While much of the nation and state is engaged in partisan politics, seven Democrats and seven Republicans voted unanimously to reform Clay County government.
Clay County mayors voted unanimously to support the new Clay County Constitution.
The Board of Directors of the Clay County Economic Development Corporation gave their undivided support to the new constitution as well.
“We put partisan politics aside and put the best interests of Clay County citizens first in our effort to end the dysfunction of Clay County government. We worked together and did what was right. We proved Republicans and Democrats can work together when we agree on a common purpose,” said Greg Canuteson, co-chair and former mayor of Liberty.
Following voter approval in June, the Clay County Constitution Commission was appointed by the Clay County Circuit Court to propose reforms for county government.
“We wanted to make sure that accountability was first and foremost in this County Constitution. We did that,” added Co-Chair and former Eastern Commissioner Craig Porter.
Voters will now get to vote on proposed reforms that include a prohibition of officers raising their own pay, nonpartisan elections, campaign contribution limits, recall of officeholders, initiative petition rights, restrictions on public debt, prohibition on officeholders hiring family members and not allowing county commissioners to be hired by the county for two years after they leave office.
It also requires county commissioners to provide live video coverage of all votes and creates a citizen review commission to propose amendments in the future for voter approval.
“We spent a lot of time making sure accountability and professional management was written into the constitution,” said former Gladstone City Manager Kirk Davis.
Clay County Economic Development Corporation executive director