Arnold Passes Ordinance Restricting Pseudoephedrine Sales
Ward 1 Councilwoman Borgelt questions need for ordinance and how it was passed
The City of Arnold has joined the phalanx of local municipalities battling methamphetamine production by requiring a prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine in the city, but the manner in which the ordinance was passed is raising some questions on the council.
Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient in some cold medicines and is a key ingredient in the manufacture of methaphetamine.
Council members voted 4-to-4 on the ordinance at the Nov. 3 council meeting.
Since Mayor Ron Counts was absent from the meeting, Ward 2 Councilman Bill Moritz, as mayor pro tem, cast the tie-breaking vote to pass the measure. Moritz had already cast a vote as councilman, meaning he voted twice for the measure to pass.
Ward 1 Councilwoman Doris Borgelt is challenging the legality of that vote.
“If you read the state statute it very clearly says that in order for the ordinance to be passed there have to be five people who were elected to council vote in favor of it and there were not five people that voted in favor of it,” Borgelt said. “There were four who voted in favor of it and one who voted twice.”
Borgelt said Moritz, Ward 1 Councilwoman Christine Lang, Ward 2 Councilman Jeff Fitter and Ward 4 Councilman Kenneth Moss voted in favor of the ordinance. Borgelt, Ward 3 Councilman Phil Amato, Ward 3 Councilman Paul Freese and Ward 4 Councilwoman Sandra Kownacki voted against it, she said.
Moritz said state law permits the mayor pro tem to cast a second tie-breaking vote when the mayor is not present at a council meeting. He said Borgelt is objecting to the vote because she opposed the ordinance.
“I had a vote as mayor pro tem to break a tie and I did so,” Moritz said.
Borgelt said she objects to the ordinance’s blanket restriction on pseudoephedrine purchases, particularly in light of the fact that restrictions were already in place requiring an ID to purchase pseudoephedrine and limiting the amount that could we purchased.
“You’re punishing all the law abiding citizens for the crimes of a few,” Borgelt said. “They already ask for your ID and you’re limited in how many purchases you can make. If certain people are buying their limit every month you might get a clue that they were doing something untoward with their purchases. It’s not rocket science.”
Borgelt said she planned to restate her objection to the way the ordinance was approved at the next regular council meeting.
“What they did I feel was wrong,” Borgelt said. “I’ve seen plenty of people since that time and they think it was wrong also.”
Borgelt said Arnold had approved other ordinances under similar circumstances and she now questions whether those were legally approved as well.
“We have to make sure that we’ve been doing it right,” she said. “There are possibly a lot of laws that we have passed that we shouldn’t have passed.”