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Council welcomes its newest member

City council members met for more than an hour last Thursday evening for their monthly work session. The meeting began with the swearing in of the city’s newest council member.

Businesswoman Jeannie Roberts was sworn in at the start of the work session. Roberts won the council seat during the April election. She had been unable to attend the April council meeting due to a prior engagement booked ahead of the spring election.

Roberts replaces former councilman Dennis Smith, who announced months before the election that he would not be seeking another term. Roberts comes to the position with an apparent good understanding of the city’s current status and a desire to see it prosper well into the future.

The council held three public hearings prior to start of the work session Thursday. The first dealt with a plat approval for a new subdivision, Rock Bridge Village, off Route H. The second was to allow for an addition at the Centene Corportation’s on-site daycare. The third was a request for annexation of property located at 216 Green Trail Drive. There was no input from the public during any of the hearings.

In the regular meeting, concerns were raised about the condition of a gravel road leading from the rear of Lincoln Intermediate Center and Roosevelt Elementary to Route OO. Councilman Larry Forsythe said he had been contacted about the condition of the street, however, had since confirmed that the gravel road is not under city control. Repairs would have to be made by the county.

The council also heard a report from Mayor Dr. Charles Rorex on a recent community project taken on by a group of high school classes.

Rorex told how a group of students spent a week cleaning up the city parks and areas around the different school campuses. The work was completed as part of a small grant applied for and received by the school district. The community service provided activities for students while other classes were taking mandatory state testing that week.

Rorex and the council applauded the students’ efforts. Principal Dr. David Waters and a representative of the senior class were on hand to be recognized for the clean up.

The only controversy of any sort during the work session came late in the meeting. A request to sell “pull tabs” on city grounds during Country Days on June 3-5 drew a near split vote by the council of seven members, with Councilman Jim Bullis not in attendance. In the end it was four in favor, and three against allowing the tabs to be sold.

Members of the V.F.W. Hall , located on Karsch Boulevard, had made a request to sell pull tabs during Country Days. “Pull Tabs” are a game of chance in which a purchaser buys a tab for a small price knowing there’s a possibility of winning back more than the price paid for the tab. The tabs are marked with a no-win message or a winning dollar amount.

The V.F.W. group routinely sells pull tabs on hall property during events. However, in order for the veterans group to sell tabs off hall property they are required to request a permit from the state. Part of the approval process is gaining consent of the city leadership.

Councilman Forsythe questioned the potential of other groups approaching the city in the future asking to operate games of chance.

When the vote was taken it was Forsythe, Clarann Harrington, and Dave Holman voting against the request. Council members Jim Kellogg, Scott Semar, Rusty Straughan and new member Jeannie Roberts voted in favor.

The council will meet next on May 16.

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