image
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
Phone: (314) 843-0102
|
Fax: (314) 843-0508
|
flag image

Aldermen meet in private to move mall plans ahead


Mike Anthony
Executive Editor

manthony
shadow
June 12, 2013 - Seldom does a sitting elected official admit to skirting the state's Open Meetings and Records Act to discuss public business with other elected officials, but we believe a Crestwood alderman did that last week in an email sent to Mayor Jeff Schlink and other city officials.

A Board of Aldermen work session set for June 4 had been canceled the previous day, yet four aldermen — Richard Breeding and Darryl Wallach of Ward 1, Mary Stadter of Ward 2 and Dan Tennessen of Ward 4 — met at a Crestwood business to discuss the redevelopment of Crestwood Court.

"Four aldermen arrived ready for the work session tonight at 6 p.m., and as we did not have a quorum, we decided to go over to a local business and discuss how we thought we might move this issue of the redevelopment of the Crestwood Court property forward," Stadter wrote in the June 4 email to Schlink.

In his booklet about the Missouri Open Meetings and Records Law, better known as the Sunshine Law, Attorney General Chris Koster answers a series of questions about the law, including: "Does the Sunshine Law apply to a meeting of members of a public governmental body where public business is discussed, but a quorum is not present?"

Under the law, a meeting takes place when a majority or quorum of public governmental body gathers to discuss or vote on public business, Koster writes. But he adds, "It also must be remembered that the Sunshine Law will apply to meetings of groups with less than a quorum when the entity is deliberately attempting to evade the Sunshine Law. For example, a public governmental body may not purposely meet in groups with less than a quorum to discuss and or decide public business and then ratify those actions in a subsequent public meeting ..."

Given Stadter's June 4 email, that certainly appears to be the case as she specifically denotes the lack of a quorum, but writes the four wanted to "... discuss how we thought we might move this issue of the redevelopment of the Crestwood Court property forward."

In an email to Stadter, Schlink noted the June 4 work session had been canceled. "No meeting was scheduled," he wrote. "The public outcry and perception of a Sunshine Law violation will be a separate matter."

We agree with Schlink. While the four aldermen may not have intended to skirt the Sunshine Law, we believe a clandestine discussion of public business fosters that perception.


Tags: Crestwood News, Opinions Column


  • Related Editorial
    Our Town
    Crestwood bank robbed Wednesday morning
    Police seek information on suspect in robbery of PNC Bank
    Jul 19 2017
    Law enforcement officials are investigating a robbery that occurred this morning — Wednesday, July 19 — at PNC Bank, 9792 Watson Road, Crestwood....
    Impact News
    AFPD, state officials seek dismissal of Crestwood lawsuit
    City officials helped change laws Crestwood challenging
    Jul 19 2017
    The Affton Fire Protection District is asking that a lawsuit filed against it by the city of Crestwood be dismissed because, among other claims, fire district attorneys say city officials waited too long ...
    School News
    Lindbergh Teacher of the Year earns regional honor
    Lindbergh educator eligible for state teacher recognition
    Jul 19 2017
    Truman Middle School librarian and Lindbergh Schools 2017 Teacher of the Year Megan Vallis has been named one of 10 Missouri Regional Teachers of the Year for the St. Louis area....
    Impact News
    Local meeting guide 2017
    Jan 08 2014
    All meeting times, dates and locations are subject to change for 2017. ...
    Opinions
    City’s residents have right to know who initiated suit
    'Call the Tune' by Mike Anthony
    Jul 05 2017
    The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen recently voted in closed session to authorize City Attorney Robert E. Jones to file a lawsuit against the owners of a property on Rayburn Avenue “to obtain judgment ...
  • Pitch It & Forget It
Site Search


Weather
Type in your zip code and click "Go" to get your 7-day forecast.
Visit www.crh.noaa.gov