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Kritzer blasts CAMPO as unfair to Callaway County

Kritzer blasts CAMPO as unfair to Callaway County

January 19th, 2011 in News

Callaway County Western District Commissioner Doc Kritzer sharply criticized the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) Tuesday before he was re-appointed by the commission as the county's CAMPO representative.

The appointment came after Kritzer said he was fed up with CAMPO, because it is dominated by the city government of Jefferson City.

Newly elected Callaway County Presiding Commissioner Gary Jungermann said he had not been in office long enough to be familiar with all of the issues surrounding CAMPO, which is a planning district around Jefferson City that also includes a small part of Callaway County extending around Holts Summit.

Eastern District Commissioner Gabe Craighead said he wanted nothing to do with the CAMPO area because it is not located in his district of the county.

In the end Kritzer agreed to continue serving as the county's representative this year, but said he has other commitments and will not make it to today's CAMPO meeting in Jefferson City. Jungermann was appointed as the county's first alternate and Callaway County Highway Administrator Paul Winkelmann was named as the second alternate.

Kritzer said CAMPO was formed in 2003 and he has served as the county's representative since 2005.

Callaway County commissioners last summer advised CAMPO it was discontinuing annual payments after 2010, because the commission felt Callaway County is receiving little or no benefit from the organization.

Kritzer said there are three main issues that must be addressed before Callaway County will become active again in the CAMPO board.

The first issue is participation fees. The federal government pays 80 percent of the planning board's operating costs and local governments pay the remaining 20 percent. He said Callaway County is forced to pay an excessive amount for its share of matching local funds. Callaway pays 15 percent of the local CAMPO budget. But the small area of the county included in CAMPO has less than 8 percent of the district's population. Jefferson City pays only 60 percent but has 75 percent of the population of CAMPO.

The second issue is total domination of planning funds by Jefferson City. Kritzer said serving on the board has been frustrating, because Jefferson City controls all of the board's decisions. Jefferson City also has six voting members and the rest of the membership includes only five others and is always outvoted. The city also controls all of the STP funds, which is about $225,000 a year. That federal money is supposed to be going through CAMPO, but the Jefferson City has plans for that money through 2012.

"That's illegal," Kritzer said.

Kritzer said the unfairness of CAMPO was demonstrated last year when CAMPO voted to use enhancement funds to build sidewalks along Missouri Boulevard in Jefferson City instead of around a school in Holts Summit. The Central District of the Missouri Department of Transportation reviewed the decision outside of CAMPO and switched the funding of $317,000 for a school sidewalk program to Holts Summit instead of the CAMPO plan for sidewalks along Missouri Boulevard in Jefferson City.

The third issue is a lack of representation by Holts Summit, which now has only a technical member at CAMPO.

"We tried to change the bylaws last year to give Holts Summit its own voting seat at the board by representing the small cities in the urbanized area. The CAMPO board voted no to that. Then the CAMPO board on its own has voted to have the city of St. Martins elected as the small cities representative. Several of us know that St. Martins was encouraged to do this as a way to get Holts Summit out of the board. Holts Summit doesn't even have a seat at the board anymore and it stands to benefit the most from this organization in Callaway County. That's an issue that needs to be addressed and the board doesn't want to address it," Kritzer said.

Kritzer said St. Martins never attended any CAMPO meetings before becoming the small cities representative, didn't vote on a bylaws change, and it also refuses to send its representative to attend Holts Summit Board of Aldermen meetings in order to be able to represent Holts Summit interests in CAMPO.

He said Callaway County's CAMPO's funding share was $5,500 and Holts Summit paid half of that. After Holts Summit voted last year to discontinue paying fees, the Callaway County Commission decided it also would stop paying CAMPO fees.

"Until Jefferson City is willing to address our three main issues, I don't believe Callaway County should have anything to do with CAMPO," Kritzer said.

"They can't kick us off the board unless they want to address the issue of the memorandum of understanding, which they don't want to do. They can't make us pay because there is a clause in the memorandum of understanding that allows us to withdraw financially if we give them advance notice, which we did. I am not for giving them anything until they start talking sensibly. I am fed up with them," he said.

"St. Martins is supposed to represent Callaway County interests. Callaway County is being treated unfairly with federal funds that are filtered down through MoDOT."

Kritzer also said he hopes the CAMPO district is redrawn after census figures are known to include Taos and Wardsville in Cole County and that the limit of the CAMPO district in Callaway County would include only the city limits of Jefferson City located in Callaway County. The CAMPO area needs a population of at least 50,000 to qualify as a metropolitan planning organization.

Kritzer added that Callaway County would be better off dealing with regional planning agencies to funnel federal money to the county rather than through CAMPO. He feels the county would do much better attracting federal money this way than through CAMPO, because it is rigged to benefit only Jefferson City. He says Jefferson City has city planning staff members paid through federal CAMPO funds. The small cities in the district receive no benefit from their work, because Jefferson City gets all of the federal money, he said.