SIKESTON -- Sikeston City Council members and citizens agreed during a discussion of baggy sagging pants: they don't like it. Whether the city should pass an ordinance banning sagging is yet to be decided.
The discussion on possible legislative action to address sagging and baggy pants was the first business item on the agenda for the regular Sikeston City Council meeting Monday.
Mike Bohannon, mayor pro tem, said city officials have received comments via email on the pros and cons of banning sagging pants and there are many issues to consider -- such as the idea of "measuring the amount of everybody's boxers that are showing."
Asked for his opinion by the Council, Captain Dan Armour of the Department of Public Safety said there could be enforcement issues to deal with if an ordinance is passed, but the position of the DPS is to enforce the laws as passed by the City Council.
"It's a shame we even have to be having this discussion," Bohannon said. "We've got a lot of good youth in this town. We don't want to give the perception of picking on them."
Missy Marshall, executive director for Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce, said those who wear sagging pants used to wear a long shirt to cover the hemlines but related how those she has seen recently have their shirts up high enough to reveal more.
"I can tell you what their boxers looked like," she said, "and I think that's why people are getting so upset."
Many businesses, Bohannon noted, already have "no shirt, no shoes, no service" policies in place.
Councilman Michael Harris said he would like to see more businesses get involved in setting dress codes for their establishments.
"We address it at school," he said. "When I have to see boxers, I don't like that."
Marshall suggested the city encourage businesses to establish no sagging policies. "Maybe we should try that route first," she said.
One citizen pointed out that there has been controversy regarding breast feeding in the past, but noted that what is really at issue here is simply revealing underwear -- not a breast.
Another citizen said seeing someone's boxer shorts is offensive. "They can't walk in my house, they can't walk in my yard," he said. But some people, he added, would also like to see laws passed prohibiting dresses that are no shorter than 3 inches above the knee, too. "It's the same thing," he said.
Concerns were also voiced that youth might "make a game out of it" and run from police when they were wearing sagging or baggy pants.
"I appreciate everybody's thoughts on it," Bohannon said. "There are a lot of pros and cons on this."
In other business during Monday's meeting:
* A bill which would prohibit parking on the west side of Harris between Cresap and North New Madrid failed with a tie vote.
The city's traffic committee had recommended the Council not prohibit parking there, according to Steve Lee, street superintendent.
Lee said now that they have repainted the yellow curb on the east side of Harris, traffic will not have a problem there as it did when people were parking on both sides of the street.
* Council members approved the addition of a stop sign on Cherokee at South West as recommended by the traffic committee.
* A bill authorizing a contract between the city of Sikeston and Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission for Safe Route to School program was approved.
The $12,000 program for grades K-8 will be entirely funded with a non-infrastructure grant, according to Lee.
Funding will be used to purchase safety helmets; safety strobe lights; smart rider certificates; educational booklets, guides, activity packs, book marks, stickers, pledge cards, posters, videos and presenter guides; and to hold Perfection on Wheels Stunt Team safety and health training assemblies.
* An emergency bill authorizing the city to issue taxable industrial revenue bonds to fund the costs of constructing and equipping the Orgill Inc. facility was approved.
Bohannon noted the bonds "in no way obligate the city of Sikeston for any of the debt."
The transactions will close on Friday. Ed Dust, director of the Sikeston Department of Economic Development, said the company may begin moving dirt at the site as early as today.
Council members also approved a slate of appointments to the city's boards and commissions during their regular meeting Monday.
Included on this slate for reappointments or new appointments are:
* Ellen Brandom and James Miller (alternate), Board of Adjustments;
* Thomas Hedrick, Emory McCauley Jr. and Reade Furguson, Board of Appeals;
* Robert Clay, Board of Municipal Utilities;
* Geoff Comer, Enhanced Enterprise Zone Board;
* David Hay and Larry Tetley, Housing Authority Board;
* Steve Millington, Industrial Development Board;
* Bill Mitchell, LCRA Commission;
* Bob Depro, Larry Braden and Libby Caskey, Library Board of Trustees;
* Phil Black, Murray Sullivan and Bonnie Dyer, Park Board;
* Harry Howard and Jim McClure, Planning and Zoning Commission;
* Michelle Williams, David Terrell and Paul Cohen, Public Safety Advisory Board;
* Anderson Walker Jr., Bart Grant and Chester Yarber, Rental Ordinance Appeals Board;
* Shad Old, Sikeston-Miner Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board;
* Matt Marshall and Rik LaPlant, Tax Increment Financing Commission;
* Thomas Hedrick and Scott Welton (alternate), Traffic Committee; and
* Rick Justice, Elizabeth Lorenz, Carolyn Harris, Felicia Blanton, Brenda Sailors and Murray Sullivan, Sikeston Campus Advisory Board.
Appointees will be notified and asked to take an oath of office at either the next special meeting Sept. 29 or the next regular meeting Oct. 6.