DIAMOND CITY — Even though Diamond City Mayor Linda Miracle said she wouldn’t recognize the Tuesday night City Council meeting as a real meeting, the council did take some action.
City recorder Tina Jackson conducted the meeting while Miracle sat at the table. Aldermen Victoria French, Charles Grimes, Cheryl Guthrie, Cristy Olcott and Greg Wilson were present at the beginning of the meeting.
Keshia Bell, who the council appointed as city treasurer in July, was called on to give a financial report.
“I want it on the record Keshia Bell is not the treasurer,” Miracle said. “Keshia Bell’s report is not the official report of the city. As a matter of fact, if it’s anything like the report was last month, it’s not even a true report.”
Bell told aldermen she had no financial records made available to her since the previous meeting in order to track expenses. As such, she urged the council not to approve a financial report that night and no action was taken.
“There will be financial reports in everybody’s box tomorrow,” Miracle said.
Mark Rice, building inspector/code enforcement, told aldermen that one house under construction is almost complete and the last remaining requirement is a final walk through. In addition another house had been completed and inspected.
Two garages are under construction and another construction permit was recently granted, Rice said.
The mayor thanked Rice for his report, but she said it wouldn’t be recognized as an official report. The council disagreed and accepted it.
Continuing with the agenda and department reports, Jackson asked Miracle if she had a planning and zoning report.
“Any reports that I have will be put in a box,” Miracle told aldermen. “They will not be given at this meeting.”
Wilson indicated the reports should be discussed at that night’s meeting. The mayor said she would discuss them in an open forum, but not at Tuesday night’s meeting, which she said she wouldn’t acknowledge.
That met with some laughter from the crowd, but that didn’t sit well with Guthrie.
“If the mockery continues, I’m going to leave,” Guthrie said, “because the mockery is crap. I mean, these are serious issues and you guys are just laughing at them. Serious issues.”
When Jackson asked Miracle if she had a mayor’s report, the mayor spoke.
“I’m going to give a report off the record just so everyone knows what’s kind of going on in this city,” she said.
Miracle noted that an item on the agenda was discussion of a letter she had written to the community and council prior to the previous council meeting earlier this month, one she didn’t attend.
She maintained that she could document every allegation in the letter and would be glad to, off the record and in her office.
Blair asked Miracle about her contention that Stephanie Martin, the sewer improvement district clerk, had been named interim treasurer in May.
The mayor said that action was taken, but the minutes of the May 9 meeting were incorrect and she had been denied access to the audio recording of that meeting.
Guthrie then said she was done, got up from the table and left the room.
After some more discussion of various matters, the mayor said, “I am done with my unofficial report.”
In new business, Olcott said she had been informed that payroll checks had been withheld from both the city recorder and city treasurer because the city hadn’t turned any documentation for them to the CPA firm handling the city’s books. Jackson said she was notified that she had been removed from the payroll.
Olcott said the CPA told her it was the council’s responsibility to handle finances, including making sure the city pays employees what they are supposed to be paid.
Olcott then made a motion that the treasurer and recorder be paid so the minutes of the meeting showing approval of the motion, along with the ordinance setting salary for both employees, can be turned over to the CPA and put them back on the payroll. The motion passed unanimously.
“On the record,” Miracle said, “I will be vetoing that and you will have to redo it next month.”
Olcott told Bell and Jackson that the council will override the mayor’s veto, so it will be yet another month before they are paid, but they will get backpay as well.
Earlier this month, the council passed ordinances that removed Miracle from all access to bank accounts, including check signing privileges, and took away her authorization to act as a representative of the city for any utility company or service provider.
Miracle had vetoed both of those ordinances, but the council overrode both vetoes Tuesday night.