The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 16, 2014

City of Neosho reinstates school officer

NEOSHO, Mo. — The city of Neosho has restored its contract with the Neosho School District to provide a police officer for security in schools.

Police Chief David McCracken on Tuesday told the Neosho City Council that issues between the city and the school district over communication have been resolved. He said the school resource officer has been on duty in schools as a trial period.

“We’ve worked through all of our issues,” McCracken told the council. “I feel like we’re at a point where we can return to the contract. We’ve made great progress and will continue to do so.”

City Manager Troy Royer told the council in February he was ending the contract. Under the contract, the school district and the city each pay half of the officer’s salary. Royer wrote in a letter to Superintendent Dan Decker that the lack of communication from the school district compromised the program.

“It’s come to the point where there is no communication from the high school,” Royer said in February.

McCracken said there is more of a team effort involved now.

“We’re all working together,” Decker said by phone on Wednesday. “There’s a willingness to make this work.”

He acknowledged there was miscommunication, but he said it was from both sides.

“We felt like when they pulled it apart, there was some misunderstanding from more than one party,” Decker said. “I think probably the communication piece wasn’t there. This was kind of wake-up call.”

On another matter, city attorney Steve Hays told the council that a recent law approved by the Legislature and the governor, Senate Bill 649, could cause Neosho and other towns to lose franchise fees paid by gas and cable television. He said it could result in a loss to the city budget of $200,000 or more.

He said another law, Senate Bill 650, restricts the city’s ability to regulate the location of radio and phone towers.

Councilman Charles Collinsworth was sworn in for his second term, after winning last week’s election.

The council, in a split vote, selected Richard Davidson to continue as mayor. Councilman Steve Hart nominated Collinsworth as mayor and Collinsworth nominated Davidson. Hart and Councilman David Ruth voted for Collinsworth. Collinsworth, Davidson and Councilman Tom Workman voted for Davidson.

Auction revenue

A city surplus auction on Saturday earned just more than $40,000, said Dana Daniels, economic development and planning director. After fees, the city will keep $35,000.

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