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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

City Council Applications Being Accepted

October 2013

April City Council Elections in Cape Girardeau

According to an article in the Missourian by Ruth Campbell,, now is the time to get a petition form and collect 50 signatures if you want to have the chance to have your name to appear on the ballot April 8, 2014, for mayor or city council in Cape.  Candidates have until November 19 to submit their petitions.  See Article VII, Sections 7.01, 7.03 (a) and (b) of the Cape Girardeau City Charter available on-line at the city's website.

Campbell reports wards 1, 2 and 6 are up for election on April 8, 2014. The mayor is seeking a second consecutive term.  If he wins, he would be required to sit out an election before he could seek another term. Section 3.02.  A ward map is available on-line at the City of Cape website.

The city charter provides for a primary election in wards where more than two people seek the seat.  A city-wide primary would be held if more than two people seek the mayor's spot.   See Article VII, Section 7.07.

City council is a non-partisan race.  Partisan campaigning is specifically prohibited by the city charter, Section 7.02.  The salary at the time the city charter was written in 1981 was $100 per month for a regular council person and $150 per month for the mayor.

Besides the requirement that candidates be registered voters, they must be at least 21, have lived in the city for 2 years and their district for at least 90 days before the election. The mayor has a 4 year residency requirement.  Article III, Section 3.02.

The mayor is elected at-large.  Three of the six wards elect a council member each even numbered year.  All council members, including the mayor, serve four year terms.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sidewalk Cafes

Sidewalk Cafes

From a Southeast Missourian article by Erin Ragan

The Cape Girardeau City Council is considering allowing sidewalk cafes "on Broadway between Water and Pacific streets, on Water Street between Broadway and Independence Street, and on Main and Spanish streets between Broadway and Merriwether Street,"  according to the Missourian article.  

Pro:  Good for business owners and people who enjoy sidewalk dining.

Con:  Bad for people whose use of public sidewalks will be choked by tables and chairs.  Too cozy a relationship between city and certain businesses whose dining areas are built and maintained by the city.  Unfair for the people on the south side of Broadway who got much less sidewalk space in the redevelopment project.  Unfair to every other business in Cape which isn't allowed use of the city sidewalks to conduct business. 

Quid pro quo:  How about this?  Allow all businesses the right to expand their trade onto the  sidewalks.  Allow street vendors the right to use parking spaces and public parking lots to ply their trades.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cape County Commissioners Raise Tax Rate--Sep. 2013

by Greg Tlapek

From the 9/17/2013 Southeast Missourian article by Erin Ragan

Cape County Commissioners, Clint Tracy, Paul Koeper and Charles Herbst, raised the property tax levy from $0.038 per $100 assessed valuation to $0.0447 per $100 assessed valuation.  That will amount to an increase in revenue for the county of 0.67 cents per $100 assessed valuation on a total assessment of $1,165,240,779 in the county.  Hmmm...get out my pencil...that amounts to $78,071 in additional revenue for the county.

According to her article, only one person attended the public meeting held by the Commission before their vote on the tax increase.  It's difficult to get people to turn out in opposition to something that is perceived to cost them very little.  In this case, it appears there was no group or individual who perceived it to be in their interest to have the tax increased, either.  As a matter of principle, I am against tax increases.

I was confused by the quote attributed to Clint Tracy, that raising the tax levy from $0.038 to $0.0447 could be "looked at as a 28-cent reduction."  According to the article, the state has set a cap of $0.337 per $100 assessed valuation, which means our new rate of 4.47 cents is 29.13 cents below what the state allows. 

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