A local pastor says the marketing campaign “ Hannibal: Write Your Own Story” does not include graffiti. Rev. John Paul Tomko addressed the Hannibal City Council Tuesday evening, regarding what he terms an alarming increase in the defacement of property.  Rev. Tomko says graffiti sends the wrong message to citizens, tourists, and potential business developers. He says the city should partner with individuals and businesses who may lack the resources to remove graffiti.

Tomko gave the council copies of an anti-graffiti ordinance in Palm Springs, California, where Tomko formerly lived. He is asking the city to draft a similar bill. The council was receptive to the pastor's request.  They voted to have City Attorney James Lemon draft a graffiti ordinance that comports with local and Missouri laws.  The issue will then come back to the council for approval.

In other business:

  • The council took action on a $7 million bond issue for a major street repair initiative that begins next spring:  A motion received approval authorizing a cash disbursement of up to $180,000 for bond closing costs.  A resolution was passed that approves 1st Bankers Bank Securities as the bond underwriter.  A bill authorizing the actual issuance of $7,110,000 in leasehold revenue bonds received a First Reading.
  • A redrafted anti-smoking ordinance received a Second and Final Reading. The re-draft permits smoking inside some nursing homes in very limited circumstances.  The change comes after representatives from Levering Home requested an exception.  Levering officials made the case that some residents have behavioral issues that could pose a danger if forced to smoke outside.  The facility on Market Street is located across from Eugene Field Elementary School.  Officials assured the council the facility has proper equipment to keep the smoke confined to designated smoking areas.
  • New federal standards for employees exempt from overtime results in pay grade changes for 3 employees.  The new rules require overtime be paid to any employee earning less than $47,476.  Pay will be increased above that figure for Assistant Directors in both Parks and Tourism, and the Management Assistant position at the Police Department.  The remaining 4 city employees affected by the rule change will be converted to non-exempt status and eligible for overtime.
  • A resolution is approved authorizing the Board of Public Works to self-reimburse for capital expenditures of equipment.  BPW General Manager Bob Stevenson says this is standard procedure used when it is desirable to spend funds in advance of loan proceeds.
  • City Collector Phyllis Nelson spoke on the subject of delinquent business licenses.  She says the number is now down to 18.  She received approval to send out notices informing the business owner of a 30-day appeal window.  If not resolved in 30 days, the list will be forwarded to the police department, who will check to make sure the business is not operating.