Over the past few months the wording was questioned by the Board of Aldermen as well as the City of Elsberry Attorney Robert Guiness.
A letter and contract was provided by the Lincoln County Commissioners asking the City to take part in a Marketing campaign that would be split
amongst entities that utilize 911 services. The campaign would cost $120,000 total. With the sales tax measure being placed on the April 2019 ballot.
When presented with the letter and contract, Guiness advised the board that he believed the wording used was in violation of a Missouri State Statute.
That statute basically says that tax-payer money cannot be used in any way to encourage or ensure the passage of a ballot measure.
The board then asked Guiness if he would provide a letter to the Commissioners stating why they would not be participating.
At the next monthly meeting, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Captain Pirtle stated he was there to provide a response along with Lincoln County Ambulance’s
Chief Administrator and 911 Board’s Ray Antonacci.
Captain Pirtle stated despite the contract saying it was for marketing it is actually going to be used for education.
He also stated that every other municipality or organizations, such as fire and ambulance, that uses 911 services has either agreed or in some cases already paid the money.
He stated that it will be a 3/4¢ sales tax that will be used to fund 911 within the county and will make it so those municipalities and fire/ambulance will not have to pay any money to have 911.
Guiness was then advised to send a letter once again to the Commissioners in regards to changing the wording that is in the Request for Qualifications (RFQ).
At the most recent meeting, Guiness stated that the Commissioners once against stated they would not be changing the wording.
Associate Commissioner District 1 Mike Mueller was on hand to answer questions and provide more information.
He stated that despite the RFQ stating that the “Scope of Work” would be 1. Firm shall develop a marketing plan to ensure passage of a sales tax. This firm would be only educating.
Mueller was then asked by Bob Kindred, Alderman Ward III, if the city didn’t participate, was the commissioners still planning on trying to get a sales tax passed.
“No this is an all or nothing opportunity,” state Mueller.
After heated discussion and Mueller making the board aware of a deadline of May 15, Alderman Kindred, with a second from Ward I Alderman Charlie DeMoulin, moved and seconded that the city pay the share, $6,429.83, that the Commissioners were asking for.
A vote was taken and passed 4-1 with the lone no voted coming from Ward II Alderman Michael Short.
After the motion was passed both Kindred and DeMoulin stated to Mueller that they didn’t like the strong-arm tactics from the Commissioners and if not for a deadline they wouldn’t have voted yes.