City of Belle accepts alderman, police chief resignations

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 11/9/22

 BELLE — Following the 72-hour records hold, the city of Belle released the Nov. 3 special meeting minutes on Monday which confirmed the Nov. 1 resignation of former police chief Joe …

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City of Belle accepts alderman, police chief resignations

Posted

 BELLE — Following the 72-hour records hold, the city of Belle released the Nov. 3 special meeting minutes on Monday which confirmed the Nov. 1 resignation of former police chief Joe Turnbough was accepted in closed session and former Ward 2 alderman Kayla Bray’s resignation was accepted in open session.

According to the meeting agenda, accepting Bray’s resignation, dated Nov. 1, effective immediately, was the only item to be discussed in the open session. 

The scheduled 3 p.m. meeting began at 3:06 p.m., and Bray’s resignation was accepted immediately without questions or comments. Bray was not present to explain her decision to step down, although the board waited for her or former police chief Joe Turnbough to come to the meeting.

“Nobody ever contacted us after we handed in our letters about coming to the meeting,” Bray said. “I did receive a group text message with the meeting notices on it about the meeting, but no one ever contacted me about coming.”

Turnbough likewise said he was not informed about the meeting nor asked to attend.

The resignation Bray submitted to the board said, “To whom it may concern, I am officially resigning my position as Ward 2 alderwoman effective immediately on Nov. 1, 2022.”

The board immediately voted to go into closed session for personnel where it accepted Turnbough’s resignation with a 4-0 vote.

According to Turnbough’s letter, “I am officially resigning my position as police chief effective immediately on Nov. 1, 2022.”

Mayor Daryl White, Jr., said they would post the open seat, which will now see its third office holder since former alderman Sundi Jo Graham, elected in April 2022, stepped down in July when she moved away.

“(Anyone who is interested) we will post a sign-up at City Hall,” White said. “We will post it to Facebook.”

White said the board will visit the list of interested parties at the Nov. 8 city meeting, which has been moved from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. due to the elections.

The board went into a closed session at 3:13 p.m. and exited the Lonnie Feeler Memorial Building at 3:48 p.m., but declined to share any motions or votes taken. He also declined to comment on what personnel matter was discussed.

“We have 72 hours before we have to release that information,” White said. “We are going to wait 72 hours.”

According to the special meeting announcement, the board was going into closed session for personnel — a subsection of Missouri Sunshine Law that only allows for discussion to hire, fire, discipline or promote an employee. Resignations must be accepted in open session.

According to Missouri Sunshine Law Section 610.021.3, “the board may go into closed session to discuss hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of particular employees by a public governmental body when personal information about the employee is discussed or recorded.”

“However, any vote on a final decision when taken by a public governmental body, to hire, fire, promote or discipline an employee of a public governmental body shall be made available with a record of how each member voted to the public within 72 hours of the close of the meeting where such action occurs, provided any employee so affected shall be entitled to prompt notice of such decision during the 72-hour period before such decisions are made available to the public.”

No city employee was present during the closed session. City Clerk and Recorder of Records Frankie Hicks was also absent from the proceedings. 

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