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Independence councilman asked to resign during city hall meeting

Councilman's travel expenses frustrates residents
Posted at 9:56 PM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2019-12-30 17:57:22-05

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — An Independence city council member was asked to resign during Monday night's city council meeting.

In Independence, residents are not allowed to make personal attacks against any member of the city council.

Beverly Harvey broke that rule when she requested the resignation of Tom Van Camp, who serves in District 4, where she lives.

"Somebody had to say it. It had to be said. It needs to be done," Beverly Harvey said following the meeting. "Tom Van Camp needs to step down."

Harvey's frustrations come just days after a 41 Action News investigation revealed the councilman has spent thousands of dollars on trips that don't all appear to be related to city business.

Since the story aired Thursday, several others have expressed their frustrations on social media over Van Camp's lack of transparency about his taxpayer-funded travels.

While Van Camp has refused to talk to the 41 Action News investigators, he did speak with The Examiner.

One of Van Camp's travel requests included a visit to a power plant in McIntosh Alabama. 

However, records show Van Camp stayed more than 200 miles away in Panama City Beach.

The 41 Action News investigators raised questions as to how Van Camp got to the power plant since his rental car only had 125 miles on it. 

According to The Examiner, Van Camp claims the rental car company wrote down the wrong mileage.

41 Action News attempted to speak with Van Camp after Monday night's meeting but he never came out the main doors. 

Harvey said her frustrations with the councilman are not just about his travel expenses.

In March, Harvey contacted the 41 Action News investigators with concerns about what was happening to her backyard.

Harvey's home sits along the former Rockwood Golf Course.

The city recently purchased the property and used it to expand its solar community.

Harvey and her neighbors said the city never discussed the plans with them. 

Van Camp led the way on expanding the city's solar community to the Rockwood location.

Last month, Independence Power and Light released a study that revealed the city of Independence is projected to lose $15 million dollars on the solar project over the course of 25 years. 

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