Stephens voted out as park board president
A highly anticipated election of officers
for the Platte City Parks and Recreation board took
place Monday night, and there has been a change at the
Dick Stephens, who has been at odds at
various times with Platte City Mayor Dave Brooks, was
voted out as board president. John Minyard was selected
as the new officer in charge by a vote of 6-3.
With the full board in attendanceprevious
minutes show it's rare when all members are present
for a monthly meetingMinyard was first nominated
for president by Marsha Clark. Stephens was then nominated
by Chris Wallen.
Voting for Minyard were Clark, Bart Bradley,
John Kurtz, Steve Sampsell, Tom Wooddell, and Minyard.
Members voting for Stephens were Chris
Wallen, Susan Wallen and Stephens.
Minyard said his nomination for the office
did not come as a surprise to him at the meeting.
"No, it was not a surprise. I wanted
it. With a 6-3 vote, I wasn't the only one that felt
we needed a change," Minyard told The Landmark
"Nothing against Dick, he's done
a wonderful job. We just need something new," he
Last week, sources reported the mayor
had approached Bradley about possibly seeking the post
of president. But Bradley's frequent absences from meetings
were reported in last week's Landmark and he has also
had recent complaints made about him for alleged behavior
incidents at youth soccer games he helps coach. These
factors may have tilted the majority opinion away from
Bradley and toward Minyard as Stephen's successor.
Stephens, whose term as a board member
expires in 2005, would have preferred to keep the post
of president. He'll continue to serve as a member.
"I'm very disappointed. I had asked
the mayor to make the appointments (of new board members
Kurtz and Sampsell) not effective until after we voted
on officers because these people would have no personal
knowledge on whom to vote for. They would only have
knowledge from other sources. The mayor evidently decided
he wanted them to vote because they voted," Stephens
Stephens, who also serves on the parks
and rec board for Platte County, said at the county
level new members typically don't vote for officers.
"We vote for officers and then we
bring them onto the board," he said.
Kurtz and Sampsell are new appointments
made by the mayor at the May 25 board of aldermen meeting.
The mayor put the appointments on the aldermen's consent
agenda, which allowed for no public discussion prior
to their approval.
When questioned by Alderman Ron Porter
about the placement within the consent agenda, Brooks
said the action was necessary to get the members on
board prior to the election of park board officers.
At that same May 25 meeting, Brooks reappointed
Bradley and Clark to the park board, despite the fact
both of them have missed more meetings than they have
attended over the past year.
All four of the mayor's May 25 appointments
voted against Stephens for president.
Stephens said he would work toward helping
Minyard make a smooth transition into the role of president.
"I've called him twice today (Tuesday).
I offered my congratulations and offered to work as
a liaison with the county on the Platte Ridge project.
Minyard sounds anxious to get rolling.
"I'm excited. I want to try to get
things done, get things moving in a different direction,"
One of his early priorities, he indicated,
will be to speed up the board meetings.
"Some (members) were disappointed
things drug out as long as they did," he said about
Monday night's meeting, which lasted 2½ hours.
"We need a little bit more order
and get things done in a more orderly fashion,"
He said meetings might move along at a
quicker pace if park members with questions would call
park director Dannie Stamper with questions or concerns
prior to meetings.
Others elected to positions of officers
on Monday were:
Tom Wooddell was elected vice president over Bart Bradley;
Steve Sampsell, secretary, elected over Marsha Clark;
and Bart Bradley, treasurer, unopposed.
In other action at Monday night's meeting,
the park board:
Voted to hold the daytime activities
normally associated with the city's Fourth of July celebration
on July 3 this year. July 4 falls on a Sunday and the
board does not want to conflict with church activities.
The fireworks display and nighttime program will still
be held on July 4.
Voted to provide free hot dogs,
sodas and snow cones at the pool area during the July
Discussed that city hall may have
wrong term expiration dates on record for some park
board members. The city clerk will be asked to research
Heard that the committee that oversees
the park and rec soccer program had dealt with complaints
against the behavior of Bart Bradley, assistant coach
of a youth soccer team and member of the park board,
by deciding Bradley will not be allowed to coach in
any capacity in future seasons (see related story).
Discussed the possibility of hiring
an outside person to take minutes of meetings. Stamper
told the board cost of this could be around $23 per
hour. As of now, the board secretary is taking minutes.
Wooddell said during the meeting that he would like
to see a hired person perform the duties because the
job "takes away from a board member participating
because they're busy taking notes." The matter
is expected to be discussed again at a future meeting.