FEDERAL JUDGE ISSUES PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION BLOCKING NEW FLSA OVERTIME RULE… On Nov. 22, 2016, a Federal District Court Judge blocked final implementation of the rule mere days before the Dec. 1 effective date. Agreeing with arguments posed by concerned states and business groups, the judge issued a preliminary injunction preventing the rules from being implemented on a nationwide basis. Assuming that the injunction survives the remainder of President Obama’s term, it is difficult to predict what President Trump will do with the rules once in the White House. President Trump will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017. It is possible that the Federal Judge may be swayed by U.S. Department of Labor arguments in the coming weeks, or that an appeals court could step in to reverse the ruling before President Trump takes office. Some employers might find themselves in a difficult spot.
If you have already made alterations to your compensation plans or to your employees’ exemption status, it might be unpopular to reverse course now. Although you may have the legal right to revert to the status quo depending on your circumstances, you might consider waiting until a final decision is reached in court, Congress, and the White House before doing anything further.
MISSOURI AUDITOR FINDS POOR COMPLIANCE WITH MISSOURI SUNSHINE LAW … Missouri State Auditor Nicolle Galloway has continued what has now become an auditor tradition by sending out anonymous Sunshine Law requests to political subdivisions across the state. Auditor Galloway’s staff sent open records request letters to more than 300 local government entities in every region of the state. The request was fairly simple - to provide a copy of minutes for the last meeting held in 2015, along with the notice and agenda for that meeting, and several other basic pieces of information. The letters were not sent on official office letterhead. Of those who received a request, 37 percent failed to acknowledge it or respond within the three-day time period required by law. Some of those eventually provided information after the deadline, but 16 percent did not respond at all. Only 30 percent of local governments fully complied with the request.
A complete review of the auditor’s findings is available on the Auditor’s website.
Missouri municipal officials are reminded that the Sunshine Law requires that response be provided to a request for records within three (3) business days. This means the requested information should be sent within three days, or a response providing a reasonable date of when the information will be sent. No reason must be provided for a records request. Fees may be charged for completing records requests or local governments may consider waiving such fees for small requests such as a single meeting minutes and notice. Meeting minutes must include the date, time, place, members absent and members present. Notice of meetings must include the time, date, location, tentative agenda and proper citation of proposed closed meetings.
The Missouri Municipal League has an online Sunshine Law training course tailored to the needs of Missouri Municipal Officials. The course is available on the League website. Officials with questions about the Sunshine Law are encouraged to contact League staff at email@example.com or (573) 635-9134.
LEGISLATIVE NEWS … On Jan. 4, the 99th Missouri General Assembly will convene in Jefferson City. The Republicans now control the House, Senate and the Governor’s office. While both chambers of the General Assembly maintained their veto proof majority, overriding a gubernatorial veto is less important than in past sessions. After January 9, when Eric Greitens is sworn in as Governor, a simple majority is all that is (likely) needed to enact some of the more controversial and divisive measures from previous sessions. Labor issues (right to work, pay check protection and prevailing wage reform), tort reform, tax reform, ride sharing and opiate use will be high on the to do list in both the House and Senate. As we have seen in past sessions, bills will be filed preempting local authority.
Overshadowing all of this is the state budget shortfall caused by a 2014 corporate tax cut and a shortfall of funds in the state employee retirement system. Both the General Assembly and the new Governor will be struggling with balancing the state’s budget.
League staff will be keeping you apprised of legislation affecting municipalities throughout the legislative session. When action is needed by municipal officials on a bill, an “Action Alert” will be emailed asking you to contact your legislator. The “Alert” will provide you with what action is needed, a description of the bill and how it will affect municipalities, along with key talking points to discuss with your legislator.
Municipalities are strongest when they speak with a unified voice. It is incumbent on us all to communicate to legislators the importance of keeping decisions on local matters at the local level.
2016-2017 MML POLICY STATEMENT … The Missouri Municipal League’s 2016-2017 Policy Statement is posted on the League’s website. Learn more about how MML policy is crafted and how you can become involved in shaping future policy on MML’s Advocacy page at www.mocities.com.
PROPOSED AMENDMENT FOR CDGB PROCUREMENT … The Missouri Department of Economic Development, in order to streamline the procurement for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) administration services and still promote free and open competition, proposes to amend the administration procurement process. The proposed amendment is available for a fifteen-day comment period ending Dec. 16, 2016. Review the proposal here, and submit written comments or questions to Andy Papen via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MML WEBINARS, NEW IN JANUARY 2017! … Join us for the Missouri Municipal League’s live webinar titled “Building Trust,” presented by Dr. Mike Mowery, president of servant leadership implementation with Strategic Government Resources. Be on the lookout for other topics throughout the year to include:
- Public Works Contracting
- Personnel Law
- The Need for Servant Leadership
- Planning and Zoning
- Economic Development
- Fundamentals of Municipal Government
- Coaching for Performance
All of the courses will satisfy the credits needed for the Municipal Governance Institute certification (MGI). Registration cost $10. Watch for upcoming registration information!
UPDATED! THE 2016-2017 DIRECTORY OF MISSOURI MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS … The latest Directory is now available at http://www.mocities.com. It features an alphabetical listing of each member municipality, contact information and a listing of elected officials as well as administrative and department staff. The Directory contains more than 6,500 municipal officials across Missouri. It is provided free of charge to member municipalities, associate members and participating affiliates. It is available for purchase by non-members.
MML DIRECTORY CHANGES … To keep MML records current, please send any elected/appointed official changes to Jackie Hagenhoff at Jhagenhoff@mocities.com or call (573) 635-9134 as they occur. Changes should include name of outgoing official and the name of the new official with their title, preferred mailing address and personal email address.
MML ANNUAL CONFERENCE – CALL FOR PROPOSALS … The Missouri Municipal League is beginning preparations for the 2017 Annual Conference. The Conference will take place at Tan-Tar-A, Sept. 10-13, 2017. The League is accepting proposals for session topics. It is preferred that the conference proposal include a speaker (not just a topic) and provide as much information about the topic as possible. This will help the League staff in the selection process so we can provide the best sessions to participants. Municipalities are encouraged to submit a proposal on topics where they have an experience to share.
Submit your proposal by completing the Annual Conference Presentation Form on the League’s website by Feb. 28, 2017. Emily Koenigsfeld, event and training specialist, will make contacts in March and a preliminary agenda will be available in April. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Emily at email@example.com or 573-635-9134.
MEMBER ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND MILESTONES … MML would like to share your accomplishments and milestones with members! Send your award recognitions, city anniversaries, long-time employee retirements and other items you want us to know to Lori Noe at Lnoe@mocities.com. Your announcement may appear in the MML newsletter, Review magazine or website.
2017 OUTSTANDING CITY CLERK AWARD NOMINATIONS … The Missouri City Clerks & Finance Officers Association invites nominations for the 2017 Outstanding City Clerk Award. This Award recognizes a City Clerk or Finance Officer who has demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to their municipality, community, and professional organizations. This award will be presented at the annual MoCCFOA banquet in March 2017. Nominations may be submitted by a member of MoCCFOA or a municipal official by Jan. 13, 2017. Forms are available on the MoCCFOA website at moccfoa.org, or from any of the committee members: Mary D. Happel, Committee Chair, Salem; Peggy Farrell, Owensville; Robin Kincaid, Riverside; Debbie Cornell, Carterville; Kathleen Trentmann, New Haven; Rebecca Deskins, Cainsville; Nici Wilson, Pleasant Hill; Karen Shaw, Vandalia; Laurie Asche, Kirkwood; Katie Bowman, Wentzville; Shirley Lewis, Duenweg; Karen Rost, Marshfield.