Letter to the Editor: Who reports to whom?

A simple question to our

Citizens:

Do we want our Government to report to us or do we want to report to them?

Several months ago, the Board of Aldermen had some disagreements about whether or not to spend ~$2M to underground utilities on Highway 76.

I, as well as Alderman Castillon and Alderman Milton did NOT feel it was a good use of our resources until AFTER we finalized the entire 76 CID, (which would increase tax revenue by over $4.5 Million per year.) I ultimately recused myself as I was being asked to vote in conflict with my conscience by several clients, which is a textbook reason to recuse.

However, the Mayor, City Administrator and Alderman Bill Skains felt differently. At various points all three questioned my motives for being against the measure and ultimately recusing myself with a conflict of interest.

One very specific way this disagreement manifest itself was the fact that I received a visit at my place of employment from the FBI! Yes, that’s right, Agent Bob Schafer from the Federal Bureau of Investigations paid me a visit to inquire as to why I voted against and then recused myself from voting on undergrounding of utilities. Now, you might find it interesting that Agent Schaefer admitted to me that our City Administrator, Stan Dobbins asked him to talk with me to see why I initially voted against the measure. Also, of interest is that Agent Schaefer is a Special Agent who focuses on government corruption…. Was I considered “corrupt” because I dare not vote for something City Staff wanted to do?

Needless to say, I was shocked that our City Administrator would send the FBI to my office to interrogate and pressure me to “re-think” recusing myself from voting.

As it turned out, the Agent agreed that I had a “classic conflict of interest” demanding that I refrain from further votes on undergrounding!

So, I guess the Mayor, City Administrator and Bill Skains were in the wrong to publicly challenge my recusal on this issue.

At the end of the day, I ask the question again: Do we want our Government to report to us (the Residents), or do we want to report to them?

If your answer is that they should report to us, I would encourage you to make your vote count in the upcoming election. I believe the Residents of Branson should be in charge, through their elected representatives, period!

Kevin McConnell

Alderman Ward 3


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