cases heard in Platte County Circuit was an option
The Village of Ferrelview's Board of Trustees decided
against the recommendation of one of its members and will
continue to operate its own municipal court.
The action came Tuesday night at a meeting of the governing
body for the small village located just east of KCI Airport
in Platte County.
Trustee Mickey Vulgamott presented a recommendation to
discontinue the city's court system and instead have city
offenses heard by a judge in the Platte County Circuit
Court. Vulgamott said her proposal would allow the village
to eliminate its court clerk and judge positions while
"still getting our revenue."
Terry Keller, chairman of the board of trustees, disagreed.
"I don't think we're going to get our revenue that
way," Keller said.
Keller said with a city court, Ferrelview is able to
set the amount of its fines, and the fines help support
the village's police department, which consists of one
full time officer and one reserve officer.
Scott Campbell, who has just recently been hired as Ferrelview's
city attorney, strongly recommended against doing away
with the city court.
"The City of Tracy tried that and it failed miserably,"
Campbell said, adding that a previous Ferrelview administration
had also eliminated its court before taking it back. "Both
Tracy and Ferrelview tried it and have taken it back,"
Campbell, who in his role as Ferrelview's attorney will
also serve as prosecutor in its city court, said there
are many offenses that would get tried in a city court
that might not get taken as seriously in a state level
He explained nuisance cases and dog violations are two
examples of violations more likely to be taken seriously
in a city court.
"If you really want your local laws enforced you
need to keep it here and need to keep your own judge,"
Campbell told the board of trustees.
After discussion, Trustee Dean Bryan said he valued Campbell's
opinion and said he favored keeping the municipal court.
Trustee Phyllis Casey said she favored keeping the municipal
court because she doesn't want city law violations "to
be thought of as petty."
Vulgamott then withdrew her recommendation, saying: "I
want to hold off and see Scott at work" as city prosecutor.
In other business, the board agreed that once she becomes
bonded, city clerk Rebekah Morehead will also serve as
city treasurer. Morehead should know in a couple of weeks
whether she has received the necessary approval for bonding.
Phyllis Filley, who is bonded, will continue to serve
as interim city treasurer until Morehead becomes bonded.
Filley is also the clerk for the city's municipal court.
In another matter, Vulgamott said she would like to see
the city clerk work more from home and not maintain as
many hours at city hall. She said a contact number where
the clerk could be reached could be posted at city hall
and residents needing to contact the clerk could call
"It might be more cost effective that way. She sits
here by herself much of the time," Vulgamott said.
Morehead had been putting in about 20 hours per week
before a recent maternity leave. She said she is now putting
in 20-25 hours every two weeks as she works to get her
schedule back to normal.
After discussion, it was agreed Vulgamott would put together
a proposal of hours for the clerk and report back to the
board at the next meeting.