Branson Aldermen Walk Out of Meeting After Mayor Changes One Vote

Three Branson aldermen walked out of Tuesday’s meeting after Mayor Edd Akers changed a vote and then cast a deciding vote in favor of a measure to bury utility lines along 76 County Boulevard.

The controversial issue has been dividing the community for months. A vote back in November around the measure resulted in its not passing because it did not obtain the required four votes.

After Mayor Akers changed a abstention vote from Councilman Rick Castillon to a “no”, putting the vote at 3-3, the Mayor broke the tie with a “yes” vote.

The aldermen who walked out felt the Mayor did not have the right to change the vote, however section 2-64 of the Branson City Code allows the mayor the right to “maintain order and decorum”, meaning he can change an abstention to a “no” vote if he feels it’s necessary for the city good.

This was not the final vote on the measure and it will be discussed and voted upon again at the next Board of Aldermen meeting.

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