UPDATED: Aldermen postpone consideration of proposed Charter amendment

City attorney redacts emails Call sought in records request

By Mike Anthony

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen postponed consideration of a proposed Charter amendment that would ask voters to place the city clerk’s position under the supervision of aldermen.

Ward 2 Alderman Tim Trueblood, who had requested the proposed amendment be drafted last month, asked the board Tuesday night to postpone consideration of it.

He noted that some questions had arisen about the proposed amendment and said he wanted more time to review the issue. However, he said he did intend to bring it back to the board.

A proposed Charter amendment that would ask Crestwood voters to place the city clerk’s position under the supervision of the Board of Aldermen was set to be considered Tuesday night by aldermen.

At the board’s May 27 meeting, Ward 2 Alderman Tim Trueblood asked City Attorney Lisa Stump to draft an ordinance to place the proposed Charter amendment before voters.

The city clerk now is appointed by the city administrator, and is subject to the direction and supervision of the city administrator.

If the Charter amendment is placed on the Nov. 4 ballot and approved by voters, the Board of Aldermen would appoint the city clerk, who would be subject to the direction and supervision of aldermen. As proposed, the change would be effective Jan. 1.

The Charter states the city clerk “shall be a civil service employee.” Under the proposed amendment, the post would remain a civil service position.

After Trueblood proposed the Charter amendment last month, City Administrator Mark Sime’s effort earlier this year to reclassify the city clerk’s position resurfaced.

In February, Sime proposed an ordinance to amend the city’s municipal code to make the city clerk’s position unclassified, or exempt — the same status as elected officials, the city administrator and department heads, who are not covered under the city’s Civil Service Rules and Regulations.

However, City Clerk Tina Flowers wrote in a May 30 email that Sime’s proposal would directly conflict with the Charter.

During a recent interview with the Call, Sime declined to explain why he attempted to reclassify the clerk’s position. When asked about the issue by former Ward 4 Alderman Steve Nieder June 10, Sime said, “This was a personnel issue, and … I don’t care to talk about a personnel issue at this time.”

In a May 30 email, Ward 4 Alderman Michael Vincent wrote that he was opposed to Trueblood’s proposal after talking with Sime and believes it would be better handled by the city’s Charter Review Commission in the future.

In his email, Vincent also wrote that it is his understanding that Flowers initiated the proposal to reclassify her position.

But in her May 30 email response to Vincent, sent to all aldermen, Sime and her personal attorney, Flowers wrote that she did not support or initiate the reclassification.

In response to a request for copies of her May 30 email and Vincent’s May 30 email, Flowers provided copies of the complete emails to the Call. In response to the same request, Stump provided redacted versions of the emails.

Stump redacted more than 140 words of Vincent’s nearly 225-word email, including the following passage: “… It is my understanding our clerk initiated discussions with our CA (city administrator) and that he attempted to positively help her and to consider FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) guidelines.

“It is my understanding our clerk changed her mind and the issue was dropped. At that time, as now, I understand our CA had no criticism of our clerk or her work …”

In Flowers’ email, Stump redacted more than 400 words of the nearly 550-word message, including the following passage: “I did not initiate nor did I support the reclassification of my position as city clerk. This issue was proposed to me by City Administrator Sime in late January 2014. At that time, I expressed the concerns of this reclassification as being in direct conflict with the City Charter and also that my position would no longer have the status of being a classified position under the city’s Civil Service Rules and Regulations.

“I also advised Mr. Sime at that time that if asked in a public meeting, I would have no choice but to go on record as expressing my opposition of the proposal …”

In response to a request from the Call about why Stump redacted the emails, she cited the following exemptions to the Missouri Open Meetings and Records Act, or Sunshine Law:

To view the unredacted emails, visit

To view the redacted emails, visit