Council discusses creation of Deputy Collector of Taxes position

GOODMAN — Goodman City Council discussed the idea of ​​appointing an assistant tax collector at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Mayor JR Fisher explained that in his opinion, because the elected tax collector is not available at City Hall five days a week, citizens cannot pay their taxes efficiently.

City Clerk Krystal Austen said a handful of people go to City Hall each week to pay their taxes. Austen can take their payment, but she cannot provide them with a receipt because she is not the tax collector.

Alderman Bunch spoke out against establishing the new title. He said that for 40 years there had not been a full-time tax collector on site from Monday to Friday. Bunch noted that taxes could be mailed, dropped in the collection box or received by tax collector Meghan Sexson in person on the day of publication.

Tax collector Sexson added that 75% of the taxes she collects are sent through the post.

“I would like to see citizens, who are doing their due diligence, pay their taxes and receive a receipt when they arrive,” Alderman Hallmark said.

“The position has been elected,” Alderman Bunch said. “If the city wants to change it, it should go on the ballot.”

Alderman Hallmark responded that the issue of making the tax collector an appointed position was put on the ballot last year but did not pass.

“Well, so the people have spoken. You can’t usurp the authority of an elected official by trying to hand over their authority to another person,” Alderman Bunch remarked.

Alderman Bunch also raised a number of issues, including the source of the assistant tax collector’s compensation. As it stands, the tax collector collects 15% of the taxes collected.

Alderman Hallmark said it was not ready to vote on the issue and noted that Alderman Bunch raised a number of valid points.

The item is postponed to the next meeting.

The council also discussed creating a “horn-free zone” for trains passing through the city. Mayor Fisher spoke with MoDOT and Kansas City Southern and indicated that this will be a labor-intensive process, but that if there is public interest, the city is prepared to continue the adventure.

Alderman Clay Sexson pointed to a number of traffic issues that would be created by the concrete barriers that would be required.

Alderman Bunch suggested placing the area in the school area to avoid breaking students’ concentration.

Alderman Beth Hallmark, on the other hand, pointed out that many want trains to honk in the school area so student foot traffic is aware of oncoming trains.

After discussion regarding a public hearing, council elected to defer the item until the next meeting.

Allen Harrison approached the council asking that the city’s trash and debris be dealt with. He said rubbish is often blown onto his property from homemade trash cans that “stay on the street all year round”. He went on to talk about the various debris and dilapidated properties in the city, as well as the overgrowth and pests it can attract.

Alderman John Bunch acknowledged Harrison’s concerns. He said some of those problems were being solved with the new waste collection company providing standardized receptacles. Any remaining waste issues will be followed up with the police department who issue citations.

Mayor Fisher assured Harrison that the city was also in the lengthy legal process of cleaning up a number of these neglected properties. Alderman Beth Hallmark noted that there is an ordinance in place that outlines the time frame for placing and removing trash cans.

Amanda Sowder approached council to raise concerns about a property adjacent to hers on Chase Street. Sowder said the lawn on this property is as tall as the structure and has not been mowed this year. As a result, she says the area is overrun with snakes. She also expressed concerns about scrap metal on the property and parking issues.

Police Chief Adam Scott said he spoke with the owner before the council meeting and a citation would be issued the following day. Scott also asked, “When do we have to mow the garden and charge for it?”

The council agreed that this was the practice before, but it has not been done recently.

In other cases counsel:

• Approved an average water bill at 212 S. School Street and denied an average water bill at 209 W. B Ave;

• Voted to move bank accounts from Quickbooks to GWorks and condense accounts — Alderman Clay Sexson voted no;

• Paid bills in the amount of $49,565.05.

Esther L. Steinbach