Dispute Leads To Hurdland City Resignations
By Crystal Howerton
A conflict between Hurdland residents at the City Council meeting of Tuesday evening, June 5, resulted in the resignations of West Ward Alderman Kenneth Baker and City Clerk Linda Baker and the possible resignation of Mayor Ernest Diekmann.
East Ward Alderwoman Donna Cardwell, as a complainant, brought before the Board the issue of a fence already under construction on the across the road from the residence of Douglas Garrett. Garrett is constructing the enclosure for the intended purpose of grazing horses.
A dispute between members of the City Council and public attendees escalated to the point where Alderman Baker and City Clerk Baker walked out. The meeting was abruptly adjourned following the Bakers’ departure. Shortly thereafter, the couple re-entered City Hall to tender their hand-written resignations.
During the meeting, Alderwoman Lisa Shrouf read City Ordinance No. 16, Section 1, which states: "No person or corporation shall build or cause to be built any stable, barn, shed, outhouse, privy, hog or cattle pen, or any building or pens wherein hogs, cattle, sheep, goats, horses, mules or other animals, except household pets, are kept or intended to be kept within the corporate limits of Hurdland, Missouri, unless such person or corporation desiring or intending to build any such building or pen first obtains a permit to do so from the Board of Alderman as hereinafter provided.
No action was taken regarding the fence during the meeting. If or when this matter is put to Council members for a vote, Alderwoman Cardwell shall not vote due to a direct personal interest, per city ordinance.
"We are trying to resolve this issue in a just and professional manner," stated Mayor Diekmann.
A special meeting of the Board of Alderman will be held Wednesday afternoon, June 13, 2007 to discuss the resignations of Alderman Baker and City Clerk Baker. Mayor Deikmann will also make a decision regarding his position as Mayor of Hurdland. The Mayor and City Council members are distressed by the Bakers’ resignations and plan to offer them the opportunity to return to their positions before accepting either resignation. However, if neither of them withdraws their resignations, Mayor Diekmann intends to appoint two individuals to fill the vacant positions at the next regular meeting to be held July 10.