by Jake Hipsher, Grain Valley News Intern and Valley News staff
Grain Valley’s Board of Aldermen met for a regularly scheduled meeting on July 25th in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
In its first item of business, the Board approved 5-1 the rescission of a vote taken during its last meeting on July 11th, which concerned a zoning change for The Lofts at Creekside Landing. Two members were absent on July 11th, and the vote on the motion was 3-1. City attorney Joe Lauber explained that the ordinance requires four votes to pass. In order to reconsider the ordinance, the Board would need to vote to rescind the ordinance so it could be placed on a future agenda.
Alderman Arnold mentioned counsel he had received from unnamed parties indicated the City Attorney’s recommendations are in error. Arnold requested an interpretation by a registered parliamentarian to ensure the Board is “doing the right thing by this particular motion”.
Lauber succinctly responded to Arnold’s comments, dismissing them as incorrect.
“Alderman Arnold is incorrect in that a motion to rescind can be a motion to repeal or annul an action taken altogether, so you can annul a vote. Alderman Arnold also mistakenly mixes apples and oranges because the rule that would say that an ordinance cannot be passed with less than four affirmative votes is a rule that is set by statute, not by rules of parliamentary procedure,” Lauber said.
“A motion to rescind is absolutely in order. It was previously notified. It was put on the agenda, and therefore a motion to rescind would require only a simple majority vote of the Board of Aldermen.”
Arnold continued to raise procedural questions, and Lauber suggested Arnold make a motion to have the Board consider consulting a parliamentarian on the matter. The motion was raised; no aldermen would offer a second, so the motion did not move forward. Mayor Mike Todd then asked for a vote to rescind the motion, and the motion passed 5-1, with Arnold as the ‘no’ vote.
The Board welcomed Nicholas W. Jeffries, a new officer to the Grain Valley Police Department, who took the oath of office during the meeting.
Under New Business, the board reviewed citizen participation guidelines. Mayor Mike Todd suggested the addition of a time limit for each citizen, as well as a more detailed sign in for each participant.
“It's really important from a clerical standpoint, because we don't always get the full names or addresses necessarily... Just so we have that record and make sure we get all that documented correctly,” Todd said.
On the time limit topic, Alderman Cleaver suggested a three-minute timeframe for each participant. With the board’s approval, the present city attorney recommended flexibility with that amount depending on the scenario.
“In my opinion we should have some sort of digital clock timer up front,” said Alderman Bass.
Mayor Todd agreed, expressing the need for a visual countdown for the benefit of everyone involved.
The board agreed with these revisions and went on to approve the two recommendations for citizen participation.
The Board approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the Grain Valley Municipal Code to include stop sign locations for recently completed subdivisions.
The second ordinance on the agenda brought up changes to Section 400.230 of the city’s Code of Ordinances. This section pertains to residential garages and accessory buildings.
The proposed ordinance would prohibit a wheeled trailer, portable storage container or roll-off trash container or similar container as an accessory building.
Several members raised issue with language regarding the styling of accessory buildings.
“It's just a little bit intrusive government control,” said Alderman Arnold.
“I think the language needs to be cleaned up. It's kind of all been lumped together, and I just think it's overreaching… We are just overreaching our boundaries,” Alderman Knox said.
“If someone builds a brick house, does the shed have to be brick too? If somebody goes to Home Depot and buys one of those nice Rubbermaid sheds, is that really an issue?” questioned Alderman Skinner.
By the end of the discussion, the board amended the ordinance to remove language regarding the styling of accessory buildings. The board then approved the first reading of the ordinance to not allow certain accessory buildings.
During Mayor comments, Todd mentioned an event hosted for Grain Valley’s business owners on August 2nd from 4:30 to 6:30pm at Iron Kettle Brewing. The event’s purpose is to create more connections between local businesses and the rest of the community.
The next Board of Aldermen meeting is scheduled for August 8th at 7:00pm, located in the Council Chambers of Grain Valley City Hall.