The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published July 5, 2017

Osage Beach votes to give traffic tickets on private property

OSAGE BEACH – The Board of Aldermen have passed the first reading of a new ordinance that would enforce city traffic laws on private property – with exceptions.

At last week’s board meeting the aldermen were given essentially the same ordinance as addressed late last month but they could choose to insert one of three exceptions.

City Attorney Ed Rucker explained to the Board of Aldermen at the June 15 meeting that the idea was brought to him from an Osage Beach Police officer.

The basic idea of the change is to allow police to enforce city traffic laws on private property like the parking lots of businesses.

Police Chief Todd Davis confirmed to the aldermen that if someone in the parking lot of the outlet store runs a stop sign the police cannot enforce the city laws regarding running a stop sign because it’s private property.

In addition, if there is an accident involving two vehicles in the Walmart parking lot the city cannot enforce any traffic laws because it is private property. The officer can tell the parties involved to go to civil court but can’t issue any tickets.

The controversy came to the forefront when Alderman Jeff Bethurem questioned the meaning of the proposed wording in the new section.

“A. Every person operating a motor vehicle within this city, and on the streets roads or highways within this City or upon any public or private parking lot or any parking lot open for the use of customers business invitees or employees shall drive the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person and shall exercise the highest degree of care.”

“Within this city” includes private property, which Bethurem said is basically too much power for the city.

Bethurem brought up a hypothetical situation where he was operating a motor vehicle (a car or an ATV) on his six acres, could he be ticketed if an officer saw him and felt he was operating a motor vehicle in a careless manner.

Attorney Rucker said it would be up to the judge to decide if the person was guilty or not but that means the person would be ticketed and have to appear in court.

Bethurem thought that was an overreach for the city and they should not get involved on what people do on private property (in regards to this ordinance).

The three exceptions brought to the board last week were worded to alleviate the concerns of the aldermen – and citizens of the city.

The aldermen could choose:

“1. This ordinance shall not apply to the operation of motor vehicles on unpaved
private property when that property is not open or accessible to the public and
where the operation of the vehicle does not endanger the life or property of any
other person.
-or-
2. Nothing in this ordinance shall apply to a motor vehicle on private property not
open or accessible to the public.
-or-
3. Nothing in this ordinance shall apply to a single person operating of a motor vehicle
without passengers on private property when that property is not open or accessible
to the public, and where the operation of the vehicle does not endanger the life or
property of any other person.”

Unlike one and two, number three would still give authority to police to ticket someone on their private property if they had a passenger or passengers.

Two people spoke during the public comments period and both (a man and a woman) spoke against the whole ordinance and were very much against the idea.

After much discussion between the board and the city attorney, it was decided to adopt number two, the least invasive of the suggestions.

However, the law would still apply to private property that is accessible to the public, like Walmart, the Outlet Mall, Stonecrest Mall and so on.

The first reading was approved with Bethurem voting against the ordinance. The second reading will take place on the second meeting of the board in July (July 20).

In other business addressed at last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting:

• Approved the second reading of the Osage Beach Commons TIF Plan and the Community Improvement District
• Approved the purchase of an Airport Fuel Truck from Garsite Aviation Refueling Equipment in the amount of $171,645. The truck will replace one at Lee C. Fine Airport that was manufactured in 1989. In addition, a lease purchase with Central Bank for the truck was also approved by the board.
• Approved both readings of a contract with Capitol Paving for the Osage Beach Parkway Pavement Repair.

Capitol Paving was the only bidder at $72,810.

“Because of road failure not anticipated, this is to remove the asphalt on Osage Beach Parkway near Sears and to replace it,” Nicholas Edelman, Public Works Director told the board in his report. “We will mill the existing pavement and overlay it.”

• Approved both readings of a Contract with K.W. Luetkemeyer Painting and Wall Covering Company for Pavement Marking east of the Grand Glaize Bridge for the amount of $29,834.15.

This project will repaint the pavement markings on Osage Beach Parkway east of the Grand Glaze Bridge. As with the earlier project, this one also had only one bidder, Luetkemeyer, out of Jefferson City.

• Authorized the Mayor to Send an Endorsement Letter Acknowledging Support of The Certified Work Ready Community Program and Appoint City Administrator as the City’s Representative for the Certified Work Ready Community.

“The purpose of the Missouri Work Ready Communities initiative is to provide counties with a framework to validate that they have a skilled workforce ready to fill current and future jobs,” Jeana Woods, City Administrator, said in her report to the board. “Missouri is partnering with ACT by adopting their established goals of individuals participating by earning a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and businesses participating by recognizing, preferring, or recommending the NCRC in their hiring practices.

“Missouri's vision for the Certified Work Ready Communities is to attract, retain, and develop a workforce with education and fundamental skills- Working Documents, Applied Math, and Graphic Literacy - to succeed in the 21st Century.”

This is just an endorsement letter and does not cost the city any amount of money.

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