Weston alderman-elect wary of conflict

An elected alderman’s refusal to take the oath of office Monday evening has caused a few headaches for the City of Weston. Bill Baker was elected to the Ward 1 alderman’s seat in the April 8 election, but as election results hadn’t been certified before the City’s April meeting, the City chose to wait until the May meeting to swear in Baker and returning Alderman Joyce Burch. Several things prevented him from taking the oath of office that evening, Baker later told The Citizen. As a Platte County Public Water District No. 7 supervisor and member of the Weston Special Roads District, he said he wanted to obtain some legal advice on potential conflicts of interest before he accepted his seat on the Board. Baker also works as a part-time City of Weston employee at the water plant, and as the water department is down an employee right now didn’t want to quit and leave the plant short-handed. “There are a lot of things that need to be straightened up there in the City and I don’t want them to have an excuse to kick me off the Board,” Baker said. Baker said he hopes to be able to accept his position on the Board in June. A vote to reorganize the Board was held, however, and Kent Stelljes was re-elected president of the Board. The Board later heard a water rate analysis on costs from the local districts, but was unable to pass ordinances adjusting the rate for the year. Water purchase costs were set for adjustment from $2.08 to $2.31 per 1,000 gallons, but due to a misunderstanding of the analysis, City Clerk Kim Kirby said Alderman Tim Hill voted against the rate adjustment. With no fourth alderman, the measure failed. Kirby said Hill later learned of the misunderstanding and the Board would vote again on the adjustment at its regular June meeting.