The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 5, 2012

Statute conflict delays appointment of Carl Junction councilman

By Ryan Richardson

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — The city of Carl Junction, on the advice of its attorney, is sorting out a conflict between the city’s code and state statutes on the procedure to use when filling vacancies in elected offices.

City Attorney Mike Talley discovered the issue following a Nov. 6 council meeting when Tim Smith was appointed to the vacant position left by Ed Reeves’ resignation in September. Smith’s appointment followed the city’s code at the time, but Talley was concerned that it did not follow the state statute. In a memorandum issued to the city Nov. 30, Talley outlined the conflict between the city and state statutes.

“In my research following the Nov. 6 meeting, I have learned that the Missouri state statute upon which our City Code Section 115.070 was originally written has been substantially modified since the code was adopted,” Talley said. “The statute by its terms provides the Board of Aldermen may adopt procedures to fill vacancies consistent with this section. The board’s directive to me would not be consistent with this statute.”

Smith was reapproved to the board of alderman at Tuesday’s meeting within guidelines of the state statute. City Clerk Maribeth Matney said that the council will attempt to approve the updated statutes at the Dec. 18 council meeting and then formally place Smith on the council.

“We followed the law each time based on what was correct,” Matney said. “At the recommendation of the city’s attorney, we will approve him for a third time after the updated statute passes at the next meeting.”