The Brentwood aldermen in a meeting Monday night voted to decline an award to the city announced last week.
The 2018 Innovation Award from the Missouri Municipal League, was in recognition of Brentwood’ use of GPS tracking to improve the delivery of public safety services.
Brentwood alderman, Brandon Wegge introduced the measure on Monday, saying the city’s application for the award had caused a lot of questions. According to the application, submitted by City Administrator Bola Akande, the city worked with the company, Geocompile, to develop software to make it possible to track the location of each of the city’s vehicles. Geocompile is owned by Brentwood Mayor Chris Thornton.
According to several alderman, the company had been formed to use data from the city to develop software to track city vehicles. Prior to that the city had the data but couldn’t use it. Akande said there was no “formal” relationship between the city and Geocompile.
Since then the city’s ways and means committee investigated any connection between Geocompile and the city. City staff said there was no connection, no contract, and that no money had passed hands between the city and either the company or the mayor.
Comparisons were made with last year when the city also won the award — for a technology it used to level sidewalks. Alderman David Dimmitt said the difference this year is that if the city hadn’t supplied the data the project wouldn’t have happened.
Alderman Steve Lochmoeller said it looked like liberties were taken with the application. Kathy O’Neill said it doesn’t seem transparent, and Sunny Sims said she doesn’t want an asterisk by the city’s name in the future.
Alderman Andy Leahy was the only vote to accept the award, saying it was similar to last year’s award, and citing that no money had changed hands.
Mayor Chris Thornton had recused himself from the discussion, and had left the room.