Top 10 Stories at Lake of the Ozarks in 2017: Camden County courthouse chaos gets worse and work continues to promote water safety on the lake.
Editor's Note: This story originally misstated that Jimmy Laughlin had resigned as Camden County auditor and was appointed by the governor. It has been changed to reflect that Ronnie Capps was the longtime auditor who resigned and Laughlin was appointed in his stead. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
5. Work continues on water safety
The debate - read arguments on social media - over wakes and their potential hazards to other boaters and the shoreline continued in the 2017 boating season. While the public’s response is usually starkly divided, a few things have been taking place somewhat off radar to work towards a more safe Lake of the Ozarks. These include the formation of a captain’s association and a new type of license for captains from the U.S. Coast Guard. One of the association’s goals is to begin offering lessons to boat owners so the regular folk out there are better able to handle their vessels, hopefully causing less wake damage and being better able to handle large wakes from others. The new licensing will help ensure water taxis remain safe while hopefully getting more of them out there to increase the number of knowledgeable operators and offering a better option than boating while intoxicated.
6. Camden County chaos gets worse
It was another year of chaos in the Camden County courthouse as a devastating IT crisis played out in budget planning, interoffice squabbles and several resignations were tendered as a Missouri State Auditor’s Office comprehensive audit was requested by the Camden County Commission. Still being calculated, the cost of the crisis is estimated in the several hundred thousand dollars range for new software, hardware and maintenance contracts with IT firm Huber and Associates. On top of the first of its kind audit in some two decades, a lawsuit was filed by Camden County Clerk Rowland Todd against Camden County Commissioners Greg Hasty, Bev Thomas and Don Williams, alleging retaliation and civil rights violations for speaking out on payroll services which were transferred from the clerk to a new department under the Commission. Longtime Camden County Clerk Ronnie Capps and Camden County Collector Vicky Burns resigned, both citing health issues. Gov. Eric Greitens appointed Jimmy Laughlin and Teresa Murray, respectively, to the vacated positions that are up for election in 2018.