Driskell sworn in as Ward 2 councilmember

By Nicole Cooke

July 21, 2014

Ward 2 of the Sedalia City Council now has two councilmembers again after long-time Sedalia resident Russell Driskell was sworn in during Monday’s meeting.

Driskell fills the Ward 2 seat vacated by former councilmember Becca La Strada, who resigned two weeks ago due to health issues. Both of his sons were in attendance Monday night to watch as their dad was sworn in and joined the rest of council in approving several ordinances.

Now retired, Driskell spent 20 years working for Gardner Denver and has lived in Sedalia his entire life. As far as goals for his time on council, Driskell didn’t have any specifics in mind.

“My goal is to just work for all of Sedalia, for the betterment of all of Sedalia,” he said.

The process for Mayor Steve Galliher was a little easier this time around, as Driskell had been on his list of candidates to fill the other Ward 2 seat, vacated by former councilmember Wanda Monsees, who resigned more than two months ago, also due to health issues.

“I actually interviewed for the position when Wanda had to resign and when Becca resigned (Galliher) asked if I was still interested, which I agreed to,” Driskell said.

Once Driskell took his seat with his fellow councilmembers, council voted to approve an ordinance amending the budget for the Fiscal Year 2014-15. The amendments are to provide additional funds for anticipated demolition expenses after the demolition of the buildings on Ohio Avenue depleted the city’s entire demolition budget, and other buildings will need to be demolished later this fiscal year. City Administrator Gary Edwards noted during the pre-meeting that several houses in Sedalia are “high on the priority list” to be demolished.

The amendment will also adjust the capital expense budget to allow for debt service expenses related to the fire station and the bridge which are not reflected in the current budget. The General Fund will not be impacted.

During the meeting council also:

• Heard a presentation from Edwards, regarding a quarterly update on the status of the City of Sedalia’s strategic goals.

• Approved an ordinance approving the airport hangar lease and farm lease forms. The lease agreements, which are the first revisions in several years, are the result of discussions by the Airport Board and have been reviewed by City Attorney Anne Gardner.

• Approved an ordinance granting a special permit use to Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless to install a 190 foot self-support communications tower on its property at 1701 W. 32nd St. for an initial term of five years. A public hearing regarding this permit was hosted July 2, and the Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved a recommendation to council that this request be approved.

• Approve a records destruction request from the Personnel Department.