By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
During a meeting that lasted about 20 minutes last Thursday, the St. Mary Board of Aldermen passed three ordinances pertaining to the police department and future municipal elections. The board also awarded a contract for a flow meter at the sewage plant.
The bids for the flow meter were Ressler at $1,890, USA Blue Book at $2,780 and Equipment Pro at $2,813.
The Ressler bid was unanimously accepted.
The first ordinance passed with the police department and put the city back in line with state statutes.
It removed the phrase “The position of Police Chief is an appointed position for a two year term or regular mayoral election unless sooner removed for cause,” from the description of the police department. It therefore reverted back to previous wording.
“We’ve been in violation ever since we got rid of Mark Bequette,” Wyatt said. “Everybody we’ve had since then, we’ve been in violation of state statutes. We’re gonna rectify that tonight. We’re not going to lay it over a month.”
City manager David Woods explained the procedure.
“What we just repealed was an ordinance that made the police chief a two-year term,” he said, “which is not due by state statute. State statute say once you’re the police chief, you’re police chief until you either resign or commit fraud or felony or something. We shouldn’t have done that in the first place,”
“You can’t just do away with the police department,” Wyatt said. “That’s not how it’s done.”
One ordinance sets the next municipal election on April 6. Another one allows the city to skip municipal elections if there are no more candidates for each position than there are open seats.
“It passed on a state level, to where, we can have an election to where,” Woods said. “If there’s no office challenged, if just one person signs up for each office, then we don’t have to have an election. There’s no point and we don’t have to pay for an election, so it saves us money.”
Alderman Zen Duda wanted to clarify that this would only be if just one person sought each position. Woods said that was correct.
This spring the election will include city collector for a two-year term, Alderman Ward I for a two -year term, Alderman Ward I for a one-year term and Alderman Ward 2 for a two-year term.
It also passed unanimously.