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University City Council Clarifies Past Action On Parking, Traffic Study

Councilman Carr raises Sunshine Law concerns

August 15, 2012
The University City Council revisited two previously approved matters Aug. 13 and decided to vote on them again, with one vote coming that night and the second scheduled for Aug. 27.

The council had voted 5-2 on July 9 to approve a resolution from Councilman Byron Price to keep free parking at lot number 4, located off Kingsland Avenue on the west end of the Loop. At the council's Aug. 13 meeting, Councilman Paulette Carr said the motion caused "difficulty for the city clerk" because the wording was different than what was intended. Carr said the resulting resolution was slightly different because it also implied free parking in the entire Loop area.

Carr then offered a resolution that clarified the free parking provision for lot number 4, which was again approved, this time by a 6-1 vote, with Mayor Shelley Welsch again voting against it.

Carr then moved on to a resolution approved at the council's July 23 meeting that called for the city manager to send out a request for proposals (RFP) for a comprehensive traffic study of the Loop and surrounding areas.

Carr said she thought the resolution was a violation of Missouri's Sunshine Law because it was not listed on the July 23 meeting agenda. She said it was a violation of the council's own rules because it arose during the council comment portion of the meeting.

She then apologized to residents for not realizing at the time and objecting.

"Unfortunately I did not catch this before or during the discussion," she said. "The public and the rest of the council deserve to have advance notice of the parking study discussion."

Carr then asked that the council place the matter on the Aug. 27 agenda.

Councilmen Stephen Kraft and Michael Glickert, who originally offered the resolution July 23, clarified that the council approved no ordinance regarding the traffic study, and that it merely directed City Manager Lehman Walker to create the RFPs and send them out.

Since the vote did not call for spending city funds, it was not a Sunshine Law violation, they said. Kraft called the matter "much ado about nothing." The council did agree to place the item on the Aug. 23 meeting agenda for formal approval.

Additional Actions

In other business, the University City Council at its Aug.13 meeting:

 unanimously approved spending $39,708 with Williams Concrete Contractors to install an eight-foot -wide concrete path at the Ruth Park Golf Course cart path;

 read a proclamation honoring City Clerk Joyce Pumm for earning the International City Clerks Association's certification as a certified municipal city clerk;

 read a proclamation honoring resident Veronica Hilyard as Ms. Missouri Senior;

 read a proclamation honoring the memory of former long-time Councilman Larry Lieberman.

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