Archive for Thursday, June 4, 2009

Council clear up voting glitch, discuss fireworks

June 4, 2009

Baldwin City Council members cleaned up a voting glitch and started the process to allow sale and discharge of fireworks on July 1 at Monday’s meeting.

The vote involved Mayor Ken Wagner’s appointment of Robin Bayer to fill the two years remaining on Wagner’s council seat. At the last meeting, the vote was declared 4-0 in favor, but two council members — Tom Farmer and Mike Magers — didn’t vote, but also didn’t say they were abstaining. That wasn’t discovered until after the meeting and after Bayer had been sworn in.

Wagner wanted the minutes from that meeting to reflect what actually happened, so he asked that they be amended and asked the council members in question about their votes.

“Yes, Mr. Mayor, I did not vote for Mr. Bayer,” said Farmer. “I have nothing against Mr. Bayer, I just didn’t have any information about him.”

Wagner said that was a reason to abstain.

“That will be changed in the minutes,” said Wagner. “I do want the council to know that we are elected to vote.”

Magers also said he didn’t vote for Bayer, citing personal reasons involving business dealings a friend of his had with Bayer.

“I think it would have been best for you to vote no, but we will go ahead and change the minutes,” said Wagner.

That brought the vote to two for the appointment and two abstentions.

“In this case, the abstentions count for affirmative,” said Wagner. “The appointment still stands.”

As for fireworks, in years past the city allowed the sale and discharge on July 2-4. However, in recent years the county has allowed sale and discharge also on July 1. The city’s regulations will be amended to include July 1 at the next meeting after a 4-0 vote on the first reading of the change to the ordinance.

The council also voted 4-0 to put a four-way stop at the intersection of Flame Way and FireTree Ave. as the result of a petition filed by FireTree Estates residents following a recent accident. A 7-year-old girl was struck in the intersection after not stopping at a stop sign. Her injuries weren’t life threatening, although she was flown by helicopter ambulance to a Kansas City hospital. She’s recuperating at home.

The council delayed action on a request by the same group to lower the speed limit in FireTree to 20 mph. More study will be done on that.

The council also approved a resolution to adopt the Douglas County Emergency Operations Plan.

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