispensaries, its voters can actually vote to refuse to allow dispensaries in their county. According to Skelton, Camden County already has three dispensaries, so that doesn’t apply here. After some further conversation about putting some of the tax revenue away for future capital improvements, the Commission voted unanimously to put revenue from the 3% county sales tax on marijuana into the Road and Bridge Department.

This proposal will appear on the next ballot for approval by the voters of Camden County.

The third agenda item was the appointment of Stacy Shore to a newly formed ULUC and County Master Plan Committee.

Shore wasn’t at the meeting so the Commission voted to table the appointment until she could be present.

The fourth agenda item was the Golder-Road/Cattle Settlement.

Apparently, for years there had been a herd of around 10 free range cattle roaming around Camden County. These wayward cows were causing havoc and wreaking destruction wherever they went. Late last year, Camden County employees corralled the dastardly, feral bovines, arrested them, and auctioned them off. After expenses, the county made a $2,000 profit off of the operation. A gentleman named Golder claimed his property had been damaged by the rapacious livestock and he sought reimbursement from the county.

The County Attorney advised the Commission to not reimburse Golder because the county would have to publicly notice and seek input from other parties who might have suffered damages. This could result in other claimed damages that would exceed the remaining funds.

Presiding Commissioner Skelton stated that even the notion that the county had made $2,000 wasn’t accurate since the salaries of all of the county employees who were involved in the apprehension had not been calculated into the cost. Commissioner Gohagan also explained they had received no proof that the rogue cattle damaged Golder’s property.

The Commission voted unanimously to refuse the claim and place the $2,000 from the auction of the wild dogies into the Animal Control budget.

The fifth agenda item was Visitor Pass.

Now, regular readers can imagine how excited the Gadfly became when I saw this listed on the agenda. Since John Beckett was recently appointed to the Board of Adjustment, the Commission voted unanimously to give him a Visitor’s Pass so he could enter the courthouse without waiting in the metal detector line.

Ex-Commissioner Greg Hasty had voted more than a few moons ago to also give me a coveted Visitor’s Pass. Unfortunately, every time I asked the deputies when I would get it, they told me the machine that makes the passes was broken. Sure it was.

Well, I guess they had to fix the machine to give Beckett his pass, so at this meeting, I was presented with my very own Visitor’s Pass. It was everything I dreamed of. So fancy and new with a lanyard.

They didn’t make a big deal about it. Commissioner Gohagan tossed it on the table in front of me and said, “Here’s your Visitor’s Pass, Gadfly.” Not quite the ceremony I was expecting, but at least I have it in my greedy clutches.

I would post a photo of me wearing it, but the Sheriff would probably say I had violated security protocols and take it away. I’ll take good care of it.

The sixth agenda item was MoBell.

Missouri Bell Telecom provides the telephone and wiring services for Camden County. They had a representative at this meeting. The Commission had some questions about the billing for their services.

The Commission voted unanimously to table this matter until their attorney can review it.

The seventh agenda item was EMA Warning Shelter.

This was a debrief on the warming shelter that EMA set up during the snow storm between December 22 and December 25 of last year. The operation was successful and it was assisted by community volunteers and donations from local businesses and churches. The main takeaway from the effort was that EMA personnel had to be heavily involved in the actual operation of the warming shelter. Future planning should be focused on identifying and training groups in the community to prepare and operate these shelters without the need to have the few EMA people we have so heavily committed on site.

Presiding Commissioner Skelton stated that in his opinion, it is the responsibility of individuals to take care of themselves. The government is there merely to facilitate these efforts.

I was told that only two people utilized the warming shelter, but in my mind, that’s two less people who were stuck out in the cold. It was also probably a good rehearsal for Camden County to learn from in the event that a more serious cold weather event occurs.

And that was that.

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