DIAMOND CITY — The Diamond City City Council met this week, but it was once again without two of the six elected aldermen and the mayor.
In Mayor Linda Miracle’s absence, city recorder Tina Jackson oversaw proceedings. Council members Victoria French, Charles Grimes, Cristy Olcott and Greg Wilson were present, but members Don Bennett and Cheryl Guthrie were absent. With Jackson taking over for Miracle, Sharlene Blair Hudson was appointed acting recorder to take minutes for the meeting.
The mayor has issued numerous vetoes of council actions. Some of those vetoes were on the agenda for the council to consider overriding.
But Hudson said some of the mayor’s actions weren’t on the agenda. They included the mayor’s vetoes of the appointment of Keshia Bell as city treasurer, the election of French and Wilson as aldermen, the council’s action to reinstate the board of directors for the Community Center and the veto of an override of another veto.
Hudson said none of those actions are subject to mayoral veto under state law.
The council did override Miracle’s vetoes of an ordinance to reduce/set the treasurer’s salary and a resolution to replace signers on the city’s bank accounts. The latter removed Bennett’s signing privileges and replaced him with Olcott and Grimes.
Under reports from department heads, Public Works director Robby Akins wasn’t present and Jackson told the council that he said he was instructed not to give any written reports to anyone other than the mayor. Police Chief Chris Patrick was outside the community center at the time, but when someone from the crowd went to get him the individual returned to say Patrick had no report to give.
With Miracle absent, there was obviously no mayor’s report. But aldermen did make reference to a letter the mayor left for officials and the public.
In the letter, Miracle said the council has taken actions on some matters in the wrong way and hasn’t taken action on other matters that should be handled. She also said council actions are being signed into law by Jackson, who has tendered her resignation and withdrawn it several times. She also holds a full-time position at the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.
“For these reasons mentioned above (which are only a few) I will not be taking part in any meetings that have already been discussed by a small private group, behind closed doors meeting instead of by a full council in an open public meeting,” the mayor wrote.
(The full text of the mayor’s letter is attached to this story.)
In the treasurer’s report, Bell questioned some activity on the city’s bank accounts, most of which were done by the mayor.
Some salaries fluctuate, some purchases don’t include invoices or details and it appeared the city is headed toward deficit spending, Bell said.
Olcott said she has tried to contact the mayor about the budget, but she has had no success and the mayor continues to spend as she sees fit.
“That’s one of the reasons why I’m going to introduce a resolution here in a little while to try to get some of this under control,” Olcott said.
The council did take action on that resolution. In the Weekend edition, that action will be reviewed.