Mayor defies ordinance

 

Moorcroft Mayor Steve Sproul presided over last week’s council meeting for the first time in several assemblies. During his absence, the council and Town Attorney Jim Peck had created ordinances regarding standing committees and performed the three necessary readings of the new municipal laws.

During the finance committee report, the mayor openly defied the town’s ordinance that places only three official members on the Moorcroft Financial Committee. The ordinance states that all members must come from the governing body.

When Sproul stated that he and the finance committee he appointed at the beginning of the year, which consisted of himself, Councilman Paul Smoot and two Moorcroft citizens, would be meeting with the clerk/treasurer to “go over this bill list”, Councilman Owen Mathews asked him to appoint the official finance committee who will examine the line items.

“As the law requires…Mr. Mayor, there’s an ordinance in place that designates what the finance committee is,” Mathews noted.

Councilman Dick Claar reminded Sproul again that, according to this new ordinance, the committee should only employ the mayor and two councilmen. However, the mayor suggested, “We can put another councilman on there” to join the citizen members.

Sproul said that, “What I appointed in January is the finance committee…It’s standing right now and it’s going to stay standing.”

At the preceding meeting, the ordinance regarding the official members of the finance committee was explained to resident and local business owner Margaret Lynch, who was part of the mayor’s original and now defunct committee, with the reiteration that the public, though not part of the financial committee, is always welcome and encouraged to attend and ask questions.

Sproul’s understanding of the ordinance was questioned and the suggestion made that he read over the new law.