By: Tara Blue
School Board meeting Aug. 14: Dr. Tim Roth recognized the primary and elementary school for 15 years of successful implementation of Positive Behavior Support (PBS). Roth also reported that he met with union representative Matt Enloe to hear the prevailing wages concerns about the Mid-America Sports Construction Project at the high school, then discussed with Construction Manager Jim Russell. Mr. Russell says that Mid-America Sports Construction has since went back and paid their workers appropriately. Dr. Roth expressed appreciation for Matt Enloe’s concerns and Jim Russell’s follow up to make sure the school district does the right thing for all parties in the project.

Board of Aldermen meeting Aug. 15: Mayor Dorise Slinker gives thanks to the Parks Board for their hard work on organizing the Food Truck Festivals over the summer.

Resident Kristen Colbert expressed concerns that the July 16th Pride Festival violates our city code chapter 23 and asked the board to enforce our codes. City Attorney Todd Smith gave a public comment at the Aug. 1st meeting stating that adult entertainment is almost entirely defined as nudity and that drag shows are protected by the first amendment. Colbert says that our city code has a wider definition of adult entertainment which includes the activities at the Pride Festival.

Colbert asked why are we allowing Muse Pole Fitness of Columbia to perform at the park in front of elementary-age children, when a person must be 16 years with the consent of an adult to attend a pole class at their studio.

At the start of her public comment, Colbert directly asked Alderwoman Stephanie Bell “is there something more important on your phone?”, as Bell picked up her phone when Colbert began speaking and continued to use it for the entirety of her speech. Colbert said she didn’t mean to be disrespectful to Bell but expects elected officials to show respect to residents when they take time to prepare speeches for the boards, no matter if the board member doesn’t consider it to be a major concern.

At the Aug. 1st Board of Aldermen meeting, Alderwoman Bell said that the board has received a number of emails regarding the Pride Festival, but the city has experienced a recent public safety issue that has taken precedence over the Pride Festival concerns and it is not high on her list of priorities at this time. Bell also stated that she agrees with Smith that the city would not be legally successful if it were to attempt to prohibit drag shows, and suggested that anyone who doesn’t like the Pride Festival should host a competing event and allow people to choose which to attend.

Read more in this week’s Journal…