March 28, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

I attended the March 28, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

Commissioners Gohagan and Skelton were present.

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

The first agenda item was the Justice Center Phone Policy.

This item was tabled because the person who asked to place it on the agenda was not present.

The second item was Rick Hasty – Personal property tax issues.

Mr. Hasty wanted to speak to the Commission regarding his personal property taxes. He moved to Camden County from Miller County on July 17, 2021. As a new resident, he was unaware that he would have to report this move to Camden County. When he eventually called the county regarding his personal property taxes, he thought they seemed high. He was informed that they were higher than normal because they were past due and included late penalties and interest.

He was fine with paying his personal property taxes, but he did not want to pay the late penalties.

The Tax Assessor, the Collector, and several of their employees were present at the meeting. They explained that they have to abide by Missouri statutes that dictate how property taxes will be collected. Taxpayers won’t necessarily be notified what they owe. It’s ultimately the responsibility of the taxpayer to update their addresses and check in with the real estate and personal property tax offices.

Presiding Commissioner Skelton explained to Hasty that since the method of tax collection had been created by the state, any changes would have to be achieved at the state level. He told Hasty he would provide him with the contact information for Missouri Representative Lisa Thomas.

(Mr. Hasty was friendly and polite throughout the discussion. Like most of us, he simply would rather not pay the late penalties for a debt of which he was unaware. I find it interesting the way Missouri handles personal property taxes.

Residents register their vehicles at Missouri License Offices and walk away thinking they’ve been lightly taxed. It’s left to the county governments to drop the hammer on them later on with what amounts to a significant vehicle and boat tax. It seems like it would be much simpler for the License Office to collect the entire amount at registration and then Missouri could just forward the collected taxes to the registrant’s county. Instead, each county has to try and track the movements of the owners as they move within the state. And the county government becomes the bad guy. Sheesh.)

The third agenda item was Macks Creek Park Ordinance.

This ordinance would set hours for the Macks Creek Park from sunrise until 11:00 p.m. The Park Board is also authorized to close the park as needed. The penalty for violating this ordinance would be a Trespassing charge.

And since this is Camden County, that means if they catch you TRESPASSING in the park, somebody is probably going to write a search warrant on your Facebook account. So either don’t stay past the park hours or keep that Facebook account clean as a whistle!

The ordinance was approved unanimously.

The fourth agenda item was Sheriff Phone Service.

This was a contract for phone service for the Sheriff’s Office. It would also provide an app that the deputies could use on their phones that would mask their personal numbers when they use them to call victims, witnesses, or other on duty contacts. I’m sure the deputies and detectives would really appreciate that.

The commissioners had some questions about the contract including one portion where it said the phone system might use Google Analytics. The Sheriff’s representative said they could have the vendor come to the Thursday Commission meeting to answer specific questions.

This item was tabled unanimously.

In Old Business, Presiding Commissioner Skelton explained that DNR does not have lead remediation or abatement guidelines to assist with the lead dust contamination issue in the courthouse. The county may have no choice but to consult with the EPA.

Anyone who knows Commissioner Skelton can only imagine the expression on his face as he spoke those words.

And that was that.

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