Candidacy requirements changed for city offices

Alderman withdraws name from April ballot

By Dennis Minich

The Harrisonville Board of Aldermen approved three changes to candidacy requirements for city office holders during its regular meeting Feb. 4. The changes were made to bring the city into compliance with state law.

The newly adopted codes eliminated disqualification if a candidate was in arrears for a water or electric bill, removed federal misdemeanors as a non-qualifier and changed the minimum age from 21 to 18. Although not related to the bill, a discussion took place concerning whose responsibility it was to see whether potential candidates had fulfilled requirements, including being current on local real estate and personal property taxes.

Alderman Marcia Milner had raised the question and was told by City Administrator Happy Welch that the city does not review applications, but merely sets the rules for the actual filing. Eligibility is determined at the state level.

When contacted later in the week, Cass County Clerk Jeff Fletcher and a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office both confirmed that the city can only determine residency requirements.

The code was adopted 7-0, with Alderman Clint Long absent.

It appeared the questioning was concerning Long’s candidacy for re-election in April. While he had filed, questions had been raised about his tax payments. Whether it was an issue became moot later in the week when Long applied to the Cass County Circuit Court to have his name removed from the ballot. The order was signed by Judge William Collins.

On Friday, Long cited family issues as his reason for withdrawing from the race. There are still two candidates vying for his Ward 3 seat, Bill Mills and Clint Miller.

The board approved an agreement with Cass County to use county land for a lawn waste drop-off site in the near future. Because of downed tree limbs and other problems created by recent storms, the city needed to find a place where mass quantities of yard waste could be disposed of. The area in question is across the street from the Community Center. A date has not been set.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a contract with Do-Rite Construction, LLC, to perform a water line replacement under I-49.
  • Approved the purchase of a pickup truck from Machens Ford of Columbia.
  • Approved the appointment of Virgil Butler to the planning and zoning commission.

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