Jefferson County Council Woman Renee Reuter wrote a blog, published on Fenton High Ridge on Feb. 16, about leaving a council meeting to protest 46 misnumbered bills. She left the meeting after the council voted to approve the agenda, which included the misnumbered bills.
In her blog she compared misnumbered bills to a wrong address on a deed or an incorrect VIN on your car title, which could lead to “long and expensive court battles that will be paid for by our taxes.”
“When members of the council whip out a rubber stamp and pretend they’ve been given a lobotomy,” she said, “they ignore the whole purpose of the Charter and the essence of their responsibility to the people they represent.”
County Executive Ken Waller responded to Reuter’s statements on Feb. 17, which also ran on Patch.
“Contrary to Council Woman Reuter's position, the numbering of the bills has little legal significance. What is significant is that when the bills are duly and legally passed, as they were, that the ordinance numbers are correctly placed on the bills both for historical background and for record-keeping purposes.”
He said the numbering system, "though different from previous agendas, was neither invalid, or illegal.
“The same cannot be said of Council Woman Reuter,” he said, “whose latest example of childish behavior simply illustrates her lack of professionalism and lack of responsibility to the residents of the county.”
In comments following Waller's response, County Councilman Charles Groeteke defended Reuter, and Arnold City Councilman Bill Moritz came up on Waller’s side. Further comments also took opposing sides.
What do you think? Do you agree with Reuter or Waller? Take the poll at the bottom of the article.
The county council records all its meetings on video. The following is a summary of events leading up to Reuter leaving the meeting. The times correspond to the clock shown at the bottom of the screen in the video. You can use the slider to go to specific times.
Reuter begins a Powerpoint presentation that points out the misnumbered bills.
Reuter makes a motion, which is seconded, to change the numbers in the 46 bills, as she requested in her presentation. Don Bickowski , Reuter and Groeteke, vote yes, to change the numbers. Council Chair Bob Boyer, Teresa Kreitler, Cliff Lane, and Kelly Waymon vote no.
Reuter moves to remove all the misnumbered items from the agenda, “so we don’t pass something inadvertently that is not according to the rules and history of this fine body.” A councilman requests she list the items, and she did.
After Reuter lists the bills, the vote is taken to have them removed, and it goes exactly as the vote to rename the bills. Bickowski, Reuter and Groeteke, vote yes, to remove the items. Boyer, Kreitler, Lane and Waymon vote no.
There is a motion to approve the agenda. That vote is the mirror opposite of the two previous votes. Bickowski, Reuter and Groeteke, vote no. Boyer, Kreitler, Lane and Waymon vote yes, to approve the agenda, keeping the misnumbered bills.
Soon after that vote, Reuter begins to get her papers together, and just before 7:30 p.m., without a word, gets up and leaves the room.
An announcement is made, “Point of order, please note that Council Woman Reuter left the room at 7:29 p.m.”