The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 18, 2012

Neosho council to back candidate in TDD election

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Neosho City Council took steps Tuesday night to participate in an upcoming Transportation Development District election and completed an agreement with Little League Baseball Inc.

The council made plans to for the city to participate in the election for a seat on the Neosho TDD Board of Directors. The city did not participate in the initial vote to establish the district’s board last year, but Mayor Richard Davidson said Tuesday night that the city has the right to participate in all TDD elections. He said a misinterpretation of statute led to the city sitting out of the initial vote to establish the board last year, but that it has participated in subsequent votes, including the election to establish a half-cent sales tax that will  fund the district’s operations.  

The city of Neosho owns 250 acres of land inside the TDD, making it the largest single landowner in the district. Voting in the district is determined by land ownership. Each property owner receives one vote for each acre of land owned. The city will be able to cast 249 out of a total of 527 votes in the upcoming election. The Neosho School District has 30 votes based on its property ownership within the district.

Rather than naming its own candidate, Davidson said the city will throw its support behind Matt Ruth, who owns property and a business within the TDD. Ruth is the son of Councilman David Ruth, who abstained from the council’s vote.

 “Tonight we elected to support a current landowner within the TDD who has expressed interest in running for a seat on the board,” Davidson said. “The fact that he is related to a councilman is just a coincidence and is not by design.”

LITTLE LEAGUE DEAL

The council also approved an agreement with Little League Inc., which outlines the terms for park use and maintenance as well as liability. It was the final step to be taken before team selections, practices, and games can begin.

Councilman Steve Hart, who initiated the council’s Little League discussion, said the move was “something that the city has needed to do for many years. I served on the rec board for many years and knew that we needed a better system for our kids. It’s something that, if I had been on the council or not, I would have been pushing for it because it is a good thing for our kids.”

Hart says he is encouraged by the response the program has received in its first year.  

“I think the numbers speak for themselves,” he said. He said the program had 400 participants last year, but already has 650. “That shows the commitment that not only the city has, but the people of Neosho have for our ball program,” he said.

Reorganization

Before any business could be conducted Tuesday night, Richard Davidson, David Ruth, and Steve Hart were sworn-in after winning re-election in the April 3 general election. Davidson was unanimously re-elected as mayor and Hart was unanimously selected as mayor pro tem taking over the position previously held by Tom Workman.

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