Issuu on Google+

The Missouri Municipal

Review

The Official Publication of The Missouri Municipal League

November 2012

Healthcare Update: What Do You Need To Know? Plus: ◊ Holiday Decorations On Public Property ◊ Debt Management Policies ◊ Major Milestones For The Cities Of Weston And North Kansas City ◊ A Stable Credit Outlook For Missouri


Missouri Securities Investment Program A Cash Management Program for School Districts, Municipalities and Other Political Subdivisions

The Missouri Securities Investment Program (“MOSIP”) is a comprehensive cash management program for school districts, municipalities, and other political subdivisions. MOSIP was created in 1991 by the Missouri School Boards Association. MOSIP offers its participants a professionally managed portfolio with competitive money market rates. MOSIP stresses “safety of principal” as the number one objective and is rated AAAm by Standard and Poor’s. Registered Representatives

William T. Sullivan, Jr. Managing Director 1-800-891-7910 x225 sullivanw@pfm.com

Maria Altomare Managing Director 1-800-891-7910 x222 altomarem@pfm.com

P.O. Box 11760 • Harrisburg, PA 17108-1760 1-877-MY-MOSIP 77 Port Plaza Drive 2 /West November 2012• Suite 220 • St. Louis, MO 63146 1-800-891-7910

Administered by: PFM Asset Management LLC Sponsored by: Missouri School Boards Association • Missouri Association of School Business Officials Missouri Association of School Administrators

This information does not represent an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any fund or other security. Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in any of the Missouri Securities Investment Program’s portfolios. This and other information about the Program’s portfolios is available in the Program’s current Information Statement, which should be read carefully before investing. A copy of the Information Statement may be obtained by calling 1-877-MY-MOSIP or is available on the Program’s website at www.mosip.org. While the MOSIP Money Market Series seeks to maintain a stable net asset value of $1.00 per share and the MOSIP Term portfolio seeks to achieve a net asset value of $1.00 per share at the stated maturity, it is possible to lose money investing in the Program. An investment in the Program is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Shares of the Program’s portfolios are distributed by PFM Fund Distributors, Inc., member Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (www.finra.org). PFM Fund Distributors, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of PFM Asset Management LLC. Member SIPC. Standard & Poor's fund ratings are based on analysis of credit quality, market price exposure, and management. According to Standard & Poor's rating criteria, the AAAm rating signifies excellent safety of invested principal and a superior capacity to maintain a $1.00 per share net asset value. However, it should be understood nor a recommendation to The Missouri Municipal Reviewthat the rating is not a "market" ratingwww.mocities.com buy, hold or sell the securities.


s m

or es al ns

fund nses er

nt

alue er nt in other ors,

and t ue. to

The Missouri Municipal

Review

November 2012

VOLUME 77, NO.6

The Official Publication of The Missouri Municipal League

contents

President

4 / President's Report

Mayor Pro Tem Susan McVey Poplar Bluff

5 / Director's Message

Vice President

6 / Update: The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act by Jim McNichols

Councilmember Jan Marcason Kansas City

10 / Holiday Decorations On Public Property by Roger Huebner, Brian Day and Jerry Zurley

Immediate Past President Mayor Norman McCourt Black Jack

13 / North Kansas City: Bridging The Century With 100 Years Of Progress by Jeff Samborski

e

MISSOURI MUNICIPAL LEAGUE BOARD OF DIRECTORS David Bower, Mayor, Raytown; Conrad Bowers, Mayor, Bridgeton; Denise Chisum, City Clerk, Lee’s Summit; Roger Haynes, Deputy City Manager, Mexico; Bill Johnson, Director of Administration, Fulton; David Kater, Mayor, Desloge; Bill Kolas, Mayor, Higginsville; *Ron Monnig, Councilmember, Slater; Raeanne Presley, Mayor, Branson; John “Rocky” Reitmeyer, Alderman, St. Peters; Lisa Robertson, City Attorney, St. Joseph; Frank Roland, Mayor, Hillsboro; Kathy Rose, Mayor, Riverside; *Carson Ross, Mayor, Blue Springs; Stanley Salva, Mayor, Sugar Creek; Arthur Sharpe, Jr., Councilmember, University City; Tom Short, City Administrator, Carthage; Paul Ward, Councilmember, Kirkwood; *Gerry Welch, Mayor, Webster Groves; * Kevin

Wood, Mayor, Harrisonville. *Past President

19 / Debt Management Policies by Joan Jadali 22 / City Of Weston Celebrates 175 Years by Kim Kirby 34 / City Of Black Jack's Cable Television Station Benefits Entire Region by Karen Robinson

departments 25 / News From The Bench

26 / FAQs: Sunshine Law, Part Two 30 / Professional Directory 37 / Member Accomplishments / Job Opportunities 38 / Calendar of Events

e

Laura Holloway, Editor Contributing Editors: Dan Ross and Richard Sheets

AFFILIATE GROUPS: Missouri City Management Association; City Clerks and Finance Officers Association; Government Finance Officers Association of Missouri; Missouri Municipal Attorneys Association; Missouri Park and Recreation Association; Missouri Chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors; Missouri Chapter of the American Public Works Association; Missouri Association of Fire Chiefs. www.mocities.com

16 / Missouri Cities Sustain Stable Credit Outlook By Mitigating Challenges by Jeffery Yorg

Missouri Municipal Review (ISSN 0026-6647) is the official publication of the Missouri Municipal League state association of cities, towns and villages, and other municipal corporations of Missouri. Publication office is maintained at 1727 Southridge Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109. Subscriptions: $30 per year. Single copies: $5 prepaid. Advertising rates on request. Published bi-monthly. Periodicals postage paid at Jefferson City, Missouri. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to 1727 Southridge Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109. To contact the League Office call 573-635-9134, fax 573-635-9009 or email the League at info@mocities.com. The League’s Website address is: www.mocities.com.

The Missouri Municipal Review

November 2012 / 3


President’s Report. . . David Bower, Raytown; Mayor Frank Roland, Hillsboro; and Mayor Stanley Salva, Sugar Creek. Thank you to all board members for your committed service! I also want to recognize Mayor Norm McCourt for his outstanding leadership as League president over the past year. His dedication to MML and local government is unparalleled, and I’m thankful that his service continues on the MML Board. Looking forward to 2013, many challenges are ahead for local government. While communities support local government overall, studies show a growing distrust in larger government entities. It is more important than ever to demonstrate to citizens how local government benefits their everyday life and encourage them to be involved. The legislative session is coming up fast, beginning Jan. 9, 2013. You can expect to see issues regarding local taxes at the forefront. As a League, we will work together to keep state officials educated on the needs of municipalities and how new legislation affects us. As a community, your participation is crucial to make an impact. Plan now to attend the MML Legislative Conference in Jefferson City, Feb. 12-13, 2013. The Conference

MML President Mayor Pro Tem Susan McVey Poplar Bluff

I

am truly honored to serve over the next year as the Missouri Municipal League’s president. During the fantastic Annual Conference this September, the League also elected a new vice president, Kansas City Councilmember Jan Marcason. In addition, three new board members were elected: Mayor

provides a valuable overview of the legislative session and new laws that will affect your municipality. Most importantly, you can visit your own legislators and share in person how legislation will affect your constituents. The Conference is a great chance for members to renew ties with other elected officials and see the power of working together to strengthen Missouri communities. Your MML staff continues working to grow Missouri communities each day. I am thankful for their continued service offering reliable and current information on the countless topics we all encounter in local government. Their work to provide a unified voice for municipalities will be incredibly valuable as the new legislative session begins. I look forward to an exciting and productive year for Missouri municipalities, and I invite you each to make sure you add your voice. 

Why Should You Visit MML's Website?

• Current Job Opportunities

SUSTAINABLE

DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM SOLUTIONS

•••• •• • •• •••••

• Member City Websites

Solutions from Utility Service...

Water Quality · Ice Pigging · THM Removal · Tank Mixing · Chemical Cleaning: tanks, filter media, clear wells Asset Management · Storage Tanks · GPS locating, mapping & GIS Services · Valve & Hydrant locating, exercising, maint. & repairs Water Conservation · Water Loss Reduction & Helium Leak Detection Services Metering Services · Smart Metering

• Daily Local News • MML Conferences • Latest Legislative Action • Publications

Innovative, flexible and comprehensive solutions from a company you’ve trusted since 1963.

www.utilityservice.com

To learn more contact your local Utility Service Representative...

Western Missouri

Jamie Mays . 478.244.1219 jmays@utilityservice.com 4 / November 2012

Eastern Missouri

Joel Ogle . 636.484.1338

• Sample Ordinances

www.mocities.com

jogle@utilityservice.com

The Missouri Municipal Review

www.mocities.com


Director's Message ...

A

year ago, I shared with you some changes in MML staff assignments and that I would use the opportunity presented by a staff vacancy to create a much-needed fulltime communications position. That position was filled in January 2012 by Laura Holloway, who has done an excellent job in building on already strong communication initiatives and expanded our reach into social media. Your MML is now communicating to

an expanded audience on Facebook and Twitter. We know you love MML, but now you can also “like” us on Facebook and communicate with us in 140 characters or less on Twitter @ mocities. In addition, Laura has created a community of public information / communications professionals from your cities and across local government entities that leverage all of our abilities and resources in getting our message out. In 2012, your League also has created or strengthened working relationships with more than 25 partners and stakeholders from within state and local government as well as the private sector. Creating these connections and learning what issues are important to everyone really expands our network of eyes and ears in and around the legislative process, both in metropolitan and outstate Missouri. Speaking of the legislative process, I anticipate we will have our work cut out for us in 2013. Potential and likely issues we will be involved in are legislative attempts to pass the “so called” fair tax. We’ll also need to be very active in working with partners

to craft a “fix” for the vehicle, RV and marine use tax. By necessity, that also will need to incorporate language to assist with implementing the streamlined sales tax in Missouri. We’ll again be working hard to support legislation to bring transparency to the initiative petition process. In addition, 2012 is the final year of a negotiated five-year moratorium on seeking legislation to the telecommunication settlements of 2007. We would like to work with the telecommunication industry to extend that moratorium or to get out in front of the potential issue. We are planning the annual Municipal Lobbyist meeting to be held in December. I would ask that you strongly encourage your lobbyist to attend the meeting to learn and share information on legislative opportunities and threats facing municipalities and municipal interest. I wish you a wonderful holiday season and look forward to working together next year to further strengthen Missouri communities! Dan Ross MML Director

Follow us @MoCities!

Stay Connected with MML on Facebook! www.facebook.com/mocities

www.mocities.com

The Missouri Municipal Review

November 2012 / 5


UPDATE: THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

T

by Jim McNichols

he Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act were signed into law on March 23, 2010, and March 30, 2010, respectively (collectively, PPACA or the Act). Elements of PPACA include incentives and penalties to encourage employers to provide health care coverage to their employees, combined with incentives and penalties to encourage individuals to buy health care coverage. Many of the law’s changes will not become effective for a few years. However, many of the required changes for coverage under both self-funded and insured plans have already taken effect. This article provides an update on the key changes. 1. New Requirements For Health Care Plans

• Plans may not impose any pre-existing condition exclusions (effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014).

Some of the key changes that have taken effect already or will in the near future, include:

• Plans that extend coverage to dependent children must allow such coverage to continue to age 26 for dependents (regardless of the dependent's marital status). For certain "grandfathered" plans described below, the continued dependent coverage applies for the period before 2014 only if the dependent is not eligible to receive benefits under another group plan (effective for plan years beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010). • Plans may not impose lifetime limits on coverage for "essential health care benefits." Annual limits also are prohibited except that through 2014 certain "restricted annual limits" may be allowed according to regulations (effective for plan years beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010). • Health plans cannot retroactively cancel coverage for enrolled participants except in case of fraud or intentional misrepresentation 6 / November 2012

(effective for plan years beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010). • Plans may not impose any pre-existing condition exclusions on children (those enrolled under the age of 19) for plan years beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010. • Plans may not provide annual dollar limits on “essential health care benefits” (effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014). • Plans may not impose waiting periods in excess of 90 days (effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014). The Missouri Municipal Review

Additional limitations and rules apply to plans that are not “grandfathered.” The definition of grandfathered health plan coverage means coverage provided by a group health plan or health insurance issues in which an individual was enrolled on March 23, 2010 (as long as it maintains that status under the regulations). If certain changes are made to the plan, it loses its grandfathered status. The new limitations on non-grandfathered plans include:

• Plans cannot impose cost-sharing for preventive services (effective for plan years beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010). • Plans must provide participants with greater appeal rights including the right to an external independent appeal (effective for www.mocities.com


plan years beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010). • Plans have to permit participants to choose their primary care physician from those physicians covered by the plan (effective for plan years beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010). • Plans cannot require preauthorizations or referrals for obstetrical or gynecological care. Emergency care services must be provided without prior authorization and without regard to whether the provider is in-network or out-of-network (effective for plan years beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010). • Plans cannot establish eligibility rules based on health status, claims experience, medical history, evidence of insurability or other health-status factors deemed inappropriate (effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014).

2. Employer “Play Or Pay” Mandates And Excise Tax Penalties

The incentive for employers to provide health care coverage is provided for by an excise tax penalty imposed on certain employers who do not provide coverage to employees. The Act will require “applicable large employers” to “play-or-pay.” They will either “play” by making coverage available to “full-time employees” (those working 30 hours or more on average each week) or “pay” an excise tax penalty. Starting Jan. 1, 2014, employers with at least 50 employees who do not offer their employees certain minimum levels of health coverage and have at least one employee receiving premium assistance from the federal government, will have to pay a monthly excise tax penalty of $166.67 (namely, one twelfth (1/12) of $2,000) per fulltime employee (but excluding the first 30 full-time employees). A different excise tax penalty is assessed if an employer offers health coverage but that coverage does not satisfy specific minimum levels. Generally, the specific minimums require: (i) the employee’s cost for coverage to be less than or equal to 9.5 percent of the employee’s household income, and (ii) the actuarial value of the benefits covered under the plan to equal or exceed

www.mocities.com

fabric structures

solutions Sustainable design-build waste lid for sand & salt storage, so ter , & composting facilities wa e! treatment facilities & mor

Call one of our ClearSpan specialists at 1.866.643.1010 or visit us at www.ClearSpan.com/ADMMR.

Missouri Municipal Review 2 1 of the covered 60 percent of the cost services. Employers who offer coverage that does not satisfy these minimums must pay a monthly excise tax penalty of $250 (1/12 of $3,000) for each fulltime employee who receives federal premiums assistance for coverage (with a cap on such penalty equal to $166.67 times the number of the employer’s full-time employees minus the first 30 full-time employees).

3. Subsidies For Employer And Employees

The Act has subsidies that encourage employers to provide health care coverage and to encourage employees to purchase health care coverage. After 2013, employers offering minimum essential coverage for which they pay some of the cost will be required to offer “free choice vouchers” to eligible employees. An employee can use the vouchers to buy coverage from one of the state health care exchanges described below. “Eligible employees” to receive a voucher are the following: (1) employees whose required contribution for employer-provided coverage exceeds 8 percent but less than 9.8 percent of the employee’s household income; (ii) employees whose household income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level; and (iii) employees who decline participating in their employer’s health plan and instead enroll in a plan offered through

The Missouri Municipal Review

Buildings available up to 300' wide. Low in cost per square foot. Natural daytime lighting. Easy to relocate. Expandable.

5/11/11 will 12:24:59 PM an exchange. The voucher equal what the employer would have paid to provide coverage to the employee under the employer’s health care plan (effective for vouchers provided after Dec. 31, 2013).

4. Health Care Exchanges

Effective in 2014, states must establish “health care exchanges” where certain individuals can purchase “qualified health plans.” Also, states will be required to create “Small Business Health Options Program Exchanges” to help small employers in buying group health plan coverage. Employers with less than 50 employees are not required to pay a fee for each employee who receives a tax credit for health insurance through a state exchange. “Qualified Health Plans” are plans that offer coverage meeting specific standards, including:

• The coverage must provide for "essential health benefits" that includes ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs, laboratory services, pediatric services, substance use disorder services and chronic disease services. • The coverage must have limits on cost-sharing. • The coverage must provide November 2012 / 7


benefits that are actuarially equivalent to at least 60 percent of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the plan.

5. New Disclosure – “Summary Of Benefits And Coverage”

PPACA requires each group health plan to provide participants with a four-page document, “Summary of Benefits and Coverage.” This is a “plain English” description of the health benefit options, deductibles, cost-sharing and coverage. The Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) will have to be provided beginning on the first day of the first open enrollment period which begins on or after Sept. 23, 2012. For participants and others who enroll other than during open enrollment, the SBC must be provided on the first day of the first plan years that begins on or after Sept. 23, 2012. There is a sample of an SBC available on the Department of Labor website at http://www.dol. gov/ebsa/healthreform/.

6. Automatic Enrollment Of Employees

PPACA includes a new requirement that employers with more than

8 / November 2012

200 employees must automatically enroll new full-time employees in health plan coverage with an option to elect out of coverage. However, in February 2012, the Department of Labor announced that automatic enrollment guidance will not be ready to take effect by 2014. Until final regulations are issued, employers are not required to comply with the automatic enrollment rule.

7. Notice To New Employees About Health Care

Effective March 1, 2013, when an employer hires a new employee, the employer must notify the employee about the health care exchange and the availability of premium assistance for insurance purchased through the exchange if the employer provides less than 60 percent of the cost of coverage in its plan.

W-2 (and Forms W-2 for later years) unless and until further guidance is issued), an employer is not subject to this reporting requirement if the employer was required to file fewer than 250 W-2 forms for the preceding calendar year. Jim McNichols is a senior attorney with the Lowenbaum Partnership based out of the St. Louis region. He concentrates his practice in employee benefits and tax law. He has extensive experience in advising clients on sophisticated employee benefit plans and handling tax compliance issues. The Lowenbaum Partnership is a leading labor and employment law firm providing Missouri municipal governments with services and it has recently been named a “Best Law Firm in Employment Law & Labor Law” by U.S. News & World Reports.

8. Reporting The Cost Of Health Care Coverage On Form W-2

PPACA requires that employers must report the cost of employerprovided health care coverage on an employee’s W-2 for informational purposes only. In the case of the 2012 Forms

The Missouri Municipal Review

www.mocities.com


With annual membership as low as $640* it’s now afforable to bring technology solutions to your Missouri City or County!

MOREnet Supports

Cities & Counties Membership Options

The Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet) can provide or assist municipalities and counties with any level of affordable technology support from a simple Website to cloud computing. The service offerings below are designed to support the specific technology demands of cities and counties.

Communications Service Package

For cities and counties that require e-mail and web hosting services in a trusted, secure facility including E-mail Archiving for aid with open records compliance.

Technology Ready Service Package

For cities and counties that need network security and local area network consulting, unlimited access to technical training and a help desk for various technical support needs. Web and e-mail hosting is also included in this package.

Other Technology Services Available

In addition to tailor-made service packages for cities and counties, MOREnet also offers a wide variety of services to help meet your technology needs including Virtual Servers, Network Backup, Video Conferecing, Technical Training/Professional Development and more!

For more information, contact Member Relations at MOREnet!

*Rates based on city population or county assessed value.

Missouri Research and Education Network 221 N. Stadium Blvd., Ste. 201, Columbia, MO 65203 (573) 884-7200 · orders@more.net · www.more.net

www.mocities.com

The Missouri Municipal Review

November 2012 / 9


HOLIDAY DECORATIONS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY by Roger Huebner, Brian Day and Jerry Zurley

A

s the holiday season approaches, it is time for municipalities to begin preparing for what has become a recent American holiday tradition – litigation over seasonal religious displays in public places. T h e p l a c e m e n t o f c r è c h e s 1, menorahs2, kinaras 3 and other holiday decorations in public places has often sparked heated debates over the role of local governments in recognizing holidays that have a religious context. On the one hand, some argue that local governments should be allowed to acknowledge the religious nature of what are, fundamentally, religious holidays. But others argue that, by promoting a particular religious viewpoint, the government makes second-class citizens out of those who do not follow that religion. On either hand, municipalities are frequently caught in the middle. Q: Under the Constitution, is it legal for municipalities to sponsor or allow religious holiday decorations on public property? A: Yes, it’s legal for municipalities to sponsor or allow religious holiday decorations on public property … except in those cases when it’s not. Unfortunately, the guidance from the courts on this issue has been less than consistent. There is no bright-line rule to determine whether a holiday display violates the Constitution. Instead, the U.S. Supreme Court has designed an extremely subjective standard, and the legality of any display will hinge almost entirely on the specific facts surrounding that display. 1. The Establishment Clause: At the heart of this issue is the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Under that clause, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion …” 4 While the language of the clause explicitly mentions Congress, the clause also applies to state and local 10 / November 2012

governments. Originally, the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government, and they did not restrict the actions of the states. 5 That began to change, however, in the early 20th century as the Court began to use the due-process language of the 14th Amendment to apply provisions of the Bill of Rights to state as well as to federal law.6 The Establishment Clause is one of those provisions that has been incorporated to state and local governments. 7 The language of the clause prohibits the establishment of a religion. But courts have read that language in a broader context to prohibit the government from preferring one religion to another or from preferring religion to nonreligion. 8 In the disputes concerning holiday displays, the central issue is usually concentrated on whether the local government is giving preferential treatment to a particular The Missouri Municipal Review

religious viewpoint. 2. The Crèche Cases: In the 1980s, the U.S. Supreme Court heard two seminal cases concerning holiday displays. Those cases are Lynch v. Donnely 9 and County of Allegheny v. ACLU. 10 These cases are often called the “Crèche Cases.” The Lynch case, concerned a holiday display that was sponsored by the city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The display included a crèche, a Santa Claus, a reindeer, a Christmas tree, and cut-out figures of a clown, an elephant, a robot and a teddy bear. 11 A group of citizens sued claiming that, by including the crèche in the display, the City was endorsing Christianity over other religious viewpoints that would violate the Establishment Clause. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the crèche display was constitutional. In writing the majority opinion, Chief Justice Burger stated that, due to the historical role of religion in American life, the Establishment Clause does not require that religion be totally excluded. He also stated that Christmas has a significant secular importance, and the inclusion of the crèche in the display merely depicted the historical origins of the holiday.

www.mocities.com


It was Justice O’Connor’s concurring opinion, however, that set forth the standard that would be used in deciding future religious-display cases. According to Justice O’Connor: The Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making adherence to a religion relevant in any way to a p e r s on ’s s t an d i n g i n th e p o l i t i c a l community. Government can run afoul of that prohibition in two principal ways. One is excessive entanglement with religious institutions … The second and more direct infringement is government endorsement or disapproval of religion. Endorsement sends a message to non-adherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.12 Therefore, the test in these cases is whether a reasonable person would view the government’s actions as an endorsement of a particular relgion.13 This is often referred to as the “Endorsement Text.” Justice O’Connor then went on to note that the crèche was only one of the number of items that were included in the display. And the other items, such as the robot, clown and elephant were hardly traditional religious symbols. In this context, a reasonable person would not view the crèche as an endorsement of Christianity but, rather, as one of the number of holiday symbols.14 Five years later, the Court decided the case of County of Allegheny v. ACLU.15 It involved two different displays located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The first display featured a crèche that was donated by a Roman Catholic organization and that was placed on the grand staircase of the county courthouse. The grand staircase is the “main,” “most beautiful,” and “most public” part of the courthouse. 16 The crèche had a wooden fence on three sides and bore a plaque stating: “This Display Donated by the Holy Name Society.” The display included the figure of an angel carrying a banner

with the Latin phrase meaning “Glory to God in the Highest.” 17 The display also was accompanied by poinsettia plants around the fence and a small evergreen tree, decorated with a red bow, behind each of the two end posts of the fence. No figures of Santa Claus or other decorations appeared on the grand staircase.18 The second display was located outside of the city-county building. The display consisted of an 18-foot menorah, a 45-foot Christmas tree, and a sign announcing the City’s “Salute to Liberty.” 19 The decision in this case was complex and fragmented – the decision included nine separate opinions. Ultimately, the Court found that the crèche display violated the Constitution, but the outdoor display was permissible. One group of justices20 found that both of the displays should be permitted. Following the majority opinion in the Lynch case, they argued that the Establishment Clause should be viewed through the lens of history and that, historically, the Establishment Clause permits government some latitude in recognizing and accommodating the central role religion plays in our society. The justices concluded that both the crèche and the outdoor display constituted nothing but a passive acknowledgement of religion.21 A second group of justices22 found that neither of the displays should be permitted. They concluded that both of the displays constituted government recog nit ion of relig ious sy mb ols. Because neither of the displays was integrated into a clearly secular message, a reasonable person would conclude that, by allowing the displays, the government was endorsing religion. 23 The final result in the case came down to the swing votes of two justices, O’Connor and Blackmun. Following the endorsement test that O’Connor had developed in the Lynch case, the justices split the proverbial baby.

They held that the courthouse crèche was unconstitutional but the outdoor display was permissible. According to O’Connor, the overtly religious nature of the crèche, the dearth of other symbols, and the prominent place in which it was displayed would lead a reasonable observer to perceive that the display was an endorsement by the city of the religious message that the birth of Jesus was a significantly religious event. 24 Conversely, the outside display did not represent an endorsement of religion. By consisting of the menorah, Christmas tree and liberty sign, the display did not convey a singular religious message. Despite the religious nature of the menorah and (possibly) the Christmas tree, a reasonable observer would view the display, in its totality, as a message of religious tolerance and diversity rather than a particular endorsement of Judaism or Christianity.25 3. Post-Crèche Cases: The Allegheny County case is the last seasonal religious display case that the U.S. Supreme Court decided; but, lower courts have been struggling with the issue. These lower court rulings often lack consistency. Much of the controversy stems from the subjective nature of O’Connor’s endorsement test. One lower court judge complained that the test required scrutiny that is “more commonly associated with interior decorating than with the judiciary.” 26 Since the Lynch case was decided in 1986, the Seventh Circuit that includes Illinois, has heard a number of holiday display cases: A city-endorsed display of paintings that depicted events in the life of Jesus Christ that were placed in a public park during the Christmas season violated the Establishment Clause’s prohibition of state endorsement of religion.27 A display on the lawn of the village hall that consisted of lights, a Christmas tree, a crèche, snowmen and carolers did not violate the Establishment

ING is the retirement plan provider endorsed by Missouri Municipal League. How do you measure up? Visit www.INGCompareMe.com and http://www.ingretirementplans.com/mrodemoCHC

3019237.G.S ©2011 ING North America Insurance Corporation. Products and services available through the ING family of companies. C11-0112-011 (02/11)

www.mocities.com

The Missouri Municipal Review

Your future. Made easier.®

November 2012 / 11


We can solve every problem on this list. Canoe?

As water and wastewater problems grow, more and more of our local communities are realizing that they may be up that famous creek: capital improvement projects technical challenges shortages of licensed personnel government regulations revenue shortfalls.

Missouri’s own Alliance Water Resources is a national leader in solving exactly these problems. When you’re up the proverbial creek, call (573) 874-8080 or visit www.alliancewater.com

View Project Profiles at www.alliancewater.com

Clause because the display included the crèche in the context of other seasonal symbols that represented support for the holiday season and not support for one particular religion. 28 A crèche that was placed in city hall that was separate from other nearby secular decorations was unconstitutional because it conveyed an impression that the city tacitly endorsed Christianity. 29 A lighting of a cross as part of a Christmas display on public property violated the Establishment Clause because the cross is a sectarian symbol of Christianity. 30 The courts in other circuits have decided a number of cases both for 31 and against 32 the legality of religious holiday displays on public property. 4. Free Exercise Considerations: This discussion has revolved around religious displays that are sponsored by local governments. The rules change somewhat if the municipality creates a public forum in which all private parties are free to present their own views. If, for instance, a municipality opens up a public square where the public is invited to post displays, then the question becomes one of equal access. The Free Exercise Clause prohibits local governmental entities from prohibiting the free exercise of religion in a traditional public forum. Any regulation or policy to the contrary must be a proper content-neutral, time, place and manner restriction.33 Where the regulation or policy is on a limited public forum, the restriction may not discriminate against speech on the basis of viewpoint, and the restriction must be reasonable in light of the purpose served by the forum. 34 In short, the municipality may not discriminate in 12 / November 2012

granting access to these public places, and it may not be able to block the unwanted expression or speakers with opinions that some may find offensive.35 5. Factors To Consider: In deciding the holiday display cases, the courts have left us with a number of factors to consider: A. Aesthetics matter: After the crèche cases, the courts have given great attention to the entire context of the display. In particular, the courts have look ed t o the t ot al symb ols in the display. If all of the symbols are from one religious viewpoint, then the display is more likely to be unconstitutional than a display that mixes religious and secular items. B. Location, location, location: Closely related to the questions of aesthetics is the question of location. In the Allegheny County case, the Supreme Court was careful to note that the location of the display was in the prominent and ceremonial portion of the courthouse. The prestigious nature of the real estate on which the display is located is a factor to consider when determining the government’s intent behind the display. While no court has stated as much, in the cases that this article examines, the outdoor displays were constitutional while the indoor displays were struck down. C. The Reasonable Observer Test: The Endorsement Text developed by the Supreme Court asks whether a “reasonable observer” of the display would conclude that the government is endorsing a particular religion or religion in general. Who is this reasonable observer? Ultimately, it is the person wearing the black robe sitting behind the bench. When deciding these cases, the court must assume the mantle of reasonable observer. As we have seen The Missouri Municipal Review

with the nine separate opinions filed in the Allegheny County case, judges differ greatly as to what is reasonable. In the end, the constitutionality of your display may depend on the opinion or personality of the judge or judges who review it. This monthly column examines issues of general concern to municipal officers. It is not meant to provide legal advice and is not a substitute for consulting with your municipal attorney. As always, when confronted with a legal question, contact your municipal attorney because certain unique circumstances may alter any conclusions reached in this article. Roger Huebner is general counsel for IML; Brian Day is the staff attorney for IML; and Jerry Zarley is a paralegal with IML.

This article is a reprint from the October 2008 issue of the Illinois Municipal Review, published by the Illinois Municipal League, 500 E. Capitol Ave., Springfield, IL 62701. Footnotes for this article may be requested at info@mocities.com or by calling League headquarters at 573635-9134.

www.mocities.com


North Kansas City Bridging The Century With 100 Years Of Progress by Jeff Samborski

T

he city of North Kansas City, Mo., is proud to have reached a 100-year milestone. Over this past year, a volunteer centennial committee, appointed by the mayor, hosted several events to celebrate and commemorate this significant anniversary. The area we know as North Kansas City evolved from one of Missouri’s earliest settlements along the Missouri River into a progressive city that continues to be recognized as a leader in economic development and having a responsive, proactive government. This article encapsulates some significant features of the City’s unique heritage.

Early Progress

“Progress” is the common thread woven through the rich history of the area. Before the City’s incorporation on Nov. 4, 1912, its geography served as a center of commerce. Beginning in 1819, Francois Chouteau set up the Kansas City area’s first trading post sponsored by the American Fur Company. Chouteau’s first settlement is believed to have been near the current north end of the Chouteau Bridge along North Kansas City’s southeast boundary. This area is said to have been an ancient Missouri River crossing point for Native American Indians, and therefore offered an ideal location for early fur traders. By the mid 1800s, railroads were responsible for the next wave of commerce and were an important part of North Kansas City’s development. Connecting the nation’s east and west with a secure railroad route required a bridge spanning the Missouri River. Communities and railroads alike understood the economic benefits of this new route for westward expansion, and raced to be the first to be part of the solution. However, Civil Warrelated conflicts in the region needed to be resolved first. Rebel forces and notorious Clay County bandits like

www.mocities.com

Jesse James created havoc for the railroads . Immediately following the Civil War, it was formally announced that a new railroad shortcut south from Chillicothe, Mo., down through Kansas City and ultimately to Texas would be created. Rail movements along this new route soon replaced the Pony Express. The key part of this passage would be the Hannibal Bridge, now at North Kansas City’s southernmost border. Experts agree that the Hannibal Bridge was the single most important factor enabling the Kansas City area to grow rapidly and eventually became the largest metropolitan region for hundreds of miles in all directions. In 1883, Willard E. Winner came to the area with visionary plans of building a city and the area’s first commuter bridge over the Missouri River. He built a rock road that later was named Swift Ave. He purchased land and laid subdivisions into town lots. He began building bridge piers that were later used for the same ASB Bridge that became a deciding factor for the incorporation of North Kansas City. While Winner’s ultimate vision for the area was not reached by him personally, he laid a foundation for growth. The ASB Bridge continues to serve rail traffic to this day. However, in 1986, commuter traffic was realigned to a newly constructed Heart-of-America Bridge.

A Blank Canvas

When a new city springs up, it usually has its beginnings with

The Missouri Municipal Review

a congregation of people who create for themselves habitations, business buildings and t raffic ways; t he cit y acquires a population and its structural form comes later. Following the 1903 flood, there were essentially no buildings left standing in North Kansas City. Civic leaders had a blank canvas for community development. North Kansas City was well-planned from its very beginnings. Many of the most experienced experts available came from Chicago and New York to create a community with a strong emphasis on industrial development. Some may go so far as to call the early North Kansas City a “company town.” Private development concerns extended their activities into practically every aspect of the community - from developing housing, places of worship and retail outlets for the local workforce to exerting profound influences upon the local political elections. Almost simultaneous with the City’s incorporation, a waterworks system, parks, commercial buildings, homes and a regional school district were put into place. North Kansas City’s fertile environment soon attracted the attention of the Armour and Swift meat-packing companies and Burlington Railroad (ASB). They planned a partnership centered in North Kansas City and began developing much of the local infrastructure i.e. the ASB Bridge, and the City’s major transportation corridors of Swift, Armour and Burlington Roads. Armour and Swift planned to relocate their massive meat-packing operations from across the river in Kansas into North Kansas City. However, the federal government stepped in with anti-trust actions when it was realized ASB could monopolize the meat packaging and perhaps the area’s transportation economy. ASB’s enthusiasm also may have diminished due to new incentives offered by the state of Kansas to keep these industries from moving to Missouri. November 2012 / 13


During the 1930s, North Kansas City was the hub for an “interurban” system. This electric light-rail transit system connected commuters as far away as Excelsior Springs and St. Joseph. These handsome and luxurious vehicles travelled as fast as vehicles of today and connected many small towns and villages along its route. The increased use of personal automobiles and a public highway system eventually forced this totally private interurban system into bankruptcy. Along with the demise of this vital transportation link, many of the communities along the interurban route quickly disappeared. Like new urbanism, the light-rail concept is again being touted in the Kansas City region as a means for reducing traffic congestion and pollution while encouraging highquality, efficient lifestyles.

A Preferred Model

Today, accomplished community planners point to North Kansas City and its approach to development as a preferred model to replicate. More expert planners continue to espouse new urbanism, as a preferred alternative to relieve the problems resulting from suburban sprawl. The new urbanism concept is essentially a replication of North Kansas City’s early, well-conceived development patterns. Pedestrian friendly neighborhoods that offer easy access to shops, services and public amenities can help defray reliance on foreign oil and reduce the environmental problems of automobiles.

They also can help provide community cohesion. This planning model also is more efficient for utilizing public resources than many contemporary development practices. The City is now well over halfway complete with a 50-acre, $100 million mixed-use redevelopment project called Northgate Village. This project has already received prestigious awards from organizations like the Urban Land Institute. Some of the most fascinating facts of North Kansas City revolve around the City’s robust economic base. A good portion of “company towns” from the industrial era wilted or became environmentally unsound wastelands, However, North Kansas City continued to diversify its economic base and be a leader in a wide variety of newer types of commercial sectors ranging from technology and medical services to tourism. The city government continues to take proactive steps to maintain a well-balanced community with fantastic quality-of-life amenities and residential housing opportunities, in addition to safe, well-kept commercial and industrial districts. On a per capita basis, the City ranked as one in the top five jurisdictions in the United States in terms of revenue generation to federal, state and local jurisdictions, according

Steamboats along the Missouri River brought the first wave of development for early communities like North Kansas City. Piers for the forthcoming ASB Bridge are in the background.

14 / November 2012

a Governinig Magazine report. The City also remains a mecca of employment opportunities. Nearly 25,000 persons work at roughly 1,000 organizations located within the City. More than 4,200 residents reside within its corporate limits of only 4.3-square miles. North Kansas City owns and operates a high-speed fiber optic system accessible to any commercial building or residence in the City. It was the first Missouri city to offer a communitywide fiber optic network. The City also is embarking on a major 58-acre, mixed-use redevelopment project at the southeast quadrant of the I-35/I-29 and Armour Road/M-210 interchange. Internationally significant companies like the Cerner Corporation are headquartered in North Kansas

Today, Harrah's North Kansas City Casino and Hotel draws millions of visitors to the City and has helped fund major community improvements and redevelopment projects.

The Missouri Municipal Review

www.mocities.com


City. Cerner employs more than 10,000 associates worldwide and is the leading provider of comprehensive, computerized management of healthcare records. MRI Global recently opened offices in the City related to a major grant they received from the National Institute of Health for cancer prevention and research. And, cityowned North Kansas City Hospital is one of the Kansas City region’s largest and most respected hospitals. The highly respected North Kansas City School District, founded in 1913, maintains its North Kansas City High School campus within the City. School officials report that more than 30 different languages are represented among its diverse student body. Perhaps an early slogan used by the City in 1920s - “Where East meets West and North meets South,” remains to be one of the most concise to capture this dynamic community’s success. It is apparent that at this intersection of diverse cultures, goods and ideas, that North Kansas City’s Tradition of Progress was founded, lies a future that promises to remain strong for more centuries to come. As part of the North Kansas City Centennial Committee’s efforts, a new hardback book about the City has been published; Bridging the Century: The Story of North Kansas City 1912-2012 Visit: www.nkc.org/centennial for more information. Jeff Samborski is the economic development manager for North Kansas City. He has worked for the City and has been a North Kansas City resident over the past 24 years. He also is a member of the City’s Centennial Committee. Samborski holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from Park University and is a certified economic developer by the International Economic Development Council.

At A Glance: North Kansas City • Estimated daytime employment population is 25,000 associates and a residential population of 4,208 persons. • City has an annual total budget of approximately $47,000,000. • More than 1,000 organizations in City's 4.3 square miles. • City operates its own water company with 7.5M gallons capability currently with a 27 percent reserve capacity. • Fire department provides 58 firefighters and two stations. Class three insurance rating. • Major railroads serve North Kansas City with two switching yards and an intermodal facility. • Two interstate highways serving the City: I-29, I-35, and four within three minutes of the city limits: I-635, I-435, I-70, I-670. • Major city-owned hospital with more than 450 beds is the region’s largest in terms of total annual admissions. • North Kansas City is: five minutes from downtown airport; three minutes from downtown Kansas City; 15 minutes from Kansas City International Airport; within 30 minutes of 900,000 working-aged adults (labor force). • Sixty-four acres of fully equipped public parks and a state-ofthe-art community center. • Municipal taxes are low: no earnings taxes; no city use taxes. • City’s total assessed valuation is $321 million – appraised value approaching $1 billion. • Combined city property tax levy per $100 of assessed valuation: .93 for real estate and .54 for personal property. (Assessment percentages: commercial real estate - 32 percent; business personal property - 33.3 percent; residential - 19 percent.) • City-owned, citywide fiber optic system (liNKCity) symmetrical Internet speeds to one gigabyte per second.

www.mocities.com

The Missouri Municipal Review

November 2012 / 15


MISSOURI CITIES SUSTAIN STABLE CREDIT OUTLOOK BY MITIGATING CHALLENGES

O

by Jeffery Yorg

v e r t h e n e x t y e a r , the state’s manufacturing sector. Like M i s s o u r i c i t i e s w i l l most Midwestern states, Missouri has l i k e l y c o n t i n u e t o continually lost manufacturing jobs experience economic over the last 40 years with the losses and budgetary pressures on their accelerating during the recent economic o p e r a t i n g r e v e n u e s d u e t o s l o w downturn. As illustrated in the chart o v e r a l l g r o w t h , w e a k c o n s u m e r below, state unemployment levels confidence, and persistently above have approximated national levels average unemployment. Sales taxes, for the five-year period ending 2011. their primary source of revenue, have Unemployment has been improving been under pressure since 2008 due since 2010 in line with the national rate, in part to the lackluster economy. Missouri cities ar e st at ut or i ly limited from increasing revenues without voter approval, which is a time-consuming process that greatly restricts a city’s flexibility to raise revenues quickly to counteract reduced revenue collections. As such, they’re often forced to balance their budgets by reducing operating expenditures through public service cuts or by delaying capital-related expenditures. D e s p i t e t h e s e Exhibit One. Source: Moody's, www.economy.com challenges, credit quality is expected to remain stable for most rated cities in Missouri, but is expected to remain above 2008 2 due in large part to the following levels through at least 2015 . Manufacturing job losses have factors: Economic diversification in the been somewhat mitigated by ongoing larger metropolitan areas that have diversification of the state’s economy. partially mitigated the effects of the The state has seen growth in servicerelated sectors such as professional, state’s overall sluggish economy; historically strong reserve levels health care, educational and financial t h a t h a v e p r o v i d e d a s h o r t - t e r m services sectors, which together now cushion for revenue declines, as well account for 33 percent of3 the state’s as alternative funding sources for non-farm employment. Increased diversification has been concentrated in operations; and certain metropolitan areas of the state dedicated revenue streams for that we discuss in more detail later in capital needs that have precluded the this report. Nevertheless, persistently need for significant debt financing. high unemployment has weighed

Challenges Facing Missouri Cities During The Economic Downturn

The state of Missouri has lost more than 124,000 jobs since 2008, or 4.6 percent of total employment. 1 A large portion of these job losses have been related to 16 / November 2012

on wages and income of residents, impacting sales tax receipts. This led state sales tax receipts to decline sharply, decreasing by10.5 percent from 2008 to 2011, and down 15.6 percent since collections peaked in 2006 (Exhibit 2). Local budgets have been greatly challenged as sales tax receipts, on The Missouri Municipal Review

average, account for more than half of their revenues. Further, the Hancock Amendment to the Missouri Constitution constrains cities’ flexibility to raise taxes by requiring voter approval for any tax increases or additional revenue streams to be imposed, including sales and property taxes. If voters do not approve of new taxes, then city officials have little recourse but to reduce public services or tap reserves in order to balance their budget (see exhibit two and insert).

Capital Plans Squeezed By Low Revenues And VoterApproved General Obligation Debt Requirement

Under Missouri law, cities are required to obtain voter approval to issue general obligation debt. In most cases, general obligation debt must receive 57 percent approval from voters when the vote takes place as part of major elections, such as general municipal or national elections, with over 66 percent of voters required during off-season elections.4 Because of this significant requirement, Missouri cities finance a majority of their capital needs on a pay-as-you-go basis, keeping their debt burdens relatively modest. In recent years, many cities have balanced their budgets by delaying pay-asyou-go capital spending, although prolonged deferrals of needed capital improvements can sometimes create larger and costlier problems in the future. This significant voter approval requirement for general obligation debt has led some cities to issue debt secured by an annual appropriation pledge. However, this type of debt limits a city’s budgetary flexibility as debt service payments are fixed costs generally paid from general operating revenues. In contrast, voter-approved general obligation debt does not limit www.mocities.com


national average. This muted effect of the recession on unemployment in these metropolitan areas is primarily due to their economic diversity, as well as the presence of some large employers. For example, two of the St. Louis area’s top employers are not-for-profit Exhibit Two. Source: State of Missouri Comprehensive Annual research institutions, namely Washington Financial Report, Fiscal 2011 University (Aaa stable ) and Barnes-Jewish Hospital HANCOCK AMENDMENT (BJC Health System rated Aa2 stable) that have maintained relatively stable Approved by Missouri voters employment throughout the recession. in Nov. 4, 1980, the Hancock The area also is home to employers from Amendment prohibits all govacross the business spectrum including ernmental units from levying any manufacturing, finance and service companies. The Kansas City area has tax, license, or fees without voter similarly benefited from economic approval including additional diversity with many of its largest sales tax rates. Further, property employers having their headquarters tax levy rates are to be reduced located within its boundaries, including such that growth in the total H&R Block and Hallmark. Lastly, the levy is limited to only changes Springfield area benefits from the stable presence of five different educational in consumer price level and new institutions, including Missouri State construction. University, with a combined student their general fund flexibility because population equal to 25 percent of the debt service is paid from a dedicated City’s population and regional health property tax levy that is not limited by care companies. rate or amount.

Economic Diversity Helps Employment Situation In Metro Areas

The state of Missouri has three main metropolitan areas: Kansas City in the western portion of the state, St. Louis in the east, and Springfield in the southwest. The recession has not impacted these metro areas as severely as the national average. While the U.S. unemployment rate was 7.9 percent as of May 2012, these regions all saw unemployment rates at or below the

www.mocities.com

Healthy Reserves And Special Taxes Counteract Revenue Declines

Missouri cities have historically maintained healthy reserve levels that have helped to offset declines in operating revenues. In fiscal 2007, the median level of general fund reserves as a percentage of general fund revenues was a sizable 44 percent for all Moody’s rated Missouri cities, compared to a national median of 28 percent for cities. These reserves provided a shortterm cushion when revenues began to

The Missouri Municipal Review

decline in 2008, allowing cities to use excess reserves for operations, while concurrently phasing in expenditure reductions and revenue enhancements. Cities can seek voter approval for additional sales taxes dedicated for particular purposes, and some cities have taken advantage of these sales taxes. Historically, voters have tended to be more tolerant of new special purpose sales taxes than they are of property tax levy increases because a sales tax is levied on anyone who shops in the city, rather than just on city residents. These special purpose sales taxes do not provide additional direct revenue for general government operations, but they alleviate strain on the general fund as expenditures are redirected to special funds and paid for by these special revenues. Missouri cities also have sought and gained voter approval for dedicated sales taxes to fund capital improvements. These additional revenues are used to address deferred capital needs or for pay-as-you-go capital projects, and in some cases to pay debt service on annual appropriation debt. These dedicated capital improvement sales taxes provide revenues for capital projects without needing to tap into already tight general operating budgets or asking voters to approve additional property taxes or general obligation debt.

Conclusion

Missouri cities have faced significant credit challenges in recent years as they have tried to manage through the continued detrimental effects of the recent economic downturn. While many of these challenges have been prolonged, Missouri cities have, by and large, been able to mitigate the potentially severe consequences of such challenges due to relatively stable economies and conservative fiscal management. Moving forward, credit quality of Missouri cities will be based on 1) the cities’ willingness to

November 2012 / 17


maintain their reserve levels and adhere to their reserve policies either through continued expenditure reductions or revenue enhancements, 2) overall improvement of sales tax collections and improvement in other revenue sources, 3) cities’ ability to address their respective deferred capital needs, and 4) the continued strengthening of the Missouri and national economy.

DeDication. Service. experience.

(Endnotes) 1

2012

Economy.com report February

A law firm dedicated to the practice of municipal law.

Economy.com report on Missouri from February 2012 3 Economy.com report on Missouri from February 2012 and Bureau of Labor Statistics 4 Missouri Constitution Article VI Section 26(b) 2

816-525-7881 jlauber@laubermunicipal.com www.laubermunicipallaw.com The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.

Jeffery Yorg is the lead analyst for Missouri and Indiana, serves as a main analyst for Ohio and works with various other local governments throughout the Midwest. Jeffery previously worked at Moody’s, and returned after earning his law degree from Saint Louis University and practicing law for three and a half years in the banking and finance area for a large national law firm. Jeffery has also worked at various

18 / November 2012

state and local government levels on the agency, legislative, and administrative levels. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Jeff earned a B.A. in history from Webster University, a M.A. in Political Economy from Washington University, and a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas-Austin.

The Missouri Municipal Review

www.mocities.com


Debt Management Policies By Joan Jadali

F

inancial policies are fundamental elements of strong financial management in state and local governments. Written policies provide document resources and practices of agreed-upon financial objectives. Debt management policies, like all financial policies, should provide a foundation that promotes consistency in decision making and the achievement of long-term goals. Accordingly, comprehensive debt management policies should identify debt management objectives and preferred risk tolerance, determine what types of debt may be incurred and what structural features are ideal, outline methods of debt sale, and establish procedures for selecting professionals. A debt management policy offers several advantages. First, it can help community leaders integrate the issuance of debt with other long-term planning. This is especially important because market conditions and plans frequently change over time. A policy can establish core values, goals and financial and management objectives independent of circumstantial changes that would alter a plan. Second, it frames and streamlines the decision-making process before any decisions need to be made, making it easier to remain true to core values and long-term objectives under stress. Third, it provides guidance to community leaders on acceptable levels of indebtedness. Fourth, it can help in educating the community about the debt issuance process. Fifth, once bonds are issued, it is useful in evaluating the impact of each issue on the jurisdiction’s overall financial position. This is valuable since debt www.mocities.com

capacity is limited and governments must make each dollar count. A carefully crafted and consistently applied debt management policy is regarded positively when evaluating a jurisdiction’s creditworthiness. A

debt management policy provides evidence to the rating agencies of your commitment, as a community, to prudent borrowing practices, thereby protecting and enhancing your bond ratings. Credit analysts for credit reporting agencies look at four main categories when determining a credit rating for a city: debt burden, management, financial performance and economic base. Debt burden is an assessment of the community’s ability to support existing and planned debt obligations, using as indicators key financial ratios. Management is a review of the organization and the powers of the government’s administration and the services for which they are responsible. Financial performance is an analysis of revenue and expenditure trends and the adequacy, dependability and scope of revenues. Economic base is an evaluation of the economic outlook for the jurisdiction, focusing on income, population, employment, diversity, composition of employers The Missouri Municipal Review

and real estate values. Debt burden and compliance with it can easily be measured by comparing the debt management policy requirements with existing debt structures as outlined in the city’s most current “Comprehensive Annual Financial” report. A debt management policy provides the foundation for a well-managed debt program, helping to ensure that debt is issued prudently and is affordable. It also provides the following benefits: • P rovides guidance to community leaders to avoid exceeding acceptable levels of indebtedness and risk. • Directs staff on objectives to be achieved, both before bonds are sold and for the ongoing management of the debt program. • Facilitates the debt issuance process by making important decisions ahead of time. • Promotes objectivity in decision making and limits the role of political influence. • Promotes general awareness and understanding within the community by listing the types of securities used, defining them, and stating what they enable the issuer to do. The city of Webster Groves has enacted debt management policies in an effort to standardize and rationalize the issuance and management of debt. The City’s primary objective is to establish conditions for the use of debt and to create procedures and policies that minimize the City’s debt service and issuance costs, retain the highest practical credit rating, and maintain full and complete financial disclosure November 2012 / 19


and reporting. The policies apply to all general and limited obligation debt issued by the city of Webster Groves, including: bonds, notes, leases, debt guaranteed by the City, and any other forms of debt. Regularly updated debt management policies are an important tool to ensure that city resources are used to meet its commitments, to provide needed services to the citizens of Webster Groves, and to maintain sound financial management practices. The Debt Management Policy of the city of Webster Groves focuses on four core areas: creditworthiness objectives, purposes and uses of debt, debt standards and structure, and debt administration and process. Creditworthiness Objectives as a whole should be evaluated because they comprise the essentials of how an issuer is viewed in the market. These objectives are broken down further among credit ratings, financial disclosure, capital planning and debt limits. Credit analysts for credit reporting agencies look at four main categories when determining a credit rating for a city: debt burden,

management, financial performance, and economic base, so it is extremely important to demonstrate your entity’s strengths in these areas and to determine how to highlight those strengths in your policy. Purposes and Uses of Debt define those items that qualify debt-funded projects, as well as asset lives and debt guarantees. It is important to present clarity on the entity’s plan for debt issuance. Does the entity normally rely on internally generated funds and/or grants and contributions from other governmental entities or agencies to finance its capital needs? Is debt issued for a capital project when it is an appropriate means to achieve a fair allocation of costs between current and future beneficiaries or in the case of an emergency? Debt Standards and Structure defines the length or maturity of debt as well as the debt structure. It identifies the types of debt that will be allowed, such as fixed rate debt, variable rate debt, subordinate debt, derivatives, Bond Anticipation Notes (BANs), Tax Anticipation Notes (TANs) and conduit debt. The

use of credit enhancement such as letters of credit and bond insurance also are noted. The goal is to achieve the lowest net cost given the market conditions, the urgency of the project, and the nature of the security used. Local governments must take into account a broad range of legal, policy and financial objectives in the process of structuring a bond offering: • What legal or statutory constraints must be met through the structuring and sizing process? • What financial or policy objectives must be met through the structuring and sizing process? • Are there structuring criteria imposed by the rating agencies or credit enhancer? • Are there particular structures that can result in lower overall financing costs? For example, can certain structural features produce savings because they are attractive to particular investor groups? • How will the new debt be integrated into the outstanding debt portfolio?

HR Green builds business accountability into every task we perform for our clients. We work this way with every client, whether in the public or private sector, and at every step of their journey: design, construction, ownership and operation. 16020 Swingley Ridge Rd Suite 205 Chesterfield, MO 63017

Phone 636.519.0990 Toll Free 800.728.7805 HRGreen.com

20 / November 2012

The Missouri Municipal Review

www.mocities.com


Missouri Municipal League - Submitted 11/6-08 (continue to use till updated Missouri County Record - Submitted 2/28/08 (continue to use till updated) By offering answers to these questions in a written debt management policy, governments can protect themselves from a number of legal, policy and financial complications. Debt Administration Process deals with the city’s process for selling bonds in both competitive and negotiated sales, as well as requirements for underwriters and bond counsel. Recently, concerns about misunderstanding debt transactions, corruption and excessive costs have lead some state and local governments to hone in on the duties of those responsible for debt-related issues. Their debt management policies now contain reporting, transparency and accountability requirements under either a code of conduct section or a similar conflict of interest provision. Some states have gone a step further and passed legislation mandating debt management policies. For example, since Jan. 1, 2012, all public entities incurring or issuing public debt in Tennessee have been required to have a debt management policy on record with the state. The goal behind the mandate is to promote understanding of debt transactions, explain to citizens what is being considered, avoid conflicts of interest, and disclose all costs and risks. As such, an acceptable policy must address transparency, conflicts of interest, professionals (disclosure of their compensation), and specific justifications for deferring principal repayment. Tennessee also strongly recommends creating a maximum level of debt; specific parameters for variable rate debt; a process for decision making and debt issuance; a procedure for managing and monitoring debt; and a plan for regular review of the policy. Debt management policies, however, should be sufficiently flexible to permit governments to take advantage of market opportunities or to respond to changing conditions without jeopardizing essential public services. For example, many debt management policies recommend fixed rates as opposed to variable rates. The predictability of a fixed rate enables an entity to accurately predict future financial needs and obligations and issue debt accordingly without exposing itself to unnecessary risks. In addition, fixed rates ensure www.mocities.com

Shafer, Kline & Warren, Inc. Engineers Land Surveyors Land Planners Construction Observers Landscape Architects

www.skw-inc.com

Forming Partnerships. Delivering Results.

that the community members’ expectations regarding their financial responsibilities are met. Nevertheless, variable rate debt can be a valuable borrowing tool in certain economic climates. It can reduce the overall cost of debt by providing flexibility, and for that reason it should be at the government’s disposal should the right circumstances arise. Accordingly, a well-drafted debt management policy would outline a protocol to follow when seeking to exceed policy limitations or employ financial tools that are generally avoided. Debt management policies are, therefore, guidelines for general use, and must allow for exceptions in extraordinary conditions. For more information on debt management policies, please visit the website for the Government Finance Officers Association at http://www. gfoa.org.

An Elected Official’s Guide to Debt Issuance, Second Edition, Government Finance Officers Association. Tigue, P. (1998). A Guide to Preparing a Debt Policy. Government Finance Officers Association. Joan Jadali is the director of finance and administration for the city of Webster Groves. Currently she serves as the past president of the GFOA of Missouri. For more information, contact her at 314-963-5323 or via email at jadalij@webstergroves.org. Joan wishes to thank Bob Ballsrud with Gilmore and Bell for his assistance, insight and guideance in completing this article.

Resources: Best Practice. Debt Management Policy (1995 and 2003) (DEBT) found online at http:/www.gfoa.org [Click on “Best Practices and Advisories" on left-hand side of screen.] Joseph, J. (1994). Debt Issuance and Management, A Guide for Smaller Governments, Government Finance Officers Association. Kurish, J.B. & Tigue, P. (2005).

The Missouri Municipal Review

November 2012 / 21


WESTON – CELEBRATING 175 YEARS! by Kim Kirby

T

ucked in the bluffs of northwest Missouri is a small, picturesque town by the name of Weston. Part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the land was originally inhabited by the Sioux, Fox and Kickapoo Indians. On July 2, 1804, William Clark of the Lewis & Clark Corp of Discovery Expedition noted in his diary that the expedition stopped to repair a keelboat mast on the large island of Bear Medison (Kickapoo Island) in the middle of the Missouri River. His diary notes the mast was broken by a large, hanging branch close to the edge of the river. The cottonwood tree limb used to repair the mast turned a bright red color after it was installed. The diary noted the terrain and a land rich in different types of trees and berries. Lewis and Clark explored the Missouri River around the Weston area 32 years before 2 million acres were purchased by the United States of America and became the Platte Purchase. One year later, Joseph Moore, a soldier from nearby Fort Leavenworth purchased 168 acres that would eventually become Weston. The site this soldier picked ascended from the river and was a natural amphitheater formed by the valleys of two small streams and surrounding bluffs and hills. It was a perfect spot for a town. He sold half of the acreage to an attorney by the name of Bela Hughes, who saw its potential. The town name of Weston possibly came from a second soldier by the name of Tom E. Weston who surveyed and laid out the town. The name also may have been derived from the geographical location being the westernmost bend in the Missouri River as it related to St. Joseph, the neighboring town to the north, or “west town.” Possibly, the name is a combination of both. At the time Joseph Moore, Tom Weston and Bela Hughes were laying the town plat, the Missouri River was at the bottom of Main Street. The river 22 / November 2012

was a natural port for steamboats and travelers to disembark before heading further west. By 1853, Weston had a population of 5,000 persons, was the second largest port in Missouri, and the largest city west of St. Louis. Steamboats jammed the ports bringing people and goods. More than 300 steamboats visited the port from April through November. Outfitters supplied overland wagon trains. There were coopers and cabinet-makers, jewelers, livery stables, hotels, saloons, a flourmill, a meat-packing plant, and six or eight wholesale and retail general stores conducting a million dollars in trade each year. The town boasted one or two distilleries and breweries. Large warehouses stored hemp and tobacco, the two largest crops in the area. Weston residents, with the help of slave labor, were able to process hemp into rope that found a large market up and down the river, including to the U.S. Government, who relied on Weston to supply Fort Leavenworth. During this time a 19-year-old man by the name of Benjamin Holladay moved to Weston and became a major property owner and entrepreneur. He initiated a large portion of the overland freight and wagon trails from Weston. He eventually became owner of the Pony Express, Overland Stage and several steamship lines. Because of Mr. Holladay’s contacts with The Missouri Municipal Review

Mormon leaders, Weston was the first western city to freight goods to Utah. While at its peak, Weston boasted of the first town in the Purchase to have paved roads, the first large distillery west of the Mississippi, the first telegraph line to St. Louis, the first newspaper and the first gasworks. There were eight churches and 12 private schools. A two-block downtown business district had grand three-story buildings. Two-story, stately homes replaced settlers’ log cabins. The main “courthouse” was known to be the largest meeting room west of St. Louis. It seemed Weston would be the next St. Louis.

Disaster

Between the years 1855 and 1880 the town known as the “Queen of the Platte Purchase” faced several disasters. Fire struck a large part of the business area on March 8, 1855. The cause was never known. It was a sad scene, with more than 41 businesses and homes burned to the ground. Many of the downtown buildings today are marked with the year 1855. A second fire further devastated the business district in 1858. Many early Weston settlers hailed from the southern states of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, bringing slavery with them to the area. Weston’s agriculture depended on slaves. Slaves raised the crops, cared for the livestock, handled the hemp and tobacco crops, warehousing, and packed tobacco on rafts for floating down the Missouri. When the Missouri Compromise was repealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, many of Weston’s pro-slavery residents flocked to the bordering state of Kansas to establish slavery settlements. Abolitionist groups in Kansas were determined to stop them. During the height of Weston’s prosperity, a struggle occurred that divided families, friends, business partners and church members. The Civil War broke out, residents were torn between a sense of allegiance to www.mocities.com


the Union and by a desperate need to maintain their Southern way of life. Weston leaned toward the Confederacy. With Weston’s proximity to Fort Leavenworth, Union soldiers occupied much of the town during the war. Several homes in Weston were used as headquarters for the federal officers and troops who were ready to counteract intrusions by southern sympathizers. While only a few battles actually took place in the area, with more than half the residents sympathetic to the “southern cause,” backyard battles and street demonstrations were a constant threat. Bushwhackers opposing the Union efforts raided farms and destroyed homes. In the middle of this strife, many wives and children were left behind to support themselves in whatever way they could, maintain their homes and raise the crops. With the Emancipation Act, Weston’s destiny changed. Leading merchants and families moved from the town, leaving it nearly deserted. Slaves vanished, leaving the hemp market to die. By 1870, the population was less than 1,000. The third major disaster to befall Weston was flooding of the Missouri River. From 1853 to 1880, the river flooded five times. In 1881, a large flood inundated the port of Weston and surrounding area. When it receded, the port had disappeared several miles to the west. The channel had changed. Weston’s river port days were over. After Weston’s reign of prosperity ended, those that were left had a love for the land, for their family and the town. A good-humored selfacceptance; a social code based on courtesy – not competition; and a distrust of change for the sake of change, slowly restored the town. One of the crops that first supported Weston, tobacco, helped to once again renew the prosperity of its citizens. By 1910, the first and only tobacco market west of the Mississippi was established. For many years much of the economy was linked to tobacco. Traders came from as far away as Kentucky to bid on the leafy crop. More than 2 million pounds per year were auctioned. Capitalizing on the opportunity, zealous business owners promoted an annual “Tobacco Show” during the auctions. There were vaudeville entertainers and circus performers attracting thousands of visitors. The shows ended in the late 1950s. Tobacco is still grown on the hillside farms around Weston, but the www.mocities.com

The Saint George Hotel opened its doors in 1845 and today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Photo courtesy of the Missouri Division of Tourism.

tradition of the great auctions ended in the early 21st century.

A Historical Town

West on has made somet hing of its past. The Weston Historical Museum is a great place to start when visiting Weston. Founded in 1960, in a building originally the home of the First Baptist Church, and on the site of the International Hotel built by stagecoach king Benjamin Holladay, the museum is full of Weston history. An all-volunteer staff and board keep the museum updated and relevant to the 21st century. The city of Weston was placed

on the National Register of Historic Places as a “district” in 1972; the first town to be allowed on the register as a “district.” This district encompasses sixteen full city blocks and portions of eight additional city blocks in Weston. The district contains 200 structures of various age, design and function. Sixty-six residential and commercial buildings have been designated historic sites. Many of those properties are significant architectural, pre-Civil War homes that are opened each year during the Annual Candlelight Homes Tour. Many of the downtown buildings are dated 1855, built after the great fire of that year. Quaint antique stores, home

Engineering Design Solutions Since 1933

The Missouri Municipal Review

Water Wastewater Stormwater Highways Streets Roads Bridges Structural Health Care Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Fire Protection GIS Construction Services November 2012 / 23


Celebration

Members of Boy Scout Troop 249 carried the American Flag during the 175th parade and celebration. Photo credit: Beth McPherson, The Weston Chronicle

decorating, clothing stores, and many other unique retail establishments now occupy those buildings. In 1982, a group of citizens under the leadership of Jeff Elsea, current Bank of Weston President, formed the Weston Development Company. They were determined to revitalize Weston. Knowing a large part of revitalization was Weston’s historic assets, the board of aldermen passed an ordinance forming a Historic Preservation Commission to oversee a two-and-a-half block Historic Zoning District that is downtown Weston. The Commission adopted rules and regulations to guide building owners in restoring their historic properties. The Weston Development Co. would go on to become the Weston Chamber of Commerce, which today is the main tourism center and marketing department of Weston. Weston was designated a Preserve America Community by the White House in 2006. The Preserve America program fit with Weston’s overall goals and initiatives. Some of those goals were: to share the knowledge of Weston’s past; strengthen local pride and participation in preserving the Weston heritage; and support the economic vitality of our community. Weston was fortunate enough to receive a Preserve America grant for “The Historic Weston Experience” that included completing the Lewis & Clark Exhibit, and developing a walking/ driving tour of the town. The entire project was a joint venture between city officials, the Weston Historical Museum volunteers, and members of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Committee. 24 / November 2012

In May of 2012, Weston applied for and was approved to be a Certified Local Government. Today, Weston is a tourist favorite for many in the Midwest. Several bed and breakfast homes, quaint shops, a restored hotel, wineries and restaurants attract many to town. Weston has been named the “Best Day Trip” by Ingram’s Magazine for seven years. The annual Lost Arts Festival, Apple Fest, held each year in October, captivates the young and the old. O’Malley’s Pub holds the annual Irish Fest each year. November weekends are spent celebrating the holidays, and the annual Candlelight Homes Tour is held the first weekend of December.

The 175th Anniversary of the town was celebrated on Sept. 22. A parade through Main Street began the festivities. After the Pledge of Allegiance, the West Platte High School Marching Band played the Star Spangled Banner. Father Charles Rowe of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church invoked a prayer for the town. Mayor Carlen Carter spoke about the history of Weston and how proud he was to be the 50th mayor of this great town. The Weston Museum held an essay contest and the winners were announced, including one 10-year-old winner. The West Platte Elementary Choral sang “Weston,” a poem written in 1987 when the town commemorated the 150th Anniversary. The poem was written and set to music by the late Reverend “Tuck” Tucker of the Weston Christian Church. The elders of Weston were recognized, the oldest being 93-year-old Vera Wright. A time capsule was filled with memorabilia of the town, pictures and essays written by elementary students, and many other items. A plaque announcing the date to open the capsule in September of 2112 was fashioned by a local artisan. The capsule will reside in the Weston Historical Museum until that date. Weston is a great place to visit and an even greater place to live. The mixture of old and new is attractive to many. You relax in Weston. The mayor and board of aldermen are committed to Weston’s prosperity and economic growth. Working together, the community will continue to thrive for another 175 years.

Kim Kirby is the city clerk for the city of Weston.

(left) Visitors to Weston will find many inviting antique, home decorating and clothing stores in the historic district. Photo courtesy of the Missouri Division of Tourism.

The Missouri Municipal Review

www.mocities.com


News From the Bench by W. Dudley McCarter

MUNICIPAL RED LIGHT CAMERA ORDINANCE WAS NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL

M

ary Nottebrok received a notice of violation of public safety from the city of Creve Coeur with photographs of the vehicle owned by her traveling through an intersection within the City while the electric signal light was red. The notice that had been signed by a city police officer notified her that the penalty was a $100 fine, due within 30 days, and that because the violation was a non-moving violation, no points would be assessed against her driver’s license. The notice further stated that if she failed to pay or contest the violation based on one of the exceptions contained in the ordinance, she would receive a notice to appear in court. When she failed to pay the fine or contest it, she was issued a notice to appear in municipal court. Nottebrok filed a motion to dismiss; the municipal court denied this motion and assessed a fine of $100. Nottebrok then filed an application for trial de novo and another motion to dismiss before the Associate Circuit Court of St. Louis County. That court also denied the motion to dismiss and imposed a fine of $100. Nottebrok appealed and the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District affirmed in City of Creve Coeur v. Nottebrok, No. ED 96396 (Mo. App. E.D. 2011). “[V]iolations of municipal ordinances are civil matters but, because of the quasi-criminal nature of an ordinance, are subject to the criminal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” City of Dexter v. McClain, 345 S.W.3d 883 (Mo.App. S.D. 2011). Under Missouri law, violations of municipal ordinances shall be heard and determined only before divisions of the circuit court. Section 479.010 RSMo. Under both the federal and state

constitutions, the fundamental requirement of due process is the opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner.” Jamison v. State Dept. of Social Services, Div. of Family Services, 218 S.W.3d 399, 405 (Mo.banc 2007). However, civil ordinances “need not provide the heightened procedural protections required by the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.” Mills v. City of Springfield, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92031, 34 (W.D. Mo. 2010). “The purpose of police power is to promote the public health, safety and welfare.” St. Charles County v. St. Charles Sign & Electric Company, Inc., 237 S.W.3d 272, 275 (Mo.App. E.D. 2007). Although a city’s police power is not unlimited, it is very broad. St. Charles Sign & Electric, 237 S.W.3d at 275. “The test of whether an ordinance is fairly referable to a legitimate exercise of police power is whether the express requirements of the ordinance have a substantial and rational relationship to the health, safety and peace, comfort and general welfare of the inhabitants of the municipality. Bezayiff v. City of St. Louis, 963 S.W.2d 225, 229 (Mo.App. E.D. 1997). “The burden is on the party contesting the ordinance to negate every conceivable basis which might support it.” Id. If reasonable minds might differ as to whether a particular ordinance is substantially related to the protection of the general health, safety or welfare of the public, then the issue must be decided in favor of the ordinance. Id. Here, the ordinance was properly enacted pursuant to the City’s police power for regulating public safety and did not violate Missouri law. It is similar to the ordinance at issue in City of Kansas City v. Hertz Corp., 499 S.W.2d 449 (Mo. 1973). Consistent with the Supreme

Court’s reasoning in Hertz, Missouri law provides that a municipal ordinance can impose liability on a vehicle owner if another parks or operates the vehicle in violation of the ordinance. See Section 304.120.4. Here, the photographs on the ticket clearly showed the vehicle’s license plate number and the make and model of the vehicle that were registered to Nottebrok. Nottebrok’s liability for violation of the ordinance was predicated on her status as owner of the vehicle, regardless of whether she was the driver of the vehicle at the time the violation occurred, unless one of the ordinance’s exceptions applied. See Hertz, 499 S.W.2d 449, 454. Municipalities may enact ordinances that create additional rules of the road or traffic regulations that meet their needs and traffic conditions as long as the ordinance’s provisions are consistent with and do not conflict with state law. Sections 304.120.2 and 304.120.3. Under the plain language of the ordinance, a violation of it is classified as a non-moving violation. The ordinance does not prohibit “running a red light;” rather, the ordinance prohibits the presence of a vehicle in an intersection when the traffic control signal for that intersection was emitting a steady red signal for the direction of travel. The City intended to impose liability on a vehicle owner for a violation of the ordinance, and that violation was a non-moving infraction for which no points would be assessed. Thus, the ordinance does not violate Missouri statutes that require the assessment of points against a driver’s license for moving violations. W. Dudley McCarter is with the law firm of Behr, McCarter and Potter, P.C., St. Louis.

WALDEN ASSOCIATED TECHNOLOGIES, INC. PO Box 845 Glen Carbon, IL 62034 800.495.6036 314.421.0133 Fax 618.397.0098

Specializing in Trenchless Sewer Rehabilitation and Renewal “Breaking New Ground Without Breaking Any Ground” • Industrial and Municipal Services • Manhole and Catchbasin Rehabilitation

•Performance Liner-Sectional Pipe Repairs •Sewer and Pipe Chemical Grouting

www.mocities.com

• Sewer and Pipe Inspection

•Vacuum Services

7895 St. Clair Ave. E. St. Louis, IL 62203 618.397.9840 www.waldntech.com

•Sewer and Pipe Cleaning • Poly-Triplex ®

• Tank Cleaning

The Missouri Municipal Review

• CIPP Pipelining

•T-Liner Mainline to Lateral Pipe Repairs

November 2012 / 25


frequently asked questions - Sunshine Law, Part II Each day your Missouri Municipal League staff answers dozens of questions on municipal issues. This column discusses some of the most common questions the League staff receives. This month’s issue column is devoted to the Missouri Open Meetings and Records Law, commonly referred to as the Sunshine Law and is a continuation from the July 2012 issue. Some of the answers in this month’s column stem directly from information available on the Missouri Attorney General's website. As with all legal matters, municipal officials are urged to consult their city attorney for guidance with specific problems faced by their municipality. Answers provided in this column should serve only as a general reference.

Q. What are some of the things

elected officials should do to familiarize themselves with the Sunshine Law?

All elected officials should get a copy of the Missouri Attorney General’s “Sunshine Law” booklet and read it from cover to cover. Complementary copies of the booklet may be requested from the Attorney General’s (AG) office, League staff or the city clerk. Copies can be found on the A.G.’s website (http://ago.mo.gov/ pdf/MissouriSunshineLaw.pdf). Elected officials should also get a copy of their city’s local Sunshine Law policy. All political subdivisions are required to have a written policy on the Sunshine Law.

Q. Our city doesn’t have a policy on the Sunshine Law where can we get one?

average hourly rate of pay for clerical staff of the public body. A public body may reduce or waive costs when it determines the request is made in the public interest and is not made for commercial purposes. The term “public record” includes records created or maintained by private contractors under an agreement with a public governmental body or on behalf of a public governmental body. Each public governmental body must appoint a custodian of records. The Sunshine Law requires that each request for access to a public record be acted on no later than the end of the third business day following the date the request is received by the custodian.

Q. Our city has a nagging citizen

who only requests documents to pester the city clerk; must the clerk always drop everything just to fulfill these requests?

While Sunshine Law does insure the public’s access to city records, there are ways to prevent it being used to shut down activities at city hall. First, RSMo 610.023 #3 provides that the period for document production may exceed three days for a reasonable cause. In other words, if the request is of such a magnitude or will require lengthy research then the response may be to provide a detailed explanation of the cause for the delay along with the earliest time and date when the documents will be provided. Such requests must still be fulfilled within a reasonable time period.

Another option for large document requests is to require a deposit prior to starting the document production. The deposit should be for no more than the estimated cost of the document production.

Q. A citizen has requested copies of the minutes from last night’s board meeting. The city clerk hasn’t had time to type the minutes yet, and normally on Wednesdays the clerk does our water billing. This citizen insists that the clerk must provide the minutes within 72 hours. Does the clerk have to do the minutes instead of the water billing?

The Sunshine Law only applies to records that are in existence. The Sunshine Law does not require that the city create new reports or documents simply because a citizen requests this information. The real question here though is what exactly is the citizen requesting? If the citizen only wants a copy of the official minutes then the answer may be that the citizen will need to wait until the minutes are completed and approved at the next meeting. On the other hand, if the citizen is requesting a copy of the minutes as they currently exist, then the clerk does need to provide a copy of those records within three business days. The clerk’s draft minutes are still a public record. The clerk may stamp “draft copy” or “unapproved” on such draft minutes.

The Attorney General’s office includes a basic policy in the “Sunshine Law” booklet. More comprehensive policies are available on the League’s website. City officials are advised to adopt a detailed policy in consultation with the city attorney.

Q. What does the Sunshine Law say about a citizen’s right to copies of city documents? Unless otherwise provided by law, records of a public governmental body are to be open and available to the public for inspection and copying. The governmental body may charge up to 10 cents per page for standard copies and the actual cost of the copy for larger or specialized documents (such as maps, photos and graphics). The body also may charge a reasonable fee for the time necessary to search for and copy public records. Research time may be charged at the actual cost incurred to locate the requested records. Copying time shall not exceed the

26 / November 2012

The Missouri Municipal Review

www.mocities.com


MIRMA

Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association Phone: 573.817.2554 Web: www.mirma.org

Missouri’s First Municipal Self Insurance Pool

Q. How does the Sunshine Law apply to electronic records?

The Sunshine Law encourages public governmental bodies to maintain records in electronic formats that are accessible to the public (Section 610.029.1). Public governmental bodies are obligated to provide records in the format requested, if available (Section 610.023.3). However, when a requester demands records in a format beyond the scope of staff expertise, a body may charge for the actual rate of programming necessary to comply with the request (Section 610.026.1(2)).

Q. A citizen has requested copies of the minutes from a recently closed meeting regarding a personnel issue; must they be provided?

No. Minutes of closed meetings are just that, closed. However, if a decision was made in the closed session then the decision along with a record of how each member of the governing body voted must be provided if requested.

Q. A citizen wants to know the salaries of all city employees. Isn’t this information confidential?

No. While the Sunshine Law does allow individually identifiable personnel records, performance rating or records pertaining to employees to be closed, the law specifically provides that names, positions, salaries and length of service are to be open. In some cities, the local paper publishes the salaries of all city staff each year.

Q. How do I know if a document at city hall is open or closed?

RSMO 610.021 provides a list of items that may be kept confidential. However, it is important to recognize that the Sunshine Law only provides that these items may be closed. It does not automatically close them. Many documents at city hall must be formally closed by the governing body to take advantage of the exemptions listed in RSMo 610.021. In determining if a particular document is closed, the city’s local Sunshine Law policy should be studied. Several of the comprehensive policies available from the League takes the active step of

www.mocities.com

BENEFITS:

One comprehensive package! Proactive loss prevention training On-site safety training Annual police firearms training Risk Management Grant Program Aquatic audit reimbursement Police accreditation reimbursement Seminars & workshops Video library

formally closing everything that may be closed under Sunshine Law, while the basic policy available in the Attorney General’s “Sunshine Law” booklet is silent on this subject.

Q. Can disciplinary action be taken against a public employee in a closed meeting, and can the public find out what action was taken?

Yes. Under Section 610.021(3) of the Sunshine Law, a public governmental body may close a meeting to consider hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting an employee when personal information about the employee is discussed or recorded. Personal information relates to the performance or merit of that employee. But the vote on any final decision to hire, fire, discipline or promote an employee must be made available to the public within 72 hours after the closed meeting in which such action occurred and must include how each member voted. The employee is entitled to prompt notice of such a decision during the 72 hour period before the decision is available to the public.

Q. Does the section allowing

meetings to be closed for personnel discussions extend to the conduct of a member of the governing body?

No. Missouri Attorney General Opinion No. 77-1992 opinioned that the elected mayor and elected city councilmembers, whether paid or not paid, are not employees of the city for the purposes of the Missouri Sunshine Law. It is not permissible to close a meeting of the governing body to discuss elected officials under the exemption for personnel.

Q. Who is an employee for purposes of the hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting exception set out in section 610.021(3)?

Generally, an “employee” receives wages or a salary from the government. For example, a physician on staff at a public hospital who renders service on behalf of and is paid by the hospital district is an employee (Paskon v. Salem Memorial Hospital District, 806 S.W.2d 417 (Mo. App. S.D. 1991)).

The Missouri Municipal Review

COVERAGE:

Workers’ Compensation Property General Liability Public Officials Liability Employment Practices Liability Law Enforcement Liability Automobile Boiler & Machinery Airport

But independent contractors, members of volunteer citizen boards and elected officials are not employees for purposes of Section 610.021(3). (See Attorney General Opinions Nos. 48-88, 184-89 and 77-92; and Hawkins v. City of Fayette, 604 S.W.2d 716 (Mo. App. W.D. 1980)). Therefore, discussions about these individuals must be conducted in open session.

Q. Can a meeting be closed to provide raises?

No. The Sunshine Law limits personnel discussions to hiring, firing, discipline, promoting and review of personnel records.

Q. Can a public governmental body close a meeting to discuss possible litigation with its attorney where a cause of action has not been filed?

Section 610.021(1) permits a closed meeting to discuss legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving the public governmental body and confidential or privileged communications between the public governmental body and its attorneys. Attorney General Opinion No. 59-76 concluded a meeting could be closed to discuss causes of action where the public governmental body is a potential plaintiff or defendant, even if litigation had not yet commenced.

Q. If an elected official discloses

information from a closed session what action can be taken?

The Sunshine Law is aimed at providing the public with access to the meetings and documents held by the governing body. The Sunshine Law does not specifically prohibit elected officials from disclosing information from closed sessions. However, many local Sunshine Law policies do include provisions dictating that disclosure of confidential information from a closed session may be grounds for impeachment. In addition, Missouri’s conflict-of-interest statutes prohibit the disclosure or use of confidential information with the intent to result in financial gain for the elected official or any other person (RSMo 105.452).

November 2012 / 27


Missouri Municipal League Innovation Awards

T

he cities of Bethany and St. Charles took top honors in this year's Innovation Awards program, with the City of Branson receiving an honorable mention. City representatives were presented with their awards at the Missouri Municipal League's Annual Conference in Osage Beach in September. The Innovation Awards program was established seven years ago to highlight creative solutions for municipal challenges. Projects are judged by a panel appointed by the League's board of directors. Winners are selected based on: how well the project demonstrated success in meeting its goals, the ability of the program to be duplicated for use by other municipalities and the amount of creativity displayed by the project's approach to the existing challenge. As part of the Innovation Awards program, League staff maintains a database of all the projects submitted. This database is viewable on the League's website.

Medium-Sized Cities Category Bethany – Walking Challenge

Large Cities Category St. Charles – C.O.P.S. Camp

C.O.P.S. Camp (Challenge, Overcome, Persevere, Succeed) is a weeklong camp designed to provide 120 children, ages 9-14, with the opportunity to learn about and perform some of the duties of police officers and fire fighters without the barrier of uniform, badge and gun. The camp teaches the importance of teamwork, forms friendships and gives participants a positive experience of public safety professions. Registration is free to surviving children of public safety officials who were killed in the line of duty. The camp is a joint project of the St. Charles Ranger Division, the St. Charles Police Department and the St. Charles Fire Department. Additional training is also provided by many other local and state public safety agencies, making the camp a multiple-agency partnership.

28 / November 2012

Bethany’s project involved a walking challenge where the City asked employees to volunteer to participate in a 10-week walking program, with each employee completing 50,000 steps per week. With rising insurance costs and more claims being processed due to health issues, the City wanted to educate employees on a healthier lifestyle by incorporating exercise into their daily routine. The City had 20 out of 38 employees participate during the challenge. Part of the success came from the participants breaking out into teams, in order to encourage each other. Employees walked before work, during breaks, during lunch, after lunch and in the evenings. Fifteen out of the 20 participants completed the full challenge. In total, employees took more than 13 million steps!

The Missouri Municipal Review

Honorable Mention Branson – Neighborhood Walks

Branson has focused attention on its citizens and neighborhoods through a series of “Neighborhood Walks,” where city staff and elected officials walk with neighbors and stakeholders on an evening stroll around their neighborhood. In contrast to a typical town hall meeting, the walks allow all participants to see a concern firsthand (i.e. traffic, property maintenance and safety). Often the neighbor who shares a concern is able to get an immediate response, a timeline for resolution, and a direct contact with the city staff who will follow up. After each walk, staff compiles the feedback and begins addressing the critical issues and concerns. To date, more than a dozen neighborhood walks have been held in five residential areas and two commercial districts, with hundreds of citizens benefitting from a more personal interaction between city officials and their own neighbors.

www.mocities.com


Other Nominated Projects: Harrisonville – Brown Bag Lunches Foster Communications

Discussing business over lunch is a time-honored tradition, and the city of Harrisonville has found a way to utilize the all-American business lunch to improve communications with local business people and foster understanding of city issues and policies. The City and the chamber worked together to get this program off the ground. In addition, the park board made the meeting room available free of charge, and the senior citizens center, also located in the community center, offered to provide hot meals at a reduced cost to those who called ahead. Expenses are minimal. City Administrator Keith Moody drew up a list of topics, then assigned each to a department head. Now the public knows ahead of time what the program will be and people can plan their attendance accordingly.

Pacific – Trash For Cash Recycling Collaboration

In 2010, the city of Pacific confronted two long-standing community problems: (1) funding shortfalls for the City’s senior center and (2) very low recycling rates. The City addressed both problems through an innovative partnership with a solid waste hauler during negotiations for a new franchise. The City negotiated a contract that provided free large recycling containers to all residents and payment to the City of 50 percent of all recycling revenue received by the waste hauler. Next, the City formally committed to donate its share of the revenue to the senior center, securing the support of the community leaders and center volunteers to promote the project. Recycling in Pacific more than doubled between January 2010 and March 2012. Additionally, Pacific generated more than $11,000 dollars in 2011.

Independence – Independence Home Energy Loan Program (HELP)

The Independence Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) is a partnership between the city of Independence Power & Light Department, City Credit Union and the Metropolitan Energy Center to provide low-interest weatherization loans to local residents for eligible energy efficiency measures. The HELP Program is a loan-loss reserve program, funded with $250,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The objective of the HELP program is to enable residents to install energy-efficient equipment through low-cost financing. The impact for the City is reduced electrical demand and consumption that is a direct result of citizens purchasing more energy-efficient equipment. The achieved objectives are: (1) savings for the individual customer in reduced electric bills, (2) an opportunity for the individual customer to contribute to greenhouse gas emission reduction, (3) less overall energy consumption, and (4) a reduced carbon footprint for the community at large.

Jefferson City – eJCMO Mobile App Contest

Jefferson City launched a mobile app contest in April 2012. The contest, which ended Sept. 28, 2012, was open to anyone and required to be Jefferson City centric. Criteria used to judge the apps is based on originality. The public could win one of three cash prizes. The objectives of the contest were to initiate a program allowing the City to engage with citizens about ways to improve the City through technology, encourage potential local software developers and demonstrate the City’s commitment to innovation.

Kirkwood – Kirkwood Park Tennis Court Replacement

This project called for the replacement of eight of the 10 tennis courts in Kirkwood Park as the first phase of an effort to revitalize the tennis facilities that dated back to the 1960s. The objective was to replace badly cracked and worn out traditional asphalt courts with state-of-the-art, post-tension concrete courts intended to last up to 50 years. The project brought together resources of the Kirkwood Parks and Recreation Department, the Kirkwood R-7 School District, the Municipal Park Grant Commission of St. Louis County, and the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The new courts were completed and commissioned in May 2012.

Lee's Summit – Citizens Leadership Academy

The city of Lee’s Summit has a long history of involving citizens in strategic planning to improve and develop the community. During the last planning event, the citizens’ group recommended creation of a city leadership program to provide training for citizens wishing to be appointed to one of the many citizen boards and commissions; file for an elected office; or, improve their understanding of local government. From this goal evolved the city of Lee’s Summit Citizens Leadership Academy. This year was the second Academy class and 25 citizens participated. City staff created the curriculum, facilitated the sessions and taught the classes. Three 2012 City Council candidates were involved in the program, one of which was elected. A majority of the participants turned in interest forms requesting to serve on a citizen board or commission. Evaluations from the participants included rave reviews for the program.

Springfield – CAmP Springfield – City Ambassador Program

During the fall of 2011, the city of Springfield instituted a new employee development program – City Ambassadors Program (CAmP). CAmP Springfield is designed to convert employees into community ambassadors. During the 10-month program, the class learned about everything from the airport and art museum to wastewater plants and the zoo.

www.mocities.com

The Missouri Municipal Review

November 2012 / 29


AA marketplace andand services . . .. . . marketplaceforforproducts products services

   

Represents Missouri Municipalities as Bond Counsel. Dedicated Solely to the Practice of Public Finance Law. Extensive Tax and Arbitrage Rebate Compliance Practice. National Reputation in Tax-Exempt Bond Financing. Gilmore & Bell’s Bond Counsel Rankings Missouri Midwest Nation

Number of Issues:

1st

1st

1st

Dollar Volume:

1st

1st

19th

Public Finance and Municipal Bond Underwriting Underwriter • Financial Advisor Municipal Leasing • Bond Refundings 1010 Grand Blvd.• Kansas City, MO 816.860.7244 866.651.9262 Toll Free umb.com

Source: Thomson Reuters.

Visit our Website at www.gilmorebell.com

professional profession a l d i r e directory c t o ry

ALLGEIER, MARTIN and ASSOCIATES, INC. Corporate Office 7231 E. 24th Street Joplin, MO 64804 417.680.7200

St. Louis (314) 436-1000

www.amce.com

AM

Rolla Office 112 West 8th Street Rolla, MO 65401 573.341.9487

Comprehensive Engineering and Environmental Solutions www.barr.com • 1-888-324-3933

resourceful. naturally. Barr Engineering Company 888.324.3933 Barr Engineering Co. www.barr.com Jefferson City, MO • Ann Arbor, MI • Bismarck, ND Missouri | Michigan | North Dakota |MN Alberta Minneapolis, MN| Minnesota • Duluth, MN • Hibbing,

SMITH&CO. CONSULTING ENGINEERS GEOTECHNICAL DRILLING

AN EMPLOYEE OWNED COMPANY 901 VINE STREET POPLAR BLUFF, MISSOURI (573) 785-9621

www.shsmithco.com

www.mocities.com www.mocities.com

Water Water Wastewater Wastewater Streets/Roads Streets/Roads Stormwater Stormwater Site Plans Plans Site Bridges Bridges

REMEDIATION REMEDIATION LAND LAND SURVEYORS SURVEYORS Geotechnical Geotechnical Drilling Drilling UST’s UST’s Airports Airports Industrial Industrial Parks Parks

Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP The attorneys of our Public Law & Finance Group provide legal representation in a variety of matters including: . Economic incentives . Planning and zoning . Public and private partnerships . Annexation . Municipal litigation . Storm water management . Financing strategies sst tiin nsso on n m mo or rr riisso on n h he ec ck ke er r

llllpp

For For more more information, information, contact contact attorney attorney Steve Steve Chinn Chinn at: at: 1201 1201 Walnut, Walnut, Suite Suite 2900 2900 .. Kansas Kansas City, City, MO MO 64106 64106 .. Tel: Tel: 800.846.1201 800.846.1201 .. www.stinson.com www.stinson.com

Missouri Municipal Review The The Missouri Municipal Review

The choice choice of of aa lawyer lawyer isis important important and and should should not not be be based based solely solely on on advertisements. advertisements.(Mo. (Mo.Sup Sup Ct. Ct.Rule Rule 4-7.2) 4-7.2) The

Kansas City (816) 221-1000

March 2011 November 2010 / 27 25

Enhancing People’s Lives through Sustainable Infrastructure Kansas City, MO 816.363.2696 hwlochner.com

SERVING MISSOURI MUNICIPALITIES FOR MORE THAN 46 YEARS.

30 / November 2012

The Missouri

The safest way to maintain positive system pressure while your storage tank is off line for repairs or renovation.

Tomcat Consultants Portable Hydro-Pneumatic Tanks 1,000 TO 22,000 Gallon Capacities

We specialize in the sanitary aspect of water storage: Tank Cleaning & Inspections /Phase Inspections / Writing of Specifications / Sanitary Evaluations

The saf way t mainta positi system pressu while y storage is off lin repairs renovat

www.tomcatconsultants.com

Tel: 573.764.5255/ 7255

P.O. Box 317

www.tomca

tapco@fidnet.com

Fax: 573.764.6255

Rosebud, MO 63091

tapco@fidn

The safest way to Municipal Review maintain positive system pressure while your

Tomcat Consultants

www.mocities.com Portable Hydro-Pneumatic Tanks 1,000 TO 22,000 Gallon Capacities

The saf way t mainta positi system pressu while y


professional professional professio n a l d i r directory e directory c t o ry

ALLGEIER, MARTIN and ASSOCIATES, INC. Corporate Office 7231 E. 24th Street Joplin, MO 64804 417.680.7200

www.amce.com

AM

Rolla Office 112 West 8th Street Rolla, MO 65401 573.341.9487

Comprehensive Engineering and Environmental Solutions www.barr.com • 1-888-324-3933

resourceful.naturally. naturally. resourceful. Barr Engineering Company

CONSULTING ENGINEERS CONSULTING ENGINEERS GEOTECHNICAL DRILLING GEOTECHNICAL DRILLING

AN AN EMPLOYEE EMPLOYEE OWNED OWNED COMPANY COMPANY 901 901 VINE VINE STREET STREET POPLAR POPLAR BLUFF, BLUFF, MISSOURI MISSOURI (573) (573) 785-9621 785-9621

www.shsmithco.com www.shsmithco.com

REMEDIATION REMEDIATION REMEDIATION LAND LAND SURVEYORS LAND SURVEYORS SURVEYORS Geotechnical Geotechnical Geotechnical Drilling Drilling Drilling UST’s UST’s UST’s Airports Airports Airports Industrial Industrial Industrial Parks Parks Parks

Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP

The attorneys of our Public Law & Finance Group provide legal representation in a variety of matters including: attorneys of our Public Law & Finance Group provide legal . Economic .The incentives Planning and zoning in a variety of matters. including: .representation Public and private partnerships Annexation ..Economic incentives .. Planning and zoning Municipal litigation Storm water management . Public and private partnerships . Annexation . Financing strategies . Municipal litigation . Storm water management . Financing strategies stinson morrison sst so n tie in n n llp h cs ko er m o iisso n m or rr rSteve oChinn n at: For more information, contact attorney

. www.stinson.com c e h.e eTel: ck k er r llllpp 1201 Walnut, Suite 2900 . Kansas City, MO 64106h 800.846.1201 For For more more information, information, contact contact attorney attorney Steve Steve Chinn Chinn at: at: 1201 1201 Walnut, Walnut, Suite Suite 2900 2900 .. Kansas Kansas City, City, MO MO 64106 64106 .. Tel: Tel: 800.846.1201 800.846.1201 .. www.stinson.com www.stinson.com

The choice choice of of aa lawyer lawyer isis important important and and should should not not be be based based solely solely on on advertisements. advertisements.(Mo. (Mo.Sup Sup Ct. Ct.Rule Rule 4-7.2) 4-7.2) The

SMITH&CO.

Water Water Water Wastewater Wastewater Wastewater Streets/Roads Streets/Roads Streets/Roads Stormwater Stormwater Stormwater Site Site Plans Site Plans Plans Bridges Bridges Bridges

The choice of a lawyer is important and should not be based solely on advertisements. (Mo. Sup Ct. Rule 4-7.2)

888.324.3933 Barr BarrEngineering EngineeringCo. Co. www.barr.com www.barr.com 888.324.3933 Jefferson City, MO • Ann Arbor, MI • Bismarck, ND Missouri Michigan North Dakota|MN |Alberta Alberta Missouri | |Michigan | |North Dakota Minneapolis, MN| |Minnesota • Minnesota Duluth, MN • Hibbing,

Visit Vendors online by clicking on the Products and Services Guide at www.mocities.com!

www.mocities.com www.mocities.com www.mocities.com

Missouri Municipal Review The Missouri Municipal Review TheThe Missouri Municipal Review

November March 2012 2011 / 31 27 November 2010 / 25


A marketplace for products and services . . .

professional directory

FROM CONCEPTION THROUGH OPERATION INDOOR AND OUTDOOR FAMILY AQUATIC CENTERS ARCHITECTS & ENGINEERS AWARD WINNING DESIGNS- ENGINEERED TO LAST! YOUR QUALITY CHOICE SINCE 1978 5974 State Highway 80 South P.O. Box 366 Platteville, WI 53818 www.burbachaquatics.com Dillion, CO 80435 PH(608)348-3262 baae@centurytel.net PH(815)238-5243 FAX(608)348-4970 FAX(970)513-0988

BURBACH AQUATICS

Municipal Environmental Services Yard Waste Management  Green Waste Recycling  Complete Tree Care  Land Clearing 

WWW. BRAIKBROTHERS.COM

Mulch Compost  Tree Spraying  Vegetation Maintenance  

Braik Brother’s Tree Care 8378 I-70 Dr. SE, Columbia, MO 65201 573-47GREEN

Quality Online Training benefits your staff! Learn more about MML's Online Training opportunities today at

www.mocities.com

32 / November 2012

The Missouri Municipal Review

www.mocities.com


2012 Index of Articles and Authors City Profile

More Function At The Junction - 22, Sept North Kansas City Bridges The Century With 100 Years Of Progress - 13, Nov Setting The Theme In Grandview - 20, May Upstream From Ordinary: Riverside Rolls Ahead - 4, Sept Weston - Celebrating 175 Years! - 22, Nov

Economic/Community Development

Analyzing The Benefits Of Economic Debt Management Policies - 19, Nov Development Projects - 13, Mar City of Black Jack's Cable Television Station Benefits Entire Region - 34, Nov City of Peculiar Is Poised For Growth - 15, May City Of Sedalia: A Distinctive Economic Position - 17, May Due Diligence And Risk Management Measures For Economic Development Incentive Approvals - 8, Jul Healthy People, Healthy Places - Building Sustainable Communities Through Active Living - 6, Mar Joplin Recovering - With Help From Our Friends - 6, May Missouri Cities Can Grow Native! - 13, Jul Missouri Cities Sustain Stable Credit Outlook by Mitigating Challenges - 16, Nov Missouri Land Use Law - 12, Sept Nuisance Abatement: Subjective Advice 14, Jan Power Of Partnership: Missouri’s Linked Deposit Program - 4, May School Safety Study Program: Lee’s Summit - 13, May Use Tax Revenues: How Much Are States Not Collecting? - 8, Sept Why Missouri Municipalities Should Oppose The “Everything Tax” - 8, Jan

Legislation

2012 Legislative Report - 5, Jan 2012 Legislative Wrap-Up - 26, Jul Prison Populations Create Complications At Redistricting - 11, Jan Protecting Missouri’s Initiative Petition Process For Citizens - 10, Mar Update: The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act - 6, Nov

Missouri Open Meetings And Records Law (Part II) - 25, Nov FAQ: Prevailing Wage - 32, May FAQ: Revenue Sources (Taxes) - 26, Mar President’s Report - 4, Mar; 4, Jul; 4, Nov

Municipal Administration

Five Common Mistakes On City Websites - 17, Mar GFOA Certification Program - 30, Sept Government’s Data Detectives - 15, Mar In Defense of Bureaucrats - 4, Jan Leading The Charge: Decision Making - 18, Mar Municipalities As Hybrid Entities Under HIPPA - 24, Sept Retirement: Strategies For Saving Smart 17, Sept The 7 C’s: A Blueprint For Embracing Change - 20, Mar The Seven Habits Of An Extremely Influential Association - 6, Jan

Municipal Government

Holiday Decorations On Publc Property 10, Nov Meeting New Compliance Requirements And Addressing Bad Debt Effectively - 22, May Strong City Ordinances Can Keep DNR At Bay - 9, Mar

Public Health

Making Healtheir Choices: Eat Smart In Parks - 18, Jul The Sky Didn’t Fall: Jefferson City’s Smokefree Ordinance After First Year - 18, Sept

Public Safety

School Safety Study Program: Lee’s Summit - 13, May Seat Belt Policies Are A Key To Risk Management - 17, Jul Cape Girardeau Public Works: A 360-Degree Approach - 9, May GIS Helps City Of Trenton Map The Future Of Their Utilities - 27, Sept Innovative Design-Build Road Maintenance Strategy - 14, Jul

Missouri Municipal League

2012 Author Index Bakewell, C. Michael - 24, Sept Barwick, John Guy - 22, May Beattie, Kristi - 22, Sept Breul, Jonathan D. - 15, Mar Bridges, Kate - 27, Sept Carnahan, Robin - 10, Mar Charton, Scott - 8, Jan Cowan, Stanely R. - 18, Sept Cronan, Patrick - 14, Jan Davit, Carol - 13, Jul Day, Brian - 10, Nov Deblauw, Cindy - 18, Jul Edwards, Gary - 17, May Garapolo, Mark - 17, Sept GFOA - 13, Mar Hauck, Meredith - 4, Sept Herrman, John - 13, May Huebner, Roger - 10, Nov Hunt, James C. - 17, Mar Jadali, Joan - 30, Sept; 19, Nov Kaleko, Tom - 8, Jul Kamensky, John M. - 15, Mar Kirby, Kim - 22, Nov Labuer, Joe - 8, Jul Lawson, Katherine W. - 20, Mar Maciag, Mike - 8, Sept Martin, Jeff - 14, Jul McCoy, Joe - 6, Jan McNichols, Jim - 6, Nov Miller, Jim - 4, Jan Moody, James R. - 8, Jan O’Malley, Dawn M. - 15, May Onstot, Lynn Iliff - 6, May Park, Michael - 13, May Randolph, Dennis A. - 20, May Robinson, Karen - 34, Nov Rokos, Greg - 14, Jul Rozsa, Stephanie - 6, Mar Samborski, Jeff - 13, Nov Schoflfield, Mark - 14, Jul Schultz, Mary B. - 12, Sept Sexton, Jessica - 9, May Sheets, Richard - 5, Jan Shepherd, Katie - 27, Sept Townsend, Jim - 14, Jul Wagner, Peter - 11, Jan Walsack, Phil - 9, Mar Woodward, Mark - 17, Jul Yorg, Jeffery - 16, Nov Zborel, Tammy - 6, Mar Zinni, Anthony - 18, Mar Zurley, Jerry - 10, Nov Zweifel, Clint - 4, May

Director’s Message - 5, Jul; 5, Nov FAQ: Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) 24, Jan FAQ: Missouri Open Meetings And Records Law: Part I (Sunshine Law) - 36, Jul FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions On The

www.mocities.com

The Missouri Municipal Review

November 2012 / 33


City of Black Jack's Cable Television Station Benefits Entire Region by Karen Robinson

M

ost cities across the United States provide some way to enhance the lives of their residents and the residents in surrounding areas. It can be a festival, a fair, a special day honoring someone from the community or some other way to give something of value back to the community. For the city of Black Jack, Mo., a small Midwestern suburb of about 7,000 residents, our cable news station is one way to give back to its residents, while contributing to the entire metropolitan St. Louis region. Black Jack News launched more than 20 years ago with just a few shows highlighting community news, and broadcasting from a small room in the basement of the aging City Hall. Before its start, the City used its allocated channel to broadcast text messages of upcoming events to residents. Today, the channel broadcasts 24 hours a day and has won 52 national awards and three Mid-America Emmy Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting. It is currently on track to broadcast over 250 shows this year alone. The station is funded by the city of Black Jack, and costs are offset using franchise fee funds from the two local cable television providers. “The cable operation has been a positive for the city of Black Jack,” said Black Jack Mayor Norman McCourt. “It has promoted our community in a positive manner and helped to educate residents of the community on what local governments do and how they affect their everyday lives.” However, the station did not change overnight. The evolution of Black Jack News got a boost in 1996, when the City hired a new director of communications, Randy Gardner, to head the operation. Gardner had lofty goals for the station’s future. For the first two years after Gardner’s arrival, Black Jack News continued to operate out of City Hall’s basement facility, while starting to slowly develop a programming concept that would highlight local government’s contributions to the community Then in 1998, the operation moved into the lower level of the newly constructed Black Jack City Hall, where it established its own custom studio for broadcasts. With the new physical space, the concept for the station began to change more dramatically. The goal was to make Black Jack News an alternative to the network TV stations, promoting the good news of the community, while highlighting how local government affects citizens��� everyday lives. Slowly, the station started to cover news in neighboring municipalities and each year the circle of coverage spread. Within a few years, the station was covering news and events from the entire St. Louis metro area. Increasingly, residents from across the metropolitan began tuning in and learning about the city of Black Jack along the way, as local stories were sprinkled into the broadcasts. The name of the station soon changed to North County News and became known for its news and sports coverage. As viewers tuned in to see local reports, they were also treated to new shows like “HealthQuest,” a program that 34 / November 2012

Black Jack Mayor Norm McCourt, left, hosts City Limits, interviewing local, regional and national political figures.

interviews local hospital administrators and doctors. At the same time, the station launched “Priority One,” a bi-weekly police show in cooperation with the St. Louis County Police Department. The show takes an in-depth look at every facet of the department: behind the scenes police operations, ride alongs, crime trends in the community and upcoming events. Another popular program is “City Limits.” The award-winning program features Mayor McCourt interviewing local, regional and national political figures. On the air since 1998, the show has earned the mayor a reputation for his down to earth, honest interview style. “Looking back, it has been a long hard journey to get to where we are now, but it shows you that with persistence and a mayor and council that is supportive, the sky is the limit,” Gardner said. In 2009, the station hit what it thought was a major speed bump. The local charter affiliate moved the station from Channel 20 to Channel 994. At the same time, AT&T entered the St. Louis market and the channel was picked up on U-Verse on Channel 99. The challenge was how to manage the change after marketing the station for more than 10 years as Channel 20. “In the end, it was the best thing that could have happened, as we were forced to think outside of the box. It led us to using social media and video on demand on our website,” Gardner said. In response, the station also changed its name to the Gateway Television News (GTN) Network and implemented a media campaign that focused on the switch in a positive way. Viewers found the station again and web viewing has exploded in the years since. For Gardner—the station’s only full-time staff member—running the operation is a heavy workload on a weekly basis. “It has been a major part of my life now for 17 years. I know how much of a difference we make in the community, Gardner said. “It is so rewarding to hear someone say that they enjoy what we do, that makes it all worth it.” Karen Robinson is the city clerk for the city of Black Jack, Mo.

The Missouri Municipal Review

www.mocities.com


ACADEMY FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PREPARING LEADERS FOR SERVICE

Registration is now open for the 10th year of the Academy for Leadership Development. The Academy is a unique professional development program designed to enhance the leadership skills of local elected and appointed officials, board and commission members, and non-profit leaders.

Academy for Leadership Development Schedule January 17-18, 2013 Understanding Leadership and Working with Others • The Leadership Challenge • Understanding Individual Behavior • Bringing Out the Best in Yourself and Others • Dealing with Difficult People • Managing Conflict • Ethics and Leadership

February 14-15, 2013 Leadership and Collaboration in Your Organization

• Building an Effective Leadership Team • Communicating Effectively • Engaging Stakeholders: Collaboration & Partnership

March 14-15, 2013 Planning and Managing in an Uncertain Environment • Understanding and Managing Change

• Strategic Planning • Leader’s Role in Budgeting • Evaluation and Monitoring

About the ALD Program

 The program consists of three classes, each lasting two days (Thursdays and Fridays).  The Academy is held in the newly remodeled MU Student Center at the heart of the University of Missouri Campus.  To allow for the highest level of interaction among participants and with facilitators, space is limited to 20 registrants.  The Academy curriculum is highly interactive, utilizing real-life case studies, experiential exercises and up-to-date reading and materials.  The Academy is lead by faculty of the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri.  The cost of the Academy is $595.00 and includes all materials and breakfast and lunch.  CEU’s are available for an additional fee of $15.

To register or for more information visit our website at: http://ipp.missouri.edu/leadership/academy Sponsored by: Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs, Missouri Municipal League, and Missouri Association of Counties

www.mocities.com

The Missouri Municipal Review

November 2012 / 35


Getting to Know Your MML Staff

Lori Noe, Administrative Secretary Q: How long have you worked for MML? I have been with MML since Dec. 15, 2000. Q: What do you most enjoy about working with the League? The one thing I enjoy the most is preparing for and working the MML Conferences; not any one in particular, but all of them. I love meeting new people and working with them. Q: What is your background? I grew up in Columbia, Mo. I attended Columbia College and UMC. I came to MML with 10 years’ office manager experience; previously employed at the American Board of Professional Psychology, (try answering the phone 50 times a day saying all of that!), another non-profit organization. I am married to a wonderful person who has taught me a lot through the years; his name is Mark. He is employed at JCCC. We have been married for 15 years. We are a blended family with one daughter each and, of course, one fur ball named Mitzie. Tiff is 18, works for a local veterinarian and planning to attend Columbia College. My daughter Keri, is 23, married, and works for the Missouri Department of Economic Development. She graduated a year ago from Lincoln University with a degree in accounting. We are just recently empty nesters and are looking forward to this new phase of our lives. Q: If you could visit any city (worldwide), what would you choose? Why? Jerusalem, to walk where our Heavenly Father’s Son has walked. Q: What was your first car? Delta 88 Oldsmobile - a big boat! Q: What are your hobbies? I love to read, quilt, scrapbook, photography, and make Cards for Heroes.

Teresa Shaw, Office Support Specialist Q: How long have you worked for MML? It was 19 years in November. Q: What do you most enjoy about working with the League? I probably enjoy working the conference the most. A lot of preparation goes into the whole registration process, but I’m a pretty organized person, so I enjoy that part. Q: What is your background? I have lived in mid-Missouri all my life. I was raised on a farm in Mexico, married and moved to Vandalia, then to Jefferson City. I now live in Mexico again with my husband of nearly nine years. I’m very proud to have a 22-year-old son and a 23-year-old stepdaughter. My son is a welder and my step-daughter is an occupational therapist in Iowa. My prior jobs have ranged from waitress, to office help in a window manufacturer, to travel agent. Q: If you could visit any city (worldwide), what would you choose? Why? Anywhere near a beach! There is nothing better than watching the sunset on the ocean. Q: What was your first car? 1973 Mustang Q: What is one thing that members would not know about you? I’m a biker chick! I don’t ride my own, but I love being on the back of the Harley with my husband.

36 / November 2012

The Missouri Municipal Review

www.mocities.com


Member Accomplishments

2012 Public Official of the Year Joplin's City Manager Mark Rohr was named one of the 2012 Public Officials of the Year by Governing Magazine. Mark is one of only seven honorees across the nation. He was recognized for his work to help rebuild Joplin after the devastaing tornado in May 2011 and for serving as the public face of the city's recovery. Read Mark's profile at www.governing.com/poy.

City of Kansas, Mo., City Attorney Bill Geary received recertification as a Local Government Fellow from the International Municipal Lawyers Association. Only 80 attorneys in the U.S. and Canada have received this prestigious fellowship since its inception in 1999, when it was created to recognize attorneys as legal specialists in the field of local government law and to encourage proficiency and competency in the local government legal field.

Kerry Patek, City Clerk of Festus, has earned the prestigious Certified Municipal Clerk designation from the International institute of Municipal Clerks. To earn the CMC designation, a municipal clerk must attend extensive education programs and have strong experience in a municipality. For more information about the program, visit www. iimc.com.

The Missouri Public Utility Alliance presented Independence Power and Light Director Leon Daggett with the Tom Tinsley Distinguished Service Award at its annual conference. This award is given to an official of one of the MPUA members who has provided distinguished service to the MPUA organization.

Job Opportunities CITY ADMINISTRATOR. The city of Eldon, Mo., (4,974 pop.), is accepting applications for the position of city administrator. Eldon is located in central Missouri, 12 miles north of the Lake of the Ozarks. The city administrator will be responsible for carrying out those duties described by the mayor and sixmember board of alderman. The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in public administration or equivalent experience in the public-sector. The successful candidate will have meaningful municipal government and finance experience and the ability to develop and oversee the 5.4M budget; must be an experienced professional with demonstrated communication, interpersonal and networking skills, as well as provide outstanding leadership; proven work ethic; excellent decision-making aptitude; the ability to maintain the fiscal integrity of the organization; and certainly be a person with a good background in the field of economic development and grant preparation. The starting salary will be market competitive, depending on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. Residency is a requirement. Position will remain open until filled. Application review will begin immediately. All applications will be treated as confidential. Send cover letter, resume, references and salary history to: City of Eldon Administrator Position, PO Box 355, Eldon, MO 65026 or fax to 573-392-2341, Attn. Mayor Ronald Bly.

www.mocities.com

POLICE OFFICER. The city of University City is accepting applications for a police officer. Under the direction of the police chief, police officers may be personally responsible in assigned districts for maintenance of law and order; the enforcement of laws and ordinances; protection of life and property; apprehension of law violators; and other related assignments in connection with the operation of the police department, such as the Bureau of Investigation and traffic enforcement. The incumbent will spend a considerate amount of time in the field carrying out principal responsibilities. P.O.S.T. certified, police academy graduate or current academy attendees preferred. Obtain police employment application and additional information at www.ucitymo.org, or apply in person at 6801 Delmar, 1st Floor, HR Dept., University City, MO. AA/ EOE. POLICE OFFICER. The city of New Franklin, Mo., Police Department is taking applications for a fulltime police officer. Must meet P.O.S.T. requirements. Excellent benefits package. Salary commensurate with experience. Send resume and proof of P.O.S.T. to New Franklin Chief of Police, PO Box 96, 130 E. Broadway, New Franklin, MO 65274. Phone: 660-848-2075. Applications taken until position filled. EOE.

The Missouri Municipal Review

November 2012 / 37


REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

The city of Macon/Macon Municipal Utilities, Macon, Mo., is preparing for future wastewater treatment needs and plans to build a new facility. Consequently, Statements of Qualifications and Experience are being requested from professional engineering firms. If your firm is interested in being considered for Macon’s wastewater treatment project, please submit your information to Stephanie Wilson at Macon Municipal Utilities, 106 W. Bourke Street, Macon, MO 63552 no later than the close of business on November 16, 2012. It is anticipated that selected firms will be interviewed in January 2013. Completion of a plant is not expected for a minimum of five years. Submittals should include examples of completed wastewater treatment facility projects, including the type and capacity, and relevant contact information. Two copies of the statements of qualifications should be submitted. Specifically, the engineering firm will be asked to assist the city/utilities in determining an appropriate, economic, and sufficient treatment capacity and processes necessary to serve residential, commercial and industrial customers of the Macon Municipal Utilities for the next 30 to 40 years. Specific items to address include the following: 1. Evaluation of current wastewater process, as well as alternative methods for future needs. 2. Evaluation of loan and grant opportunities available. 3. Analysis of affordability of various alternatives and impact on user fees for all customer classes; residential, commercial and industrial. 4. Coordination with Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri State Revolving Fund

38 / November 2012

Calendar of Events 2012 November 28-Dec 1 NLC Congress of Cities and Exposition, Boston, MA December 3-4 2012 Health Summit: Community Solutions, Community Change, St. Louis 3-4 CityAge Summit on the New American City, Kansas City 4-5 55th Annual Missouri S&T Asphalt Conference, Rolla, MO 2013 January 9 Missouri General Assembly Convenes 15 Last Day of Candidate Filing 17 MML West Gate Meeting, Richmond, MO 17 MCMA Professional Development Seminar, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO February 1 MO GFOA Winter Seminar 12-13 MML Legislative Conference, Capital Plaza Hotel, Jefferson City, MO

25-28 MO Park and Recreation Assn., Annual Conference, Osage Beach Loan program, including submittal of facility plan and all other requirements. 5. Assurance of compliance with requirements for current and anticipated regulations regarding wastewater treatment facilities. 6. Design, bidding and construction services relative to new treatment facilities.

The Missouri Municipal Review

The City reserves the right to reject any and all statements and will not be responsible for any costs associated with the preparation of said statements. Please contact Stephanie Wilson, General Manager, Macon Municipal Utilities, at 660-385-3173, or swilson@gommu. com with questions.ď ą

www.mocities.com


www.mocities.com

The Missouri Municipal Review

November 2012 / 39


Tenacity K IN G

H E R S H E Y

Meet Kimberley S. Spies One of Missouri’s most experienced, skilled and diligent attorneys focusing on municipal transactions, including structuring and negotiating bond issues and handling real estate and economic development matters for governmental entities.

Knowledge that won’t quit.

The Law Firm That Welcomes A Challenge 816-842-3636 • KingHershey.com 2345 Grand Blvd., #2100 • Kansas City, MO 64108 The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements.


Missouri Municipal League Review Magazine