The mayor of Leavenworth said correspondence from city commissioners on a social media messaging service could be in conflict with a state open meetings law.

The mayor of Leavenworth said correspondence from city commissioners on a social media messaging service could be in conflict with a state open meetings law.

Mayor Mark Preisinger read a statement Tuesday as commissioners began discussing a request for a street closure and an "alcohol friendly" designation for the Hog Wild BBQ contest that will take place in September in downtown Leavenworth.

Reading a statement, Preisinger said a private citizen had sent a message to commissioners regarding this issue using a social media messaging application. And some members of the commission responded.

Preisinger was not among the commissioners who responded to the initial message.

Because the responses could be seen by all of the commissioners, this could be in conflict with provisions of the Kansas Open Meetings Act, the mayor said.

Preisinger said the correspondence was reported to City Manager Paul Kramer and City Attorney David E. Waters.

"On advice of counsel, a copy of that correspondence will be provided to the city clerk for inclusion in the formal public record related to discussion on this item," Preisinger said.

A copy of the correspondence shows that Commissioner Mike Griswold and Mayor Pro-Tem Jermaine Wilson responded to the message from Christine Pugh, a local business owner.

In her initial message, Pugh expressed concern about the location of the barbecue contest. The message appears to have been written Monday.

Wilson replied to the message Monday, stating that he would bring up a suggestion from Pugh about locating the event at Haymarket Square.

Griswold replied later on Monday, indicating he would do his best to get the commission to address Pugh's concerns.

During Tuesday's meeting, commissioners approved a request to close Cherokee Street between Second and Third streets for the annual barbecue contest, which is sponsored by the Leavenworth Main Street Program. Municipal parking lots in the area also will be closed for the event.

The Hog Wild BBQ contest will take place Sept. 7-8.

Commissioners also approved a resolution that will allow the outdoor consumption of alcohol within the event area, provided that organizers obtain a temporary permit from the Kansas Division of Alcohol Beverage Control.

Wendy Scheidt, executive director of Leavenworth Main Street, said beer sales serve as a fundraiser for the organization.

"I think we act very responsibly," she said.

Pugh attended Tuesday's meeting and expressed concern about designating the event area "alcohol friendly."

Pugh operates Scrivner's Creative Center, which is located near where the event will take place.

Pugh expressed concern that a KVC Kansas office, which provides services related to foster care and adoption, will be within the "alcohol friendly" area.

A representative of KVC Kansas signed a letter of support for the barbecue contest. The letter was generated by the Leavenworth Main Street Program. It was signed by a number of representatives of businesses located near where the barbecue contest will take place.

"KVC did sign off on this," Preisinger said.

Preisinger said there are rumors of past problems associated with Hog Wild BBQ contest. The mayor asked Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens if there have been problems associated with the event.

"I'm not aware of anything," Kitchens said.

Pugh said Tuesday that there was an incident during last year's event but it was not reported to police.

Kitchens said, if commissioners are concerned about the presence of alcohol in the area of KVC Kansas, he can have an officer at the barbecue contest during the hours KVC is open.

Commissioners approved the street closure request and the resolution permitting alcohol 4-0. Commissioner Larry Dedeke was absent.

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