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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Freistatt board endorses Constitutional Amendment

Friday, October 26, 2012

Jim Burnett, from the local citizens group seeking support for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn the 2010 Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission decision by the U.S. Supreme Court watched at the Freistatt Village Board became the first southwest Missouri government to endorse the proposal. Shown, from left, are, Freistatt trustees Delpha Bowling, Eva Jobe, Mayor Mike Ortwein, and Burnett. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
The Freistatt Village Board of Trustees became the first southwest Missouri government to formally endorse a U.S. Constitutional amendment stripping corporations of the rights held by individuals.

Trustees voted after reviewing results of a community survey sent to 83 utilities customers. Nearly three-quarters of the people responded, but only half had an opinion about the amendment. Of those, Freistatt residents supported the change by more than two to one.

A resolution of support passed on a unanimous voice voted.

The resolution declared: "The Board of Trustees of the Village of Freistatt will support the Move to Amend campaign to call for an amendment to the United States Constitution to abolish corporate personhood; which establishes that only individual human beings, not corporations, are entitled to inalienable constitutional rights; and that money is not speech, therefore regulating political constitutions and spending is not equivalent to limiting freedom of speech."

Jim Burnett, who brought the proposition to Freistatt for consideration, said only Kansas City has approved a similar measure.

"This is a little piece of history," Burnett said. "I hope this is the start of something good and I hope we can keep it going."

On water issues, Mayor Mike Ortwein reported the representatives from Liquid Engineering Corp. of Billings, Mt., came through Freistatt on Oct. 7 to inspect the village's watertower for $900. A written report and DVD with video were submitted for review.

The hatches, tanks and hand rails were all in good condition, Ortwein said and there was no sign of paint flaking. The inspectors found security on the ladder and tower lighting was lacking.

Water operator Alan Obermann said since it takes a second ladder to reach the one on the tower, so he was not concerned. Clerk Deborah Schoen said lights were not required on the tower as an aerial hazard. Additional lighting was deemed unnecessary.

Ortwein said Liquid Engineering wanted the village to sign a maintenance agreement for $5,000 a year. Money paid would go toward the cost of painting. With the minimal concerns at the present time, trustees agreed with Ortwein to take no action at this time.

Trustees discussed improvements on the community building in light of the 70 new chairs purchased by the Hubert H. Kleiboeker American Legion Post. Ortwein proposed buying seven additional uniform tables, the number that usually stay in place on the hall's main floor. Schoen brought quotes from area vendors and suggested matching the table in the city office, purchased from Office Depot. Trustees agreed at a price of $89.99 per table.

There was also agreement that the new tables would not leave the building. The old tables would be available for events like the pancake breakfast at the Farmers Exchange.

Elmer Conway, with the Legion, said the new chairs will not leave the community building. The Legion is still entertaining offers for the old wood folding chairs.

Trustees discussed the cleaning schedule for the community building when it is rented. The routine established by Delpha Bowling when she managed rentals suited the other trustee. It was noted that seldom do renters fail to adequately clean to get their deposit returned.

The lack of adequate dispoal for trash after events at the community center raised other concerns. Schoen said she would ask Doty Sanitation for a second or larger dumpster.

In department reports, Schoen said utility customers paid $33.94 in late fees for the month. As extra water use is more completely tracked, the amount of water lost continues to fall. In September, 8.5 percent of the water pumped did not reach a meter, compared to 14.3 percent a year ago.

Schoen reported purchasing an external hard drive for the office computer after the machine's motherboard died. Information on the computer can be recovered, she added.

Bills for the month ran $10,327.78, about double the regular amount thanks to the $4,913 premium for property and casualty insurance to Missouri Rural Services.

The next board meeting will be held Nov. 8.

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