Chaffee council sticks to business

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Watch video of Chaffee Mayor Loretta Mohorc discuss city business

CHAFFEE, Mo. -- "Mud thrown is ground lost."

Chaffee Mayor Loretta Mohorc, far right, discussed city business Monday with the city council including Councilman Tom Cunningham, left, and city attorney David Summers, at Chaffee City Hall. (Fred Lynch)

That's on the sign for Calvary Baptist Church on Yoakum Street in Chaffee.

It could have been the theme of the Chaffee City Council's meeting Monday. No one talked directly about the city council's failed impeachment vote at a Feb. 6 closed meeting. No one complained about the police department the way they did on Feb. 4, which sparked the closed meeting.

Though somewhat restrained, the elected officials maintained a positive tone. They universally praised the city's response to last week's ice storm, particularly the teamwork between police and firefighters.

Forty people sat watching the city council review its business. The Florsheim building was appraised at $240,000. The police department has advertised for a patrolman and a dispatcher.

Police chief Jesse Chisum told the board he has put cell phones in three cruisers and provided the numbers to the city clerk. Officers will get training in the field and on writing reports; classes on grant writing and responding to active shooters is also in the department's future.

Chisum said his officers made 62 traffic stops since the first of the month, issued nine citations, responded to 15 calls for service and wrote 26 reports. Officers also cited two people for driving while intoxicated and made two warrant arrests. They responded to six domestic calls.

City Clerk Diane Eftink reported gas bills for city vehicles: $1,597.74 for police and $622.07 for public works.

David Summers, the city attorney, advised council members they would likely be disappointed in the cost of trying to recoup payment for the fire department's six trips to SEMO Genetics. The calls, mostly false alarms, left the city at risk and took four volunteer firefighters from their paid jobs, said fire captain Sam Glency.

He and Lt. Doug Sutterfield said they would talk to the company again. The city will also send a letter asking for payment.

The firefighters said the city's new ambulance has been tuned up but needs painting. They have not been able to find a building with a 9-foot door and some heat to rent for the two days they need to paint.

Councilman Tom Cunningham reminded everyone to turn in budget information by the first week of March so the city's budget can be approved by April 1.

Councilwoman Alice McFerron, who represents Ward 2, said she'd received a complaint about people using city trash bins for their own trash. Councilman Jack Nordin responded that he had done that recently with trash from one of his rental homes.

"If they pay a tax bill, they should be able to use it," he said. Councilman Leon Stricklin said he was concerned that farmers from outside the city were using the containers. The council agreed that, as long as the sanitation department is informed in advance, taxpaying residents can use the containers.

Stricklin said the city needs to get siren heads properly hooked up before tornado season.

After they adjourned, Cunningham said he was "tickled to death we had a good meeting tonight."

Mayor Loretta Mohorc was greeted and hugged by friends.

"At this time, it appears everything has worked out for the better of the city," said Councilman Bill Dysinger.

Loretta Hicks Below watched the meeting. She had no problem with the council's agreement on the use of city trash bins, "as long as it's across the board."

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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