Protect, serve those who protect, serve us

As Joplin residents, we believe that a solid police force equates to a better community. Our passion for our city propels each of us to serve as voluntary members of the Joplin Police Department’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee. This committee assists the command staff in reviewing local programs and provides feedback and suggestions for improvements, thus serving as a liaison between the community at large and the police department.

As a committee, we have had many discussions within the last 18 months regarding the critical staffing shortages in the JPD. Several officers chose to leave JPD for better opportunities, a better pay structure and better retirement. The current pension plan offered by the city hinders the retention of experienced public safety professionals and greatly impedes the recruitment of qualified officers to fill vacancies. Committee members have attended Joplin City Council meetings to keep informed of progress relating to a solution.

The city’s answer — the Proposition B half-cent sales tax — was the result of our police officers, firefighters, residents, local businesses and city officials working together to provide for a better plan. The Citizens Advisory Committee is united in full support of Proposition B. We believe this collaborative solution is a win-win for our residents.

Recently, it was our committee’s privilege to assist in neighborhood canvassing efforts with our police officers and firefighters. As we walked through our Joplin neighborhoods, residents voiced their appreciation of our efforts to clarify questions regarding Prop B. Yes, we heard concerns about past taxes. However, we were able to explain that this tax will go toward its intended purpose: a better retirement plan for our police officers and firefighters.

Residents of Joplin, it is our time for our voices to be heard in support of a safer, stronger and more stable community. Vote “Yes” on the Proposition B sales tax, which will appear on the Tuesday, Nov. 5, ballot. Your supportive vote will retain our experienced protectors and improve our ability to recruit the most qualified police officers and firefighters that we, as residents, desire and deserve.

It is our time to protect and serve those who protect and serve us.

Joplin Police Citizens’ Advisory Committee

Miles Jensen, chair

Sandra Pommert

Anna Ruth Mosbaugh

Lewann Sowersby

C.B. Eastman

Monica Dixon

Julie Dobbs

Dottie Bringle Murphy

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Early entrepreneurs didn’t rely on TIFs

I wonder if Mr. Charles Schifferdecker ever turned to Mr. Edward Zelleken and said, “I would like for us to develop that property but not unless we can get a TIF approved.”

Where would Joplin be, or any other city for that matter, if early entrepreneurs had not taken personal financial risks to start their businesses?

There were no TIF districts, no guarantees. You saw an opportunity, you started your business, you took your chances. Every time you see a new business open in Joplin, you are seeing people with that same willingness to take a risk because they have a dream of owing their own business.

The TIF “movement” of today appeals to those with money who see the opportunity to make more money, with a safety net provided by local communities. If the Boomtown TIF was not a good deal for Joplin, then the City Council did exactly what we elected them to do: look out for the interests of the residents of Joplin, and for that they deserve our thanks.

My fear is there may have been another reason for their action: “Let’s not give away a bunch of tax money just before the vote to raise taxes for police and fire pensions. Let’s wait until after the November vote.”

Time will tell.

Tom Smart

Joplin

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Lynchings not unknown for white suspects, too

President Donald Trump using the term “lynching” has caused quite an uproar in the community.

Cattle rustlers, horse thieves, train robbers and many other accused criminals were lynched without trials centuries ago in America. I doubt the color of the skin of the horse thief mattered much; just the fact they may have done “something to someone” was enough.

Don Adams

Nevada

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