QUESTION: A lawsuit was recently filed in Miller County on behalf of a group of property owners opposed to the new sewer, water rates. One of the members of this group is Tim King, a newly-elected member to the Eldon Board of Aldermen. Should a sitting member of the board of aldermen be party to a lawsuit suing the city of Eldon?


QUESTION: A lawsuit was recently filed in Miller County on behalf of a group of property owners opposed to the new sewer, water rates. One of the members of this group is Tim King, a newly-elected member to the Eldon Board of Aldermen. Should a sitting member of the board of aldermen be party to a lawsuit suing the city of Eldon?

Personal agenda seems skewed
It is my view that Mr. King should not be a party to the lawsuit against the city of Eldon while still serving as one of the city's aldermen. He should also abstain from any vote dealing with the city water and sewer rates, since he has a vested financial interest in the outcome of the case.  Mr. King cannot, faithfully, serve all of the citizens of Eldon, while he himself is seeking a monetary settlement with the city. As an alderman, he has access to information pertinent to Eldon's finances, insurance liability coverage, personnel files, legal briefs, and public works.  Mr. King could very easily directly or indirectly use any or all of this information to support the lawsuit.
What would possess a man to run for the board of aldermen for a city in which he has a pending lawsuit? I think the bigger question is: Why would people vote him into office knowing that he could be facing such an ethical dilemma? Honestly, that is what is wrong with our whole political system today.  We have lost our sense of ethics, honesty and service for the public good instead of for the privileged few. A few years after leaving Congress, our representatives are allowed to work as lobbyists for the very firms that supported them financially in their elections. At the same time they are working as lobbyists, they are drawing lifetime pensions from the United States government.
As for Alderman King, it is quite evident that he has his own agenda at City Hall and is blinded by his own grievances.  In this case, any duly-elected official should never put his or her own affairs and fiscal interests ahead of the concerns of his or her constituency. It is inappropriate and has the appearance of fraud. It is my opinion that Mr. King should resign his office before the good citizens of Eldon demand a recall election.
James R. Hall, Camdenton

Appears to be a conflict of interest
The obvious concern in this issue is a conflict of interest.  As a member of a seven member board, appointed by the Camden County Commissioners, we have addressed the issue of a "conflict of interest,” in our "Policies and Procedures.” We have found this policy, by which we conduct the business our board, has been successful in that we allow for representation on the board, while avoiding any appearance of a conflict of interest.
“A. Conflict of Interest
“1. The Board desires that its members not only adhere to all laws regarding conflict of interest, but are also alert to situations which have the appearance of conflict of interest.  Pursuant to and in the spirit of Chapter 67.993.2 RSMo: ‘Directors..shall, as nearly as practicable, represent the various groups to be served by the Board.’ A member on this Tax Board may also serve on the Board of an organization which requests grant money so long as (1) the Tax Board member abstains from voting on said grant request and (2) does not influence or lobby other Tax Board members to vote for or against the organization for which they also serve as a Board member.”
Larry Magill, Sunrise Beach

Alderman should choose a side
Indeed not. Sounds like Washington to me. He should resign his position or remove himself from the lawsuit.
Sandy Cook, Osage Beach