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Notice Regarding Recent Resignations: At the end of an executive session held at the October 25, 2022 City of Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen meeting, it was announced that letters of resignation had been accepted from both Municipal Judge Richelle Christensen and City Administrator David Mitchem.   Christensen’s resignation, effective December 31, was given in anticipation of her uncontested election to serve as the Camden County Prosecutor.  The letter was given in advance of this date so that a suitable replacement as municipal judge could be nominated and have ample time to prepare for the job.  It is anticipated that a nominee will be provided at the November 8 Board of Aldermen meeting, with work to begin for the new judge on January 1, 2023.   Administrator Mitchem had presented the Board of Aldermen with his letter of resignation, effective November 14, on October 12, with the Board formalizing the action at this meeting.  His notice references several successful projects from his year in the office, including identification of new revenue streams for the city, making amendments to building height restrictions to allow for development at an increased scale, and performing an assessment of employee recruitment and retention strategies.  He also cited his appreciation for the Board’s commitment to making the city more attractive for outside investment, while praising the professional staff’s skills and desire to be good public servants.  A successor to the position is expected to be named prior to Mitchem’s final day.   Of both Christensen and Mitchem’s announcements, Mayor Dennis Newberry stated “their time with the city, while different in length and workload, have transformed the way we deliver justice and do our key functions as a government.  Our board has appreciated working with both of them, and wishes them both the best in their next chapters while we welcome new team members to those roles.”


Board gets update on Comprehensive Plan progress

The development of a new Comprehensive Plan for the City of Lake Ozark is back on track after taking a back seat to COVID-19 the last several months.

Matt Kostelnik, economic development specialist with the Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments, recently presented an update to the board of aldermen. The city’s economic base and infrastructure have evolved in the last decade, while the city’s development plan has remained unchanged since 2006. Aldermen voted last summer to proceed with an update through the LOCLG. 

LOCLG Executive Director Linda Connor told the board last summer that city officials have wanted a Comp Plan update for several years, but the cost was prohibitive. With funding through the Economic Development Administration, the LOCLG is able to offer the plan update at no cost to the city.

“The plan gives the city a vision as to how it wants development in the future,” Connor explained. “We want to make sure we put in the plan what the city wants to look like in the next 10-15 years.”

She said the Comprehensive Plan identifies what the city’s needs are regarding economic growth and development.

“It’s extremely important if you want to go after state and federal funds,” she said.

Kostelnik said as part of the process a post card survey was sent to the city’s utility customers. Of those 1,000 surveyed, about 250 were returned – a response rate that pleased Kostelnik and city officials. The survey, designed to identify the “wants” and “needs” of the community, will be analyzed and a draft report provided to the city’s Planning and Zoning Committee for review.


Survey results

Responses to a series of questions include the following. For a complete look at the survey which includes responses by age groups, click on this link:

•Do you live full-time or part-time in Lake Ozark?

–69 percent of respondents live in Lake Ozark; 21 percent are part-timers. The remaining 10 percent pay utilities here but did not live here.

•Do you work in Lake Ozark?

–53 percent said no, and 47 percent said yes.

•What industry sectors would you like to see come to Lake Ozark?

–Majority, retail. Followed by service industry, health care and social services and information technology.

•How would you rank the City of Lake Ozark’s involvement in the community?

–On a scale of 5, the city received a 3.3 rating.

•How long have you lived in Lake Ozark?

            –Less than 5 years, 24 percent

            –5-10 years, 21 percent

            –10-20 years, 36 percent

            –20+ years, 20 percent


What’s left to do

•Land Use Planning & Goals Meeting. Staff will facilitate this meeting to discuss possible future land use scenarios and build consensus among the committee to develop a future land use map. This meeting will also begin the process of setting simple and concise goals for the community based on the survey results and gathered information. 

•Objectives and Strategies Meeting No. 1. The LOCLG staff will provide suggestions to the committee for establishing objectives and strategies for each goal building off the previous meeting. 

•Objectives and Strategies Meeting No. 2. This will provide an opportunity to continue discussion of any remaining topics not covered in the previous meeting and fine tune all of the objectives and strategies.

•Writing the Plan. The LOCLG staff will write the full and complete document. City staff will review and make comments and suggest edits as needed.

•Public Open House/Draft Plan Review. Public comments will be received at the meeting and revisions made to the document based on public input.

•Final Plan Presentation. The plan will be presented to the Planning & Zoning Commission for their comments and endorsements.

The board of aldermen will eventually vote on adopting the plan.