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      Convicts can now receive a city business license

      The Kirksville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to remove the so-called "character clause" from the city ordinance governing business licenses.

      Previously, those who had had certain misdemeanor or felony convictions within the past five years were not granted a business license by the City of Kirksville.

      After the city attorney reviewed the language, he advised the best thing to do was eliminate the character section altogether.

      Members of the council agreed with that recommendation, saying the previous ordinance was unfair.

      "Part of that was just a feeling that, if they are in business, they have already served their time, you know, especially a felony conviction,â?? said Kirksville City Manager Mari Macomber. â??Maybe they've already gotten out of prison, what have you, served their time, then, you know, it was sort of that judgment, 'Who are we to sort of judge' kind of thing.â??

      The vote during Tuesday's special city council meeting was 3-0 in favor of the change.

      Macomber told KTVO no other Missouri cities of similar size have a moral character clause in their business license ordinance.