The Neosho Transportation Development District's Board of Directors voted Thursday afternoon to set the date of their annual property owners meeting and election for Thursday, April 4.
Property owners are set to meet at 3 p.m. that day at the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, 216 West Spring Street, to elect two members to the board of directors.
Landowners serve as the voters in the TDD, which operates as its own political entity, with their number of votes contingent on the amount of acres they own within the district. The City of Neosho is the largest single property owner within the TDD, because of the public golf course. The Neosho R-5 School District has just shy of 30 acres because of the middle school and surrounding land, while the other property owners in the TDD are private individuals or entities.
"The court last year, as part of one of their orders, said we need to have our annual meeting sometime during the first week of April each year," said TDD attorney Chris Williams via teleconference.
Williams was referring to a June court order, written by Newton County Associate Circuit Court Judge Kevin Selby.
The order was in response to the City of Neosho's petition filed in May 2012, requesting that the TDD be forced to hold its annual board election, which was not held in April 2012.
At the time there was uncertainty as to who the legal voters within the district were after it was discovered that there were multiple registered voters living within the district.
The court ruling held that annual elections must be conducted the first week of April, and also established landowners as the legal voters within the district.
While the TDD board held their election July 16, as agreed upon in a pre-trial conference in June, an August court order, also written by Selby, tossed out the results of that election and ordered a second contest be held in not less than 60 days.
That order was also in response to a city-filed petition, filed Aug. 15, which stated that lawful notice of the TDD's July 16 election was not published once a week for two consecutive weeks prior to the contest, as required by state law. The order also ruled the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission was not legally qualified to vote in the election, as they had done in the July contest.
A second TDD election was then held in October, in which Steve Roark was elected to a one-year term on the board.
Williams noted in Thursday's board meeting that legal notice of the property owners meeting would be published in today's Neosho Daily News, as well as in an upcoming edition to fulfill the state requirement.
The board of directors handled no other business in open session, opting to go into executive session to discuss "strategies in terms of legal claims."
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