NEOSHO, Mo. —
In a special meeting Friday, the Neosho City Council gave initial approval to a measure reinstating its agreement with the Neosho Transportation Development District.
It also gave first-round approval to a measure that would place on the April election ballot a measure to include in the city ethics code in the city charter.
Mayor Richard Davidson said he, Councilman Charles Collinsworth and Councilman Tom Workman voted in favor of the two measures. Council members Steve Hart and David Ruth were absent.
The council last year rescinded the cooperative agreement, when the city was challenging the validity of the TDD in court. With last month’s ruling in the TDD’s favor by the Southern District Missouri Court of Appeals, the legal battles have ended. The move to reinstate the agreement was requested Tuesday by Steve Roark, TDD chairman.
The proposed ordinance states that the step was being taken “in the spirit of cooperation and furtherance of economic development.”
The transportation district includes an area along U.S. Highway 60 in Neosho that includes the Wal-Mart store and Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. The TDD began collecting a half-cent sales tax in the district in January 2012. The revenue is to be used to finance a $4.5 million share of nearly $7 million worth of transportation projects. The Missouri Department of Transportation has pledged to pay the other $2.4 million share of the projects.
The charter proposal lists ethics prohibitions for council members, including conflicts of interest; having a financial or personal interest in pending city legislation unless such interest is disclosed publicly; and disclosing or using confidential information.
It also would form an ethics board to determine if violations have been committed and advising the council on appropriate penalties.
The measure also includes a penalty provision.
“Any council member who willfully violates any provision of this section may thereby be admonished, reprimanded and/or forfeit his or her office,” it reads in part.
A simple majority vote would be necessary for approval.
Both items will be given final consideration on Tuesday, Jan. 21.