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MFPD board to discuss filling vacant third seat


By KAREN CALLANAN

Staff Reporter

The Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors announced it would discuss filling a vacant seat on the board during a meeting earlier this week.

The Board of Directors was scheduled to meet Monday night — after the Call went to press.

Board Chairman Tom O'Driscoll and Treasurer Daniel Ottoline Sr. announced last week they would discuss filling the board's third seat that has been vacant since the death of Joe Gaterman on April 29 — 10 days after being sworn in as the board's new secretary.

"I've heard, I don't know, six or seven names of people who have expressed an in-terest in serving in this position," O'Driscoll said during the board's July 21 meeting.

"What I'd like to do is next week you (Treasurer Dan Ottoline) and I can discuss who we would select of those people to interview and perhaps conduct interviews the first meeting in August ... In addition, if there's any other people who have an interest, they can submit their names to Chief Haddock and he can pass them on to us,'' the chairman added.

Ottoline said he agreed with O'Driscoll "wholeheartedly."

The board's July 28 meeting agenda, however, lists a 5 p.m. closed session for "legal" and "personnel" matters that will take place at O'Driscoll's Oakville residence. O'Dris-coll still is recovering from injuries suffered in an April 27 traffic accident.

A public session of the board was scheduled to reconvene at 6:30 p.m. at the district's headquarters in Green Park. The agenda, however, includes items of old and new business, but no discussion of the selection of a new director.

Missouri's Open Meetings and Records Law, commonly referred to as the Sunshine Law, states that a public governmental body is to meet openly, except when its members discuss certain matters, including "hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of particular employees by a public governmental body when personal information about the employee is discussed or recorded."

However, a Sunshine Law publication issued by Attorney General Jay Nixon states, "Generally, an employee is one who receives wages or salary from the government ... But independent contractors, members of volunteer citizen boards and elected officials are not employees for purposes'' of the Sunshine Law exemption re-lating to the hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of particular employees.

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