Silex, Mo. - As Lincoln County approaches the end of 2021, Silex’s Board of Aldermen looked toward 2022, as it voted on several ordinances to be put on next April’s ballot.
After unanimously approving municipal elections will be held on April 5, the board proceeded to place several ballot ordinances for that election.
The board took up a proposition which would have Silex voters decide to forgo future municipal elections if the number of candidates is equal to the number of seats up for grabs.
Alderman Stuart Gambrill had issues with the proposal, saying the ordinance would prevent voters from writing-in candidates if they so chose. Also, potential candidates who weren’t informed of openings until after the deadline would be shut out completely for the next six years, when the ordinance would expire.
“If these ordinances would have been in effect, I wouldn’t be here, because I was a write-in candidate,” said Gambrill, who was elected in 2019. “I didn’t know about any open seats on the board until after the deadline.”
While Alderman David Rice Jr agreed with Gambrill in principle, citing a similar situation he was in, he supported the ordinance.
“While I agree with you, I think it should be left to the people to decide, because I was in that same situation, and I was voted in as a write-in candidate once,” Rice Jr said.
The ordinance was adopted 3-1, with Gambrill as the lone “no” vote.
The board also unanimously approved ordinances that would allow voters to decide whether the city collector and police should be appointed, or elected. All of the ordinances will appear on the April 5 ballot.
Before taking up the subject of future ordinances, the Board of Alderman discussed revamping the ordinance book to get rid of outdated ones. The book is large, and dates back at least three decades.
“We don’t know if these are actual ordinances, or they were something someone shoved in the book, so we have to clean it up and see what applies and doesn’t apply anymore,” Silex City Clerk Sylvia Roper said.
Rice Jr said every ordinance from 2018 was legitimate and signed, and if anything was missing, he made a reference to when former mayor – and current alderman – Chuck Turbyeville locked down City Hall when he took office as mayor in 2019.
“When I went through that book, everything from 2018 was signed,” Rice Jr said. “I don’t know what happened between then and now, but I signed those ordinances from then.”
Gambrill and Silex mayor Joe Clark suggested taking time to review the book, even starting the board’s meetings early to go through them as part of the public record.
“We should all take about 30 minutes at every meeting to go through a chapter at a time,” Gambrill said. “We all want Silex to be better than when we found it.”