Slater council discusses how to implement new FTC regulations

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Slater City Council met Tuesday evening, Oct. 21, to discuss upcoming events, their roads and a new requirement on the city as a creditor.

The council discussed a recent ruling by the Federal Trade Commission requiring any organization that extends credit to any person to create procedures to prevent identity theft, including "red flags" to identify those who might be using another's identity. For Slater, this means their utility customers.

"If we follow these rules, some of our customers are not going to be happy," said City Attorney Pat Cronan.

The FTC has given little guidance regarding the creation of these policies, leaving it up to each individual crediting body.

The council discussed the ease of completing this before the deadline of Nov. 1.

"Is there a big penalty if you don't comply with this?" asked Council Member Rex W. Cantlin.

Cronan responded that such non-compliant bodies would likely be required to appear in Washington, D.C. to explain themselves.

"It might be kind of fun to go," said Mayor Stephen K. Allegri with a smile.

Assistant City Administrator Gene Griffith said it was unlikely that any such action would be taken against the City of Slater if they are a few days late in creating these procedures.

With income from three years of uncollected phone franchise fees totaling $35,000, Griffith said, "It kind of skews" the current budget. "Without these fees, we'd be about where we were this time last year."

The council has spent over $66,000 on slurry for the roads, which Griffith said is what put the town over budget.

"This is the most important part," said Allegri. "We don't want to go back to where we were before. This is what keeps us having the best streets in Missouri."

The one percent tax that pays for road upkeep will be voted on again by citizens. This will be the fourth time the tax has been voted on.

Griffith recently attended a Missouri Municipal League meeting in Sedalia.

"Though they never did say it (explicitly)," said Griffith, "the meat of the meeting" was about the current controversy surrounding Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations near historic Missouri Sites.

Sedalia, Griffith said, has put a two-mile border around the city, into which no CAFO may move.

Griffith asked, "If (a CAFO) came in a mile out here, could we (remove them)?"

Cronan replied, "Right now, yes."

Brownell Bryant brought to the council's attention the number of stray cats in Slater.

In the past, the plan to deal with the strays was to catch the cats, wait some specified amount of time for an owner to claim the cat, and then euthanize unclaimed cats.

This plan was opposed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), leading to a newer plan to catch the cats and sterilize them before returning them to their place of capture, a plan which has not been enacted.

Other options discussed include giving cats to local farmers as mousers. The response to this was that most farmers already have more cats than they need. The situation will be discussed in future meetings.

Slater's annual Ham and Turkey Drawing and street lighting ceremony will be held Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m.

Council members were asked to donate a turkey, meaning $20, to the event.

Given the greater enthusiasm shown toward turkeys than ham by those served, discontinuation of the ham is being considered.

The Winter Fest, which was "curtailed" by ice last year, according to Council Member Terry Jordan, will be held Saturday, Dec. 6, in downtown Slater.

The annual Halloween Parade will be held Oct. 31 at 6 p.m.

Council members were asked to attend the Veterans Day program, held in the Slater High School gymnasium at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Contact Geoff Rands at

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