Complete Election Results

Franklin County

General Municipal Election

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

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Election Summary Report
FRANKLIN COUNTY
MUNICIPAL ELECTION
Summary For Jurisdiction Wide, All Counters, All Races
Unofficial Results
04-07-09
04/07/09
21:40:51

Registered Voters 0 – Cards Cast 13614 0.00% Num. Report Precinct 52 – Num. Reporting 52 100.00%

FRANKLIN COUNTY QUESTION
Proposition C Total
Number of Precincts 52
Precincts Reporting 52 100.0 %
Total Votes 13424
YES 4380 32.63%
NO 9044 67.37%

MERAMEC VALLEY R-III BOARD MEMBER
Total
Number of Precincts 13
Precincts Reporting 13 100.0 %
Total Votes 3636
BENTON KELLEY 909 25.00%
KATHLEEN RUST 504 13.86%
MIKE BUTLER 1107 30.45%
MARY CLASBY-AGEE 1098 30.20%
Write-in Votes 18 0.50%

UNION R-XI BOARD MEMBER
Total
Number of Precincts 17
Precincts Reporting 17 100.0 %
Total Votes 4772
VIRGIL L. WEIDEMAN 867 18.17%
RON SOHN 949 19.89%
GARY H. YOUNG 1075 22.53%
SARAH FREDERICK 405 8.49%
TRACI CANBY 541 11.34%
JENNIFER SLAY 709 14.86%
JOHN PACE 216 4.53%
Write-in Votes 10 0.21%

ST. CLAIR R-XIII BOARD MEMBER
Total
Number of Precincts 11
Precincts Reporting 11 100.0 %
Total Votes 2190
STEVEN PELTON 780 35.62%
MIKE MARLER 682 31.14%
GILBERT HOFFMAN 711 32.47%
Write-in Votes 17 0.78%

LONEDELL R-XIV BOARD MEMBER
Total
Number of Precincts 4
Precincts Reporting 4 100.0 %
Total Votes 664
EDWARD L. ROSE, JR. 58 8.73%
TRACEY S. MEDOWS 171 25.75%
JOSEPH M. THARP 241 36.30%
KATHLEEN GALLO-REED 191 28.77%
Write-in Votes 3 0.45%

SPRING BLUFF R-XV BOARD MEMBER
Total
Number of Precincts 8
Precincts Reporting 8 100.0 %
Total Votes 467
STEVEN STUMPE 265 56.75%
MICHAEL HOFFMAN 200 42.83%
Write-in Votes 2 0.43%

SPRING BLUFF R-XV UNEXPIRED TERM
Total
Number of Precincts 8
Precincts Reporting 8 100.0 %
Total Votes 294
JILL WAGNER 68 23.13%
EDDIE TYREE 27 9.18%
NATALIE D. COUNTS 60 20.41%
JIM GOODMAN 139 47.28%
Write-in Votes 0 0.00%

STRAIN-JAPAN R-16 BOARD MEMBER
Total
Number of Precincts 3
Precincts Reporting 3 100.0 %
Total Votes 266
JEFFREY SMITH 64 24.06%
MARK THURMOND 126 47.37%
SCOTT CASSIDY 75 28.20%
Write-in Votes 1 0.38%

SULLIVAN SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER
Total
Number of Precincts 8
Precincts Reporting 8 100.0 %
Total Votes 1876
CHAD JOHNSON 602 32.09%
PHILLIP B. THOMURE 635 33.85%
SHANNON JOHANNING 637 33.96%
Write-in Votes 2 0.11%

WASHINGTON SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER
Total
Number of Precincts 16
Precincts Reporting 16 100.0 %
Total Votes 6329
DIANE BRUNWORTH 2002 31.63%
DANIEL CONTARINI 2030 32.07%
TODD GEISERT 2252 35.58%
Write-in Votes 45 0.71%

RICHWOODS R-VII BOARD MEMBER
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 12
ED BOYER 4 33.33%
JAMES VANDIVORT 1 8.33%
JUSTIN SOHN 0 0.00%
CRAIG THURMON 1 8.33%
PAMELA SCHROEDER 6 50.00%
Write-in Votes 0 0.00%

CRAWFORD COUNTY R-1 BOARD MEMBER
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 0
DAVE KLINE 0 N/A
DARREL J. BOSSE 0 N/A
MICHELLE VOLKMANN 0 N/A
Write-in Votes 0 N/A

CRAWFORD CO. R-1 QUESTION
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 0
YES 0 N/A
NO 0 N/A

GASCONADE CO R-I PROP 1
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 119
YES 44 36.97%
NO 75 63.03%

GASCONADE CO R-1 PROP 2
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 120
YES 46 38.33%
NO 74 61.67%

GASCONADE CO R-II PROP 1
Total
Number of Precincts 8
Precincts Reporting 8 100.0 %
Total Votes 1003
BETH WITTE 255 25.42%
BRENDA L. SIECKMANN 295 29.41%
HARVEY HENNINGTON 80 7.98%
J. SCHAEFFERKOETTE 371 36.99%
Write-in Votes 2 0.20%

GASCONADE CO R-II PROP 2
Total
Number of Precincts 8
Precincts Reporting 8 100.0 %
Total Votes 613
YES 376 61.34%
NO 237 38.66%

GASCONADE CO R-II PROP 3
Total
Number of Precincts 8
Precincts Reporting 8 100.0 %
Total Votes 605
YES 365 60.33%
NO 240 39.67%

PACIFIC FIRE PROTECTION DIR
Total
Number of Precincts 9
Precincts Reporting 9 100.0 %
Total Votes 1353
MIKE WALTON 648 47.89%
KEN QUENNOZ, SR. 705 52.11%
Write-in Votes 0 0.00%

UNION FIRE PROTECTION DIR
Total
Number of Precincts 11
Precincts Reporting 11 100.0 %
Total Votes 2273
AARON P. BOCKHORST 535 23.54%
JIM M. VAN LEER 1081 47.56%
BENJAMIN GRIMES 649 28.55%
Write-in Votes 8 0.35%

SULLIVAN SPECIAL ROAD COMM
Total
Number of Precincts 6
Precincts Reporting 6 100.0 %
Total Votes 886
ROBBIE MILLER 493 55.64%
ALBERT ROHRER 393 44.36%
Write-in Votes 0 0.00%

CALVEY CREEK SEWER 5 YR
Total
Number of Precincts 3
Precincts Reporting 3 100.0 %
Total Votes 56
Write-in Votes 56 100.00%

CALVEY CREEK SEWER 3 YR
Total
Number of Precincts 3
Precincts Reporting 3 100.0 %
Total Votes 52
Write-in Votes 52 100.00%

BERGER WARD 1
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 35
LISBETH FIELDS 28 80.00%
BARBARA FLINT 7 20.00%
Write-in Votes 0 0.00%

BERGER WARD 2
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 45
ALFRED F. EGGERT 28 62.22%
Write-in Votes-Rory Baker 17 37.78%

GERALD MAYOR
Total
Number of Precincts 3
Precincts Reporting 3 100.0 %
Total Votes 337
OTIS SCHULTE 119 35.31%
NANCY SCOTT MUIR 33 9.79%
BRAD LANDWEHR 80 23.74%
ED ADAMS 104 30.86%
Write-in Votes 1 0.30%

GERALD WARD 1
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 182
MICHELLE STEEVER 180 98.90%
Write-in Votes 2 1.10%

GERALD WARD 2
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 114
CRAIG McCORMICK 99 86.84%
Write-in Votes-Daniel Maxwell 15 13.16%

VILLAGE OF LESLIE TRUSTEE
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 49
DAVID GREENWALT 17 34.69%
CHRISTY G. CONWAY 14 28.57%
SCOTT D. MILLER 14 28.57%
Write-in Votes 4 8.16%

VILLAGE OF MIRAMIGUOA TRUSTEE
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 46
TINA M. LAWRENCE 23 50.00%
CONNIE SHOEMAKER 19 41.30%
Write-in Votes 4 8.70%

NEW HAVEN MAYOR
Total
Number of Precincts 3
Precincts Reporting 3 100.0 %
Total Votes 202
GEORGE PANHORST 195 96.53%
Write-in Votes 7 3.47%

NEW HAVEN JUDGE
Total
Number of Precincts 3
Precincts Reporting 3 100.0 %
Total Votes 192
SCOTT FULFORD 188 97.92%
Write-in Votes 4 2.08%

NEW HAVEN WARD 1
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 106
NATHAN BAILEY 104 98.11%
Write-in Votes 2 1.89%

NEW HAVEN WARD 2
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 94
ALAN J. BELL 93 98.94%
Write-in Votes 1 1.06%

VILLAGE OF OAK GROVE TRUSTEE
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 66
KEN HAYES 26 39.39%
RICHARD RAY 20 30.30%
MICHAEL B. CROW 19 28.79%
Write-in Votes 1 1.52%

PACIFIC WARD 1
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 228
MIKE BATES 149 65.35%
STEPHEN FLANNERY III 79 34.65%
Write-in Votes 0 0.00%

PACIFIC WARD 2
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 320
CAROL JOHNSON 167 52.19%
WILLIAM HOHMAN 85 26.56%
CLINTON HAFLEY 67 20.94%
Write-in Votes 1 0.31%

PACIFIC WARD 3
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 191
WALT ARNETTE 182 95.29%
Write-in Votes 9 4.71%

VILLAGE OF PARKWAY TRUSTEE
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 210
NEIL HINSON 34 16.19%
ROBERT J. PELTON 46 21.90%
LARRY D. VARNER 32 15.24%
CHARLES A. BALL, JR. 42 20.00%
ROBERT W. WILSON 54 25.71%
Write-in Votes 2 0.95%

ST CLAIR MAYOR
Total
Number of Precincts 3
Precincts Reporting 3 100.0 %
Total Votes 333
RON BLUM 324 97.30%
Write-in Votes 9 2.70%

ST CLAIR JUDGE
Total
Number of Precincts 3
Precincts Reporting 3 100.0 %
Total Votes 336
NICK GASAWAY 332 98.81%
Write-in Votes 4 1.19%

ST CLAIR WARD 1
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 173
CONNIE MARROCCO 169 97.69%
Write-in Votes 4 2.31%

ST CLAIR WARD 2
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 154
DON PIERCE 152 98.70%
Write-in Votes 2 1.30%

SULLIVAN MAYOR
Total
Number of Precincts 4
Precincts Reporting 4 100.0 %
Total Votes 833
JAMES K. SCHATZ 177 21.25%
J.T. HARDY 655 78.63%
Write-in Votes 1 0.12%

SULLIVAN CITY COLLECTOR
Total
Number of Precincts 4
Precincts Reporting 4 100.0 %
Total Votes 818
JUDY McPHERSON 499 61.00%
FREDA BRADLEY 319 39.00%
Write-in Votes 0 0.00%

SULLIVAN JUDGE
Total
Number of Precincts 4
Precincts Reporting 4 100.0 %
Total Votes 754
DON PETERSON 750 99.47%
Write-in Votes 4 0.53%

SULLIVAN WARD 1
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 278
MIKE RYAN, JR. 273 98.20%
Write-in Votes 5 1.80%

SULLIVAN WARD 2
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 363
MICHAEL H. LOHDEN 361 99.45%
Write-in Votes 2 0.55%

SULLIVAN WARD 3
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 102
ROBERT HATHMAN 35 34.31%
DENNIS WATZ 67 65.69%
Write-in Votes 0 0.00%

SULLIVAN QUESTION
City Transient Guest Tax Total
Number of Precincts 4
Precincts Reporting 4 100.0 %
Total Votes 829
YES 303 36.55%
NO 526 63.45%

UNION JUDGE
Total
Number of Precincts 5
Precincts Reporting 5 100.0 %
Total Votes 926
LENEIGHA DOWNS 910 98.27%
Write-in Votes 16 1.73%

UNION WARD 1
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 166
JIM ALBRECHT 164 98.80%
Write-in Votes 2 1.20%

UNION WARD 2
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 447
WILLIAM ISGRIGGS 218 48.77%
BILL MARTINDILL 203 45.41%
TORI KARIM 26 5.82%
Write-in Votes 0 0.00%

UNION WARD 3
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 280
TAMMY STOWE 170 60.71%
MICHELE SCHROEDER 110 39.29%
Write-in Votes 0 0.00%

UNION WARD 4
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 159
DONALD WURDACK 153 96.23%
Write-in Votes 6 3.77%

WASHINGTON WARD 1
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 493
HERB DILL 226 45.84%
WALT MEYER 266 53.96%
Write-in Votes 1 0.20%

WASHINGTON WARD 2
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 480
JOHN C. RHODES 440 91.67%
Write-in Votes 40 8.33%

WASHINGTON WARD 3
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 415
CONNIE GROFF 398 95.90%
Write-in Votes 17 4.10%

WASHINGTON WARD 4
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 458
ROGER LANGENDOERFER 227 49.56%
TIM BUDDEMEYER 231 50.44%
Write-in Votes 0 0.00%

Buddemeyer/Meyer-Winners

WASHINGTON WARD 1
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 493

HERB DILL 226 45.84%
WALT MEYER 266 53.96%
Write-in Votes 1 0.20%
WASHINGTON WARD 2
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 480

JOHN C. RHODES 440 91.67%
Write-in Votes 40 8.33%
WASHINGTON WARD 3
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 415

CONNIE GROFF 398 95.90%
Write-in Votes 17 4.10%
WASHINGTON WARD 4
Total
Number of Precincts 2
Precincts Reporting 2 100.0 %
Total Votes 458

ROGER LANGENDOERFER 227 49.56%
TIM BUDDEMEYER 231 50.44%
Write-in Votes 0 0.00%
Published in: on April 7, 2009 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

SFB Parking Lot Funding: Rnd 2

April 6, 2008

Just a quick update on what happened tonight with the Saint Francis Borgia parking lot funding request.

As you may or may not know, the City entered into a contract with SFB to pay for maintenance and partial reconstruction of the lot. The City has kicked in about $16,000 for the gravel foundation. SFB has committed about $178.000 to the project. They will continue to own the lot, with a lease plan for the City. There is no doubt that the City will benefit from additional parking spaces that will be created.

Councilmen Witt and Mohesky suggested, in the administration meeting last week, that the City fund 50% of the requested amount of $24,000. After the Church agree to extend the lease to the City, for 15 years, I felt like we should go ahead and fund the 50%.

Some on the Council moved to fund the full amount. This, I never agreed to, and in my conversation with representatives from the Church, I made this point clear, late last week.

The issue failed to gain support by council on a 3 against (myself included) and 4 for vote. My vote was NOT to bypass funding, but limit to 50/50 the position of the City.

As is so often the case, the issue was clouded because of where the funding would come from. I will re-consider additional funding, when it becomes clearer how the funds will be obtained.

Published in: on April 6, 2009 at 11:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Government Transparency: Opaque?

3/29/09

Last Wednesday, during the operations administration meeting, I brought up a potential ordinance that I wrote about, several weeks ago, on this blog.

The idea was that “ALL” ordinances and resolutions must be made available to the media and city council a minimum of one news cycle (defined as the Wednesday or Saturday edition of the Missourian) before it can be considered in a public session of the city council.

Initially I wanted to see the entire ordinance posted in the paper so the citizens could see exactly what is going on. But after looking at the printing cost, I determined that agenda items with plain language descriptions of ordinances/resolutions would be much more economical.

If an interested party wanted more detail, they could go the City of Washington website and read the full ordinance. The printings cost would be about $40 per week to have the information published in the Missourian.

Now, let me digress: Sometimes city councilmen can get City Council packages the Friday before a Monday City Council meeting. Not only does this make it difficult for the council to properly research agenda items but can make it equally or more difficult for citizens to know what government is up to.

For example: On Wednesday, 13th, 2006, the City Council voted unanimously amending Title V of the city code relating to certificates of occupancy and inspections of existing homes and buildings. (See story in Missourian.)

Here is where it gets interesting: Quoting from the Missourian, ”
No one expressed opposition to the code amendment Wednesday night. ” This is really rich considering no one in the community knew about the upcoming vote. Maybe that is because the story came out in the Missourian on the same day and hour as the votes was being cast – possibly giving some hint as to why “No one expressed opposition to the code amendment Wednesday night.”

Since 2002, the city had tried to pass this change to the code and every time was met with stiff resistance from the community. And only with a “no notice” vote, was it ever passed – all but annihilating  public opposition.  As if this wasn’t enough, the city went on to authorize buying private information from Ameren UE, so as to more effectively manage this new “safety” program of occupancy inspections. Some have gone so far as to suggest this entire ordinance was nothing more than an attempt at the gentrification of Washington.

Thomas Paine, in ‘Common Sense’ wrote: “Time makes more converts than reason.” I will let Paine’s words and ideas speak eloquently in ways I can not.

Bringing us back to the present, I was shocked (and somewhat appalled) when some on the city council actually felt the citizens have enough transparency in the way government works. Some actually, and with a straight face, suggesting $40 per week was a waste of tax payer money.

Councilman Dill asked me how many people would actually read the agendas. My response was that if only one read it, it would be worth the expense. The Mayor, along with Councilman Mohesky, opined that sources currently in place are more than adequate for an informed community to be in the know.

Current sources would be the broadcast video/audio of each city council meeting (even though this system is currently being upgraded and still has unacceptably poor quality issues). The Mayor intoned that people could go up to city hall and read the public postings or view the channel 10 bulletin board and that the staff does a more than adequate job getting information out to the public.

So there you have it; go to city hall each week, and read the public postings or watch the channel 10 bulletin board – never mind that most of us don’t even get channel 10. Or you could just view the agenda on the city website – after the vote has taken place.

Transparency is vitally important because it shines an uncomfortably bright light on some things that government would prefer kept in the dark. Apathy empowers government and if a mathematical equation should be derived expressing this relationship, it could be shown graphically that the less people know about their government, the more apathetic they become. Transparency is one of the few disinfectants that can keep and purify government and give citizens an active voice in how their money is spent.

Ironically,  shortly following this discussion on how $40 was too great an expense for a cash strapped city budget, what did we discuss? Kicking in between $12,000 and $23,000 dollars to help pave a joint use parking lot, that we don’t own, but us.

Sometimes being a councilman can be a real head scratcher.

Doggy Mine Fields in the Park!

Dear Councilman Midkiff,

I use Washington’s Park system to walk each day and take different walking trails each day. There are some people who also walk their pets but do not pick up the waste of these pets. In some of our Parks are bag stations for those who forget to bring something to clean up after their pets.

What I have noticed is there are a lot of people who do not pick up the waste, and then some little children just happen to step in this stuff. What I would like to know if the Police have given out any tickets to those unthoughtful people who leave this stuff in our Parks? If so how many tickets or warnings have been enforced by the Police. I know the Police have more important things to do then just look at these pets and owners but I have taken Pictures at the river front of the Pet station and within 3 feet there were 4 piles of dog waste.

I have also reminded people who leave this waste that it is against the City to do that and could result in a fine up to $500. A few do clean up the waste after I offer them a bag but most just give me a dirty look and even a few say so thing I will not repeat.

Please let me know about the results of your findings.

Thanks,
(Name withheld by request)
Washington Resident

Published in: on March 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ordinances & Resolutions: Print Summary in Missourian

3/12/09

Wished I could take credit for some of these ideas, but… I can’t. It was suggested to me that we have a brief summary printed in the Missourian under the legal notices. ALL Ordinances and Resolutions, the suggestion goes, would have to be printed in the Missourian at a minimum of 7 days or two newspaper cycles before they could be considered for vote.

I checked with the Missourian and it would cost the city about $35 to print the ordinances.

I intend to bring this up in council session this Monday. Let me know what you think.

Guy Midkiff

Published in: on March 13, 2009 at 9:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Video – STL Police Assoc. 13-3 AGAINST Red Light Cameras

Cops Against Red Light Cameras?

A Surprising Group Comes Out Against Camera Enforcement

http://www.fox2now.com/ktvi-red-light-cameras-031109,0,3346729.story

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI-FOX2now.com) – There are new developments in the fight over red light cameras in Missouri. The St. Louis Police Officers Association has come out against the cameras! They are listing several reasons for opposing the cameras. Among them- the association’s president, Gary Wiegert, argues the cameras don’t increase safety but rather just act as a revenue source.

“We would like to see the red light cameras eliminated,” said Wiegert. Wiegert says one of the main reasons his association is against the cameras is because he believes they limit the role of officers in traffic stops.

“We want to be able to have policemen out there to pull over people for these violations. There’s more that goes into a ticket than just running a red light. It goes into your driver’s license, do you have a driver’s license, do you have insurance, do you have contraband in the car; there’s a whole bunch of things. We want that interaction from police with the public,” explained Wiegert

Jesse Irwin applauds the move. He helped form the group Missourians Against Red Light Cameras.

Irwin said, “We need real police officers. We don’t need a phony camera, we need a real cop at the intersection that can pull people over and that can check to make sure the car isn’t stolen, make sure those plates are theirs, and take people to jail and take them off the road for real.” But others aren’t so dead set against the cameras.

Some like Troy Springer from South City think they serve a purpose in keeping the streets safer.

“It makes you stop and think as a driver to be safe and to be cautious. I mean to sit there and have to, I’ve ran a red light a time or two but now that makes me stop and think,” said Springer.

Wiegert says he also has questions about where the money goes that is collected from the fines when drivers run red lights. And he also points to questions about city aldermen either not paying red light fines or having the tickets dismissed. The association’s executive board passed the policy position on Monday by a vote of 13 to 3 with one person abstaining. Two people were not at the meeting.

Published in: on March 12, 2009 at 11:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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Red Flags Rule

3/12/2009

Red Flags Rule is an Identity Theft program that the council passed last week. Frankly, I did not put nearly enough thought into this ordinance as I should have. The program was described as being required for Federal Trade Commission compliance of Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003, resulting in myself taking for granted the language of the ordinance.

By council passing this ordinance, the city now requires for new home owners and renters to present:

  • A driver’s license of other picture ID of all authorized parties.
  • Lease/Rent Contract, Utility Bill, or closing statement showing new service address.
  • For a business; “no sales tax due’ statement.
  • Completed Identity Theft prevention form for all listed on account:
    • Name
    • Social Security Number
    • Drivers License number
    • service address
    • mailing address
    • day phone
    • evening phone
    • employer
    • employer’s phone
    • do you own or rent
    • landlord and his phone
    • signature and date
  • Occupancy Permit Number
  • $50 deposit for new renters

For existing customers:

  • Drivers license or other picture ID of all authorized parties.
  • completed identity theft prevention form – see above.

I have asked staff, with consent of the city council,  to re-evaluate the need for so much private personal information. The FTC does leave considerable discretion as to how this program is complied with and that the program should be tailored to the size of the municipality.

I have asked that the bare minimum personal information be required – exclusive of full social security numbers and copies of leases. I also want to make sure the city has proper security in place to make absolutely sure that this private data will not be compromised.

At a minimum, I have asked for the following assurances:

1. Ensure that its website is secure or provide clear notice that the website is not secure.
2. Where and when allowed, ensure complete and secure destruction of paper documents and computer files containing customer information.
3. Ensure that office computers are password protected and that computer screens lock after a set period of time.
4. Change passwords on office computers on a regular basis.
5. Ensure all computers are backed up properly and any backup information is secured.
6. Keep offices clear of papers containing customer information.
7. Request only the last 4 digits of social security numbers (if any).
8. Ensure computer virus protection is up to date.
9. Require and keep only the kinds of customer information that are necessary for utility purposes.

Also, I enquired from the police and utility departments if they were aware of any recent Identity Theft occurrences and both departments said they were not aware of any.

The following is a copy of correspondence I recently received from the Federal Trade Commission, Red Flags Division:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the Red Flags Rules.  Attached to this email is an article for utilities that provides general information regarding the scope of the Rules.

On October 22, 2008, the Commission issued an Enforcement Policy statement that delays enforcement of the Red Flags rule until May 1, 2009

The following link will take you to a news release about the Rules and there is a link to the text of the final Rules on the right-hand side of that page (http://ftc.gov/opa/2007/10/redflag.shtm).  The preamble to the Rules (pages 63718-63752) provides guidance regarding the rationale behind the Rules and the scope of coverage.  The text of the FTC rules can be found at pages 63771-63773.  The Guidelines (pages 63773-63774) provide compliance guidance and address a series of issues that covered entities must consider in developing their Identity Theft Prevention Program.  The Supplement to the Guidelines (page 63774) provides a non-exhaustive list of 26 red flags that covered entities may wish to consider incorporating into their programs.  Additionally, on the FTC website, you can find a news release (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/07/redflagsfyi.shtm) and Business Alert (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/alerts/alt050.shtm) that provides general information regarding the scope of the Rules.

Please check our website (www.ftc.gov) periodically for new guidance.

Sincerely,

FTC Staff (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/10/redflags.shtm).  This does not affect enforcement of the address discrepancy and card issuer rules.   Nor does it affect compliance for entities not under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission.

If you have gotten this far, give yourself a gold star. If anyone wonders why I get so aggravated with big government, read the above.

Guy Midkiff

Occupancy Inspections

3/7/09
Occupancy inspections have been a pet peeve of mine since I first heard city council was considering their passage.

I objected to them because they struck me as just another growth in government and invasion of peoples privacy. There was an ordinance passed that also allowed for the city to contract with Ameren UE to purchase private customer data in order for the city to determine more efficiently who is moving in and out of property. I think this is a miserable trend, and can only see such programs getting larger – not smaller.

(In full disclosure, I own several rental properties.) Last week I met with the city inspector in order to voice some of my concerns, such as:

  • Having the same rental unit inspected multiple times in one year.
  • Having escape path lighting installed on the outside of small buildings.
  • The fact that rental units that have the same occupant in them for 10 years or more, will never be inspected.
  • Several older commercial buildings will possibly never be inspected or have external emergency lights installed, because they 1) Will not change ownership 2) Will not have remodeling work which require permits.

The city does, however, have a very strong case for inspections – at a certain level. The inspector had me look at some field photographs of  properties that, in my opinion, should have been immediately condemned. I saw buildings that had raw sewage stewing on basement floors and running down  plumbing fixtures. In one picture, several washers and dryers were literally standing in water. Others had electric wires, in a tangled mess, running haphazardly from service panels. It was obvious to even a non-electrician, that “double-lugging” had been used.

Admittedly, these properties kick the legs out from under any argument against occupancy inspections. I guess I am naive, but I just could not believe property owners could endanger the lives of others in such a flagrant manner.

There must be a system in place that can identify and remedy these unacceptable situations. Maybe the solution is to handle these violations the way we handle many code violations – as complaint driven occurrences.

We can not hang our hat on the safety hook and then overlook a large percentage of the buildings in Washington. This should either be an absolute ordinance – one without exception, or complaint driven. It is patently unfair to allow some to avoid occupancy inspections and then property owners such as myself, to be inspected multiple times in one year.

If the city wants to continue down the road of absolutism, then we should immediately begin a program that inspects 100% of all structures and then put them on a re-occurring inspection cycle of every 2 or 3 years. Of course, I am against such a proposal because it would broaden the size and power of government even more than it is now.

The common sense approach would have inspections complaint driven with fines and penalties that would be commensurate with the infraction.

Camp Street Bridge – No STIM $$

2-25-09

I was just notified by the Mayor’s office that the Camp Street Bridge project will not receive stimulus package money. I do believe Camp Street Bridge is still ton the radar screen, though, for matching funds from one of the state entities.

We did receive just over $935,000 in street repaving funds. It will be interesting to see if there is going to be enough vendors to handle the asphalt needs for the nation, this summer. I see this as being a real problem.

Stayed tuned.

Guy Midkiff

Published in: on February 25, 2009 at 12:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Councilman To Introduce Ordinance on Restitution

2/5/09

During the last council meeting, Councilman Langoendorfer brought up an interesting conversation on restitution. Apparently there was an incident where damage was done to city property and the amount recovered from the individual that caused the damage failed to cover actual damages, leaving the city (taxpayer) with thousands in out-of-pocket expenses.

A quick paced conversation followed, where all the councilmen opined (myself included) as to the merit of formulating such an ordinance that would require restitution to be adequate to cover damages. The council voted unanimously to support Councilman Langendoerfer’s motion and the City Attorney will begin drafting the appropriate language for a new ordinance as soon as possible.

The balancing act will be making sure a judge still has the latitude to use as much discretion as possible in resolving such cases.

Published in: on February 5, 2009 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Economic Recovery Program Coming to Washmo ?

2/5/09

During the February 2nd, 2009 City Council meeting, we were presented a wish list of what is euphemistically called “shovel ready” projects. Shovel ready is important because it means these are projects that can be  quickly approved, already have engineering and DNR approval. In short, shovels can begin digging immediately once approved by the Obama administration.

Here is list of Round One Projects:

  • W. Main and Grand Ave. resurfacing      $169,300
    W. 8th resurfacing                                        $290,000
    Clay resurfacing                                            $155,250
    Old H/W 100 resurfacing                           $42,000
    Camp St. Bridge construction                    $450,000

Round Two Projects:

  • Front and Elm Streetscape                                        $2,500,000
    H/W 100 widening to the west                                 $15 million
    H/w A to YY ditch & shoulder work                          TBA
    Old H/W 100 replace bridge                                       TBA

John Rhodes tried to pass a resolution that would remove the Camp Street bridge as a project. Ultimately, his proposal failed to gain council support and the Mohesky version passed, including all recovery items.

My thinking was that I would rather have a bird in hand than 10 in the bush. I commented that if we were to get approval for the Camp Street Bridge, I would go back to my constituents and seek their guidance for an up or down vote as to whether or not we should except the funding.

Most of my objection to the Camp Street Bridge was cost and justification. Many of my arguments are neutralized if the bridge is built free and “free” is what I really want to talk about regarding this subject of “stimulus.”

In the 1930’s America had their own version of the Obama stimulus package and it was called the “New Deal.” While many like to reconstruct history and romanticize about FDR and his “New Deal,” reality sometimes takes a back seat to popularized myths.

By 1939 Roosevelt’s own Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, had realized that the New Deal economic policies had failed. “We have tried spending money,” Morgenthau wrote in his diary. “We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. . . . After eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. . . . And an enormous debt to boot!”

The reality is that in early 1933, the unemployment rate was 25%. After 5 years of the “New Deal” and billions of “then” dollars spent, the unemployment rate was still near 20%. Big whoopty-do.

And as Obama attempts to create some 4 million government jobs for Americans, he will be re-tracing the exact same miss-steps and making the exact same mistakes as did FDR – growth will come from government not private industry, private industry that pays taxes and is the hallmark for innovation and true prosperity. Volumes have been written on how the New Deal eviscerated American competitiveness and created the hydra-headed monster of big business collusion.

In 1937 even Roosevelt admitted  the ineptness of his decision as a secondary depression crippled the economy. “The disappearance of price competition,” he said, “is one of the primary causes of the difficulties.”

I think, no, I know this is a bad idea. For a “very” short term gain, we will be strapping future generations of Americans with trillions of dollars in debt, as the treasury money presses go into hyper-drive. We will increase the government size in ways that can not even be imagined. If anyone thinks this is a good idea, go back and reread your history books. Look at New Jersey, now, a state that government has become the largest industry in that garden state, ditto for California. Citizens are fleeing those states faster than rats off of a sinking ship.

The same government that got us into this mess is now going to deliver us from it? I don’t think I am buying this horse hockey sandwich. This “Stimulus Package” was not good for America in 1933 and is not good for America in 2009.

Guy Midkiff. ………….. .COMMENTS BELOW SENT TO MY EMAIL ACCOUNT:

Guy,
I just wanted to vent a little on the Mayors comment on the Camp Street Bridge possibly being funded by the bailout funding. He said it will not cost the taxpayers anything. Where does he think its coming from? (THIS PORTION OF THE WRITERS EMAIL HAS BEEN REDACTED>>GWM)? It may be Federal Tax money or State Tax money but in the end it is still TAX MONEY.

Please forward.

Thanks,

KUDOS – WPD!

Recently I wrote an editorial responding to a citizens concerns about property taxes and what a city councilman’s roll in taxes are. (See: Councilmen Think About Taxes?)

It seems that I praised every department in Washington…. except for the Washington Police Department. What an extraordinary oversight on my part. And while the WPD knows the affinity I have for them, it is only fair that I state publicly what they know privately. Without civil order being the first order, nothing else functions.

As an example of their professionalism, I was recently told a story from a father of a teen that lives in my ward. His teenager had been recently pulled over for exceeding the speed limit, by 15 mph. The boy probably continued a little further than the average person would have and could have added a heap of trouble to his simple speeding violation.

The officer, one of the newer members to the force, called the father to the scene, where a long and respectful conversation ensued. The officer made a decision to let the teen off with a warning. Consequently, the teen learned a big lesson about responsibility and the father gained a new respect for the Washington Police Department.

The officer displayed sage wisdom and judgment beyond his years. The parent was spared a huge increase in insurance premiums and possibly having his child’s driving privileges revoked.

I am very proud of this police force.

Thanks Chief Hahn and company.

Guy W. Midkiff

Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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SB 6 Modifying Mayors Voting Power

SB 6 –
Griesheimer – Modifies when a city mayor shall vote on ordinances, resolutions, and motions before the city’s governing body. Currently, the city mayor presides over the city council, but only votes in case of a tie. Under this act, the mayor would vote: 1) when the vote of the council has resulted in a tie, 2) when one-half of the council elected have voted in favor of an ordinance, resolution, or motion even though there is no tie vote, or 3) when a vote greater than a majority of the council is required.

While I have not had an opportunity to speak with Senator Griesheimer, on the surface it would appear that this bill will not serve the best interest of the citizen. I will do more homework on this bill, but it would appear to tip the balance of power dramatically favoring a city mayor. Mayors already have considerable power, being able to appoint members to committees, city administrative jobs, and appointments to vacated city council seats.

Making life easy for mayors is not always in the best interest of the democratic process.

UPDATE: I have been informed by the Washington City Attorney that the St. Clair City Attorney had asked Senator Griesheimer to propose a law that would expand a Mayors authority because St Clair’s city council (consisting of only 4 members) had a difficult time getting enough councilmen to show up and vote on ordinances. This is why the new law is being offered.

I find it baffling that such a far reaching bill would be suggested simply because one city is having a difficulty passing laws. St. Clair should consider adding more members to their council instead of asking for a law that would change the entire dynamic of the local Missouri political system

Guy Midkiff

Published in: on January 17, 2009 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Council Think About Taxes?

The following was an editorial sent into the Missourian asking what the city council thinks about taxes. I have included my response in the form of a letter to the editor which has yet to be included in the Missourian:

What Does the Council Think About Taxes?

By: John Ritson Sr., A Senior Citizen

01/13/2009 e

To The Editor: Let’s hear from the council people!! As most of us taxpaying property owners are disgusted with the “unfair” taxation on devalued property and seemingly lack of concern by those in charge, we should hear what our council people think about the present situations. After all, if they truly are thinking about and representing their constituents of the four wards in Washington, I feel we have the right to know how they feel about an unfair practice, even if it is required by a stupid law. Hopefully, they haven’t forgot what most of us learn in American History classes, something called the cry of “taxation without representation!” So, before we start hearing about the next local election, maybe we might just get some insight on how these council people think about fairness when it comes to the process of levying taxes.

My response, January 14, 2009:

Dear Mr. Ritson, Sr

I certainly can empathize with your feelings that keeping property tax rates steady in the face of falling property values is “unfair.” Unfortunately, some citizens feel that government should provide our cradle-to-grave needs. This philosophy comes at a price. When the economy is doing well, this works OK, but when the economy falters the tax payer and business owners get pinched.

The reality is that per every $100 of assessed property value, $5.89 is the total tax levy. Of that total amount 68 cents goes to the City of Washington – the only amount your elected city council person has control of. $3.86 of the tax goes to the school district – by far the lions share of all property taxes. As you can see, our portion of the total pie is but a fraction of the full about. Of the City of Washington’s portion, 15 cents goes to the Fire Department, 9 cents goes to the Library, and the remainder goes to the General Fund for operating the city.

Regarding the setting of the 2008 tax levy, the City Council was split down the middle on voting in the new tax levy. I voted against setting the levy at 100%, along with 3 other of my colleagues. (The eMissourian is an excellent resource for searching city news. To read the entire story, search the eMissorian for: “Mayor Breaks Tie to Set ’08 Tax Levy, By Ed Pruneau, Missourian Managing Editor 08/19/2008.” ) But I can say with confidence that the Mayor, City Staff, and City Council remain vigilant in protecting tax dollars and have recently come up with new ways to increase the efficiency of government operations.

From my perspective and limited control, you are receiving a pretty good value for your property tax dollar. We have a premier Volunteer Fire Department, Water Department, Sanitation Department, along with streets, parks and the library. We have some of the cheapest and cleanest water in the nation. We have a state-of-the-art water treatment plant that will come on line very soon that can scale to future growth for a generation or more.

And no I am not up for re-election.

Sincerely yours,

Guy W. Midkiff
Ward III, Councilman
City of Washington

Published in: on January 17, 2009 at 10:11 pm  Comments (1)