Alderman facing removal

By Dennis Minich

Ward 1 Alderman Brad Bockelman may soon be removed from the Harrisonville Board of Aldermen.

During the board’s meeting Monday night, Alderman Gary Davidson said, “I am concerned about the lack of attendance by Alderman Brad Bockelman.”

He then asked what action could be taken.

Acting City Attorney Steve Maurer said the city codes address the situation and say an alderman cannot miss six meetings in a calendar year (any 12-month period) or four straight meetings.

“If that happens, then a motion can be made and the mayor appoints a committee to investigate the absences,” Mauer said.

Monday night’s meeting was Bockelman’s fourth-straight absence. Since April 17, when Mayor Judy Bowman was installed and new board members sworn in, Bockelman has missed seven of the 10 meetings, including Monday night. There have been 10 work sessions and Bockelman has attended none. There were three special meetings: one on employee benefits, a board retreat and a tour of city facilities. Bockelman attended only the benefits meeting.

Additionally, there have been five executive sessions and Bockelman has missed all five, including one on Aug. 5, when he attended the regular meeting, but he, along with aldermen David Dickerson and Clint Miller voted against going into executive session and then left without attending the session. It was that night the board was informed City Administrator Happy Welch had resigned.

Following Mauer’s explanation, Davidson made a motion for the committee to be formed with Marcia Milner seconding the motion. It passed 6-1. Davidson, Milner, Judy Reece, Dave Doerhoff, Miller and Matt Turner voted aye. Dickerson voted no. The mayor then nominated Davidson, Milner and Matt Turner to serve on the committee. Again, the vote was 6-1 with Dickerson voting no.

Mauer said there is no statutory time for the committee to investigate. Bowman said she would not place a deadline on the committee.

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