Centralia Fireside Guard

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Centralia Aldermen discuss SRO, Anchor Fest

Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 6:08 am

No residents attended the July 19 meeting of the Centralia Board of Aldermen.

It was thin behind the podium as well, with Ward 1’s Christina Stevens and Ward III’s Terri Motley absent.

Appointments, a farmers’ market, Anchor Festival and the Centralia Police Department’s school resource officer position were the evening’s main topics.

City Administrator Heather Russell discussed a meeting she had with Steven Chancellor, Centralia R-VI superintendent of schools, regarding the Centralia R-VI school resource officer position. She said the goal is to restore it to a cooperative position. That would involve sharing the financial support of the position.

Chris Cox, Centralia mayor, agreed with the concept. “We pay taxes for good schools, good curriculum and good teachers… I feel the schools should have some investment in the program… I think there is a proposal he will get back to us on later this month.”

Chancellor, Cox said, wanted input into the position.

Bob Bias, chief of the Centralia Police Department, Cox said, wanted to ensure the SRO still reported to the Centralia Police Department. “He wants his officer to stay his officer,” Cox said. “He just wants to make sure there is protocol and collaboration,” Cox said of Chancellor’s concerns.

“The bottom line is this folks, it is something that needs to stay in place,” Cox said.

“58,149 is the total salary and benefits we would be splitting,” Russell said.

“Dave Davenport was made for that job,” Bias said. “He is 100 percent invested in those kids.”

Ward II’s Robert Hudson said it is a “relationship that needs to continue.”

Ward III’s Landon Magley expressed a concern regarding overtime pay when covering sporting events. “I don’t want to pay any overtime.” He also said rural families were not paying the city taxes which currently pay Davenport’s wages. “That is where I have a problem where they (the school district) haven’t been paying at all.”

Ward II’s Don Rodgers asked who the position ultimately reported to.

Bias said it reported to him.

Rodgers also asked about protocol when the CPD is faced with an emergency, “Is he going to be able to come and help?”

Bias said, if things were sufficiently severe where he and the officers on duty were unable to handle a situation, Davenport would be able to help.”

“Bottom line,” Bias said, of the discussion between the school district and the city, “to be continued.”

Chancellor said there is not yet a plan to present to the R-VI School Board.

“If we are going to pay 50 percent of the salary, we need to have 50 percent of the input in how the job is done,” he told the Fireside Guard. “We have to make sure the 50-50 salary is not the only thing on which there is collaboration. There also needs to be collaboration on position’s duties and how they are met.”

In other business, Cox asked for a meeting to be arranged with Ginny Zollers, director of the Centralia chamber of commerce, regarding vendors at the Anchor Fest, which is scheduled for August 20, 21, 22. “Understand we were playing this by ear when it was being planned. It may be something that is just needs to be updated. We have 45 vendors at Second Saturdays, I don’t understand why we can’t have that many or more at the Anchor Festival.”

“We will have vendors,” Zoellers told the Fireside Guard. “It has been opened up to crafters who are available and want to attend.”

Restarting a Centralia farmers’ market also came up.

Russell said it had been discussed at the most recent Centralia Chamber of Commerce membership meeting. It would have a separate board, reporting to the chamber and renting a space, such as that formerly occupied by the Narragansett Building, or the city square.

Russell said Taylor Warbritton would eventually make a presentation to the board regarding a new farmers’ market. “I think it would go well,” Cox said. “Look at what Reclaimed is doing.”

That future also involves re-writing city code regarding food trucks, Russell said. “They bring people to town,” Hudson agreed.

Magley said Monday night would be a good time for food trucks, because fewer restaurants are open then.

On a different topic, Russell said she was looking for volunteers to serve on a committee to discuss how to best spend anticipated federal funds related to pandemic relief.

Magley also asked Bias if warnings were being issued by the CPD in a uniform matter. “We are doing our job,” Bias replied.

In related matter, Bias confirmed posting signs, such as advertising for personnel agencies, within city right of way was in violation of city ordinance.

They held public hearing regarding the annexation of the Dube’s property and manufacturing facility adjacent to Centralia’s north side.

Nobody offered any statements for or against the annexation.

The later unanimously approved the annexation 4-0.

During  open discussion, they also discussed calls received by Mayor Chris Cox and at least one alderman, Ward 1’s David Wilkins.

Cox confirmed that representatives of the Boone County Health and Senior Services are allowed to go door-to-door in Centralia. “They can knock on your door,” Cox said, “but you don’t have to let them in or answer any of their questions. They can’t make you take a shot.”

In other business, they voted to accept a $777 bid for the Centralia Police Department’s non-functioning 2011 Crown Victoria patrol car. Cox said the car’s engine was blown.

Next, they moved to mayoral appointments for the tree board, board of adjustment and Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District Council.

They reappointed Jeff Breedlove and John Kottwitz to three-year terms on the Centralia Tree Board.

They reappointed Linda Bormann to the Board of Adjustment for another three-year term.

They also reappointed Cox to another two-year term to the Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District Council.