Sikeston's charter draft passes board

Wednesday, December 5, 2001

SIKESTON, Mo. - A draft of a home rule charter that will change Siketon's form of government is ready to be presented for public input through hearings now that it has been finalized by a 13-member commission.

The charter was approved by commissioners 10-2 with one commissioner abstaining during a charter commission meeting Monday.

Although the vote doesn't guarantee a change, said commission chairman Harry Sharp, it does give commissioners a draft to present at upcoming public hearings.

After receiving input from the public, commissioners hope to finalize the home rule charter in January. The deadline is March 1 for a final draft, which will be voted on during April elections.

One of two remaining sticking points will be examined in more detail at the next board meeting as commissioners voted 8-4 to invite former Sikeston mayors to speak.

The primary topics of discussion will be mayors' roles and whether the mayor should be selected by peers on the council or at large by the public.

"If you can get a half-dozen former mayors, they can tell you how it worked or didn't work," said Steve Sikes, vice chairman. "I do think its worthy of discussion or revisiting the issue."

Commissioners also discussed a paragraph in the draft charter that allows the Board of Municipal Utilities to make voluntary fund transfers into the city's general fund.

Commissioner Manuel Drumm said utility board members could approve transfers with or without the paragraph being included in the charter.

City attorney Charles Leible, who drafted the paragraph, said presently utility board members can make transfers to the city only for a purpose related directly to the board's activities, which would not include transfers to the city for any other purchases.

Discussion ended with a 10-3 vote not to remove the paragraph.

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