The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 23, 2014

Neosho council approves ballot issue for city charter change

Measure would add ethics code, create board to determine violations

Neosho voters on April 8 will decide on a ballot issue calling for including the city’s ethics code in the city charter.

The City Council on Tuesday gave final approval to place the issue on the ballot. The vote was unanimous, said Mayor Richard Davidson.

The measure’s prohibitions for council members include improper use of public property, conflicts of interest, influencing the city’s business relationships with a business of which a council member has an interest or is employed, appearing in a proceeding adverse to the city unless under subpoena, and disclosing or using confidential information obtained by being on the council.

The measure would create an ethics board to determine violations of the code and advise the council of appropriate penalties. The board would operate only during the review of a specific complaint, and it wouldn’t review any anonymous complaints.

The measure includes a penalty provision that could result in admonishment, reprimand or forfeiture of office.

A simple majority vote is required for approval in the election.

The council also gave final approval to a measure to reinstate the cooperation agreement that had existed between the city and the Neosho Transportation Development District before the council rescinded it on March 30, 2012, during legal battles between the two. The new measure essentially revokes the previous action. The legal issues have since been settled in the TDD’s favor.

Steve Roark, chairman of the TDD board, requested the action, saying the Missouri Department of Transportation requires the agreement to be in place before it proceeds with work on transportation projects along U.S. Highway 60. Nearly $7 million worth of projects are planned for the area.

The measure states that the previous action was being revoked “in the spirit of cooperation and furtherance of economic development.”

That council vote also was unanimous.

Taxi certification

THE NEOSHO COUNCIL on Tuesday approved a certificate required to operate a taxi service for Workman Enterprises. It is taking over the operation of the previous taxi service owner.

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