Hannibal voters could decide measure to require city manager reports

The city of Hannibal could be a step closer to providing more transparency for taxpayers.
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 10:21 PM CDT
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HANNIBAL (WGEM) - The city of Hannibal could be a step closer to providing more transparency for taxpayers.

Should Hannibal’s department heads be required to provide monthly reports to the city council? That’s the question that could appear before voters this November.

The council approved a first reading of an ordinance Tuesday night to make that happen.

If approved at its second reading later this month, the ordinance would require department heads to provide written monthly reports to the council.

“We’ve spent several weeks going back and forth on this issue,” Hannibal first ward alderman Darrell McCoy said. “We’ve reached out to a lot of our constituents. We do want city managers to provide month reports. As far as reading it out loud, we like it the way it is.”

Third ward alderman Stephan Franke and Fourth ward alderman Charles Phillips disagree.

They said they’ve spent months trying to get this measure approved and prefer city managers to provide both written and oral reports at city council meetings.

“I’m a business guy,” Franke said. “Hannibal has revenues of $25- to $30 million a year. If you were to look at that like a business, I’ve never heard of a business of that size where the so-called board of directors is actively discouraging its chief executive officer to communicate with its customers and overseers.”

The Hannibal City Council will vote on the second reading of the ordinance at its next meeting later this month.

If approved, voters will have the final say in the November election.

Both Franke and Phillips said they plan to gather signatures to get their version of the ordinance on the April ballot next year.

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