Gail Griswold, owner of Shawnee Bluff Winery and Inn located in Lake Ozark, has filed a Petition for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief in the 26th Circuit Court. The lawsuit, filed on April 13, references the Board Member Elections conducted by the Miller County Business District that collects a 5 percent Lodging Tax.
Currently, all Board Elections for the Miller County Business District are held at a private office of a non-governmental body, Tri-County Lodging Association (TCLA), located in Osage Beach, Mo., outside of the Miller County Lodging Taxing District. According to a statement signed by Miller County Clerk Clinton Jenkins, “As of… February 21, 2020, the Miller County Clerk does not have any documentation or filing requests from any organization to file candidates for the Lake Ozark Business District in Miller County.” The Miller County Business District is considered a Political Subdivision under Missouri law, whose election authority would be the County Clerk, according to RSMo 115.
Claiming the election is unlawful, Griswold is petitioning the Court require a lawful election at the Election Authority to form the District Member Board, and is also requesting from the court that until the Election Authority conducts a lawful election for the Miller County Business District Board, that all tax collections refrain from being distributed from the County Collector’s office.