Friday, Jun. 08, 2012
Residency ruckus resurfaces
City attorney says Mollenhour’s service is legal
Another round of residency questions directed at Harrisonville Alderman Bill Mollenhour has lost its steam.
At the June 4 Board of Alderman meeting, Errol Durbin brought forward the issue, saying he believes Mollenhour isn’t living in Harrisonville, one of the requirements listed in the Missouri Revised Statutes Section 79.070, which states an aldermen must be “an inhabitant and resident of the city for one year next preceding his or her election, and a resident, at the time he or she files and during the time he or she serves, of the ward from which he or she is elected.”
Previously, Walter Cook brought a similar complaint about the question of Mollenhour’s residence.
“There was a complaint brought on this very issue by Mr. Walter Cook and the Missouri Ethics Commission information was presented, and as I think all the board knows, after much time and expense of city fund, it was found by the Missouri Ethics Commission that the claims were unsubstantiated, alderman Mollenhour is entitled to be on the board,” Alderman Bret Treece said.
The Missouri Ethics Commission, dated May 14, stated based on the facts presented, the Commission voted to dismiss the case as the allegation was unsubstantiated and the investigation did not show reasonable grounds for a violation of Section 79, RSMo by Mollenhour as there was no evidence that he did not meet the residencey requirements of the law.
Mollenhour was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting. He has reportedly been in the hospital since Sunday.
Treece listened to Durbin’s complaint, and asked City Attorney Steve Mauer, “When Bill Mollenhour ran for alderman, was he legally entitled to do so and is he legally entitled to take the chair?”
Mauer replied, “Yes and yes.”
According to public records presented, Durbin is concerned of inconsistencies of addresses Mollenhour has provided.
Mollenhour’s tax receipt for 2011 uses a Harrisonville P.O. Box number for a single family/owner occupied property in at 34504 E. 271st. St., Garden City.
A 2010 individual personal assessment list is shown to have been mailed to 1303 Chapel Dr., Harrisonville. Mollenhour indicated on this document that he moved to 501 Pheasant, Harrisonville, on Dec. 12, 2009.
Mollenhour’s Declaration of Candidacy signed on Jan. 10, 2011 lists his residence as 501 Pheasant, Harrisonville.
A Missouri General Warranty Deed signed Sept. 22, 2011 listed his address as the P.O. Box in Harrisonville for property purchased at 34504 E. 271st. St., Garden City.
On April 25, 2011, Mollenhour brought forth a paternity suit and gave the court an address of 34504 E. 271st. St., Garden City.
Mollenhour returned a phone call to The Democrat Wednesday morning and confirmed his residence as 501 Pheasant, Harrisonville.
“We addressed (the issue) with the Missouri Ethics Commission ruling. The time that I ran for office, I spoke with the city attorney, checked everything, and I fulfilled the requirements,” Mollenhour said. “I do have some other properties…but Harrisonville is where I do all my the business.”
In other business:
Mayor Kevin Wood recognized Mike Morales, tree trimming supervisor, for 15 years of employment with the city.
Wood also recognized the Clay Potters Garden Club, and made a proclamation verifying June 3-9 as National Garden Club Week in Harrisonville.
Phil Rogers, David Atkinson, and Cathy Faris were appointed three-year terms to the city’s Park Board.
A ordinance was passed to authorize the City Administrator to execute a Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission Emergency Airport Aid Agreement between the City of Harrisonville and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for funding the replacement of the runway light controller at the Lawrence Smith Memorial Airport in an amount not to exceed $8,100.
Heard a report from Jerry Gibbs, director of public works, regarding engineering services along the 291 Highway project. The improvements to the corridor being planned by the 291 Partners in Progress TDD are requiring the relocation of most utilities. The widening of the roadway is impacting the city’s overhead electrical lines and services. The specific areas impacted are 291 Highway north to Prettyman Road, Rockhaven west to the Hartzler Equipment, and Commercial Street east to Plaza Drive. Electrical infrastructure will need to be moved prior to the other utilities starting their efforts. The amount of additional right of way will also be impacted. Keith Thomas sent a request for qualifications to solicit interest from electrical engineering consulting firms. The estimated cost of the project is in the $25,000-$35,000 range. Utilitiy relocations on MODOT projects are generally the utility’s cost and in this case the city is only being asked to pay for engineering. This expense was not anticipated in the department’s 2012 budget, but funds are available in another line item that can be moved to cover the cost.