Raytown aldermen vote to give themselves approval over city’s police department and chief

RAYTOWN, Mo. -- Raytown's Board of Aldermen gave themselves more say over the police department and the police chief's job on Tuesday.

It's the same city where the board slashed the police department budget and more than a dozen police officers were left without a job last month.

It's the second time in two weeks that the board voted in favor of the controversial ordinance.

Raytown Mayor Mike McDonough vetoed the ordinance after it was passed during the last meeting. He pointed out that both the city administrator and the city attorney said it wasn't needed and was a bad idea.

On Tuesday, he held up two folders full of emails he'd received since the vote. The folder for people who didn't want the veto was empty. The other contained 30 emails supporting the veto.

The idea of more oversight of the police department first came up during packed budget meetings where the Board of Aldermen ultimately cut $3 million out of the police department's budget.

It was tabled then after about 20 people spoke out against the idea.

“I can understand why people aren’t wanting to come anymore when you feel like it doesn’t matter what you do, and it doesn’t matter what you say to your Alderman," Brandi Wilmurth said Tuesday.

"Why would you take the time out of your busy schedule and come up here and speak when people aren’t listening to you anyway?”

McDonough said he vetoed what some have labeled a "board power move" because he was worried about the perception the board doesn't listen to residents.

“We do have a path that you can go down to create some healing in this very fractured relationship," Matthew Cushman told alderman before the 7-2 vote.

Aldermen Karen Black and Mark Moore explained their votes, saying they didn't think it was a big deal because they were only adding one word to the ordinance, giving themselves "approval."

Police Chief Jim Lynch didn't attend the meeting.