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City Council Postpones Vote On Board Of Examiners

The Cape Girardeau City Council on October 1, 2012.
Jacob McCleland

The Cape Girardeau City Council offered a lifeline to the city’s board of examiners at Monday night’s meeting. The board of examiners struggles to recruit and retain qualified members, and the city is now looking to eliminate it. The Council planned to vote on the fate of the board that examines the qualifications for electricians, plumbers and other tradespeople and authorizes the city to issue licenses. Instead, the city gave the board 30 days to recruit new members or face dissolution.

Dan Stitz has been on the board for 18 years. He argues the board of examiners keeps City Hall from granting licenses to undeserving individuals.

But he says the time commitment makes it difficult to find good board members.

“We don’t get paid for it. A lot of the tradespeople, they don’t work nine to five. They’re out working late. So it takes time from family, from work,” Stitz said.

Currently there are only five people on the eight-member board. The board need five members present for a quorum.

City manager Scott Meyer said other cities such as Farmington, Jackson, Sikeston and Park Hills operate without such a board, but he hopes the examiners are successful in recruiting new members.

“We had advertised on our website and put the word out,” Meyer said. “We just haven’t had any success. Obviously for twelve years we haven’t had success and had able to fill up the whole board. So we would love to have a full board and be glad to move forward if the citizens support that by volunteering.”

If dissolved, Cape Girardeau city staff will take on the responsibility of reviewing qualifications before issuing a license.

Also at Monday night’s meeting, the Council approved funding over $906 thousand in projects with casino revenue. Those projects include new warning sirens, lighting on Main Street, demolition of the old CVB building, playground equipment and landscaping at Shawnee Park, fencing at Arena Park, a space design for the police station and finishing a sidewalk gap on Kingshighway.