Whether the Ste. Genevieve city administrator and chief of police should be required to live in the city limits sparked sharp debate during the final half hour of last Thursday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting.
Two bills were tabled that would have changed requirements for the two positions to stipulate only that the individuals must reside within the county.
The issue has taken on some urgency due to the pending retirement of city administrator Martin Toma.
Ward 3 Alderman Jimmie Jones made a motion to table the city administrator ordinance, which was seconded.
The vote to table it until the February 27 meeting passed by a 6-2 vote with Johnson and Ward 1 Alderman Gary Smith voting against tabling it.
After the bill pertaining to the police chief was read, Ward 2 Alderman Bob Donovan requested some discussion be held.
“If our system is not broke, why are we changing it?” he asked. “Are we trying to accommodate someone or something? I just don’t understand why we’re changing it. I’ve heard a lot of discussion over the years about the positions, and both of them being in the city limits.
“This is a small town. I just don’t understand why we wouldn’t do that when we’ve done it over the past. The current people do that. We’ve asked the current city administrator to pay rent for nine years, to do this, out of his pocket. …
The board voted unanimously to table the police chief bill until the next meeting.
The debate was just getting started, however.
See complete story in the February 19 edition of the Herald.