FRONTENAC — Members of the public shared input on the City of Frontenac adding a second legal publication in the public forum of the Frontenac City Council’s regular meeting Monday.
Morning Sun Publisher Jamey Honeycutt asked the council to consider which newspaper — The Morning Sun or the Mulberry Advance — reaches the most citizens in Frontenac. He urged the council to consider the impact adding a second publication may have on transparency.
Frontenac Resident Linda Grilz also spoke against adding a second publication.
“I didn’t even know there was a Mulberry Advance to be honest,” Grilz said. “I think one of the biggest concerns of governing bodies should be to make sure every effort is made to keep citizens informed about what is going on.”
The city has considered adding the Mulberry Advance as a second legal publication in order to trim costs to taxpayers. The idea was presented by City Attorney Tim Fielder, who suggested using the Advance to publish smaller legals.
“I don’t think there is any intent here to conceal anything as long as the council has open meetings, a website, as well as being published,” Fielder said. “Costs are going up on many things and we can’t expect the citizens to not want us to save money where we can.”
The city is currently working on template designs for an official city website with the Frontenac school district. Once the website is live, legals may be posted there for citizens to read at any time. Fielder said this would allow all citizens access to legals published in the Mulberry Advance, even if they did not subscribe.
Council Member Marc McCully asked who would decide what was worth publication in each paper.
“Not me,” Fielder said. “I don’t care — I really don’t — this is just an opportunity to save money that I wanted to bring forward.”
Both McCully and Council Member Dave Chiappetti said they would like to have two papers for publication options. However, Council Members Pat Clinton and Ethan Spurling did not agree.
“I don’t know if it is fair to the citizens to publish legals in a paper that does not reach as many,” Clinton said.
The council voted to table to matter indefinitely, planning to revisit the issue once an official city website is up and running.
In other business, the council approved the establishment of a public building commission. The commission will be made up of the mayor, city clerk and council members. City Administrator Brad Reams said the commission will help make recommendations about the maintenance or repairs of public buildings in the city.
The public building commission is also able to issue bonds separate from the city’s governing body.
Fielder said the establishment of the commission is laid out in a state statute.
Citizen Mike Knaup presented the council with two items for future consideration. The first was asking the council to designate Frontenac as a non-sanctuary city — a city not allowing sanctuary from the federal immigration law. The second, a way to increase back-up for Frontenac Police Department officers.
“I often see officers with no back-up,” Knaup said. “I would hate to have something happen to one of our officers like happened recently in Clinton, Missouri, where they were ambushed.”
The council also:
Set a public hearing for condemnation of a property in Barto’s Trailer Park for September 18,
Announced Reams will meet with Kramer Consulting this week to discuss a 20-year maintenance plan for the city’s sewer system,
Approved sending requests for proposal out on a street sweeper, simply to gain information, not to purchase. The city will set up demonstrations once information is gathered, and;
Approved a lease agreement for property directly east and northeast of the city pool to Festa Italiana from October 5 to 8.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.