St. Clair Welcoming Sign

Last Monday, the St. Clair Board of Aldermen returned to an issue that has plagued them as of late: replacing Mike Bursey.

Bursey served as the city inspector until he was forced to resign in August due to health problems, The Missourian reported. Since then, Kimberley Miller has served as interim city inspector, and now the board is trying to decide whether to appoint her to the post or go with another candidate.

Mayor Cozy Bailey told the board at the meeting that she put together an advisory committee to interview candidates for the position, and after that process, she determined that Miller should be appointed to city inspector and gave her full recommendation. She said Miller knows the city’s codes, ordinances, landlords and citizens well and has fulfilled the inspector duties on and off since November while Bursey was dealing with his health issues. She also pointed out that Bursey gave her his full recommendation. 

Miller must also receive approval from the board of aldermen via a vote.

Ward 2 Alderman Amanda Sikes said she wanted the board to table the vote to see if the city can get more applications.

Ward 1 Alderman Cherie Counts said she’d rather see Miller as a “cheerleader for the city of St. Clair.”

Miller pushed back on the comment. “Just because I’m a cheerleader for St. Clair doesn’t mean I can’t work the post,” she said. “If anything, I have enforced the code more than anyone in the past.”

Miller said Bursey had given her a lot of training while he was still with the city. She said the two often videoed inspections so they could analyze them when they returned to the office.

Counts also questioned if Miller could be “forceful” enough to enforce code well.

“We don’t necessarily need a bulldog knocking at the door. Sometimes a poodle will get more pats on the head,” said Ward 1 Alderman Arthur Viehland.

In a phone interview after the meeting, Viehland also said he still thinks Miller can be tough.

Viehland was in favor of hiring Miller because she seems willing to learn and work hard, and he told the other aldermen that if she doesn’t work out, they can “just fire her.”

Ward 2 Alderman Jamie Frossard said she’d received a call from a resident giving Miller a good review.

City Administrator Travis Dierker said he didn’t feel she was ready for the position.

In the end, the aldermen voted 3-1 to table the matter for another meeting and spend more time looking for more candidates, with Viehland being the only one to vote against tabling the issue. 

The board’s next meeting is Oct. 18 at city hall. 

This board of aldermen meeting was the first that the city videoed so constituents could watch online. Videos of meetings will be available on the city’s website and Facebook page the day following the meeting.