On Tuesday, the Neosho City Council will consider proposed ethics language to potentially put before voters for addition to the city’s charter.

Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall Council Chambers, 203 E. Main St.
Council members were presented the revised ethics language by City Attorney Steve Hays in their Nov. 5 council meeting, however, discussion of the language was set for the upcoming meeting.

The proposed ethics language identifies three council instituted penalties of admonishment, reprimands and forfeiture of office, as well as one judicial penalty, of a misdemeanor charge, ranging from up to 30 days in jail to a fine of $500.

The revised ethics language states that the recently added penalties could be applied to anyone who “willfully” violates any provision of the proposed ethics section of the charter.

Council first reviewed proposed ethics language in an Oct. 1 council meeting.

When the proposed charter language was brought before council, Mayor Richard Davidson said he did not believe the city’s current ethics code has enough teeth.

If voters approve the addition of the ethics section to the city charter, only a vote of Neosho residents could change those requirements.

Councilman David Ruth and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Hart questioned the necessity of a charter addition in the Oct. 1 discussion, noting current state laws and ethics regulations already in place.
Council has not taken a vote yet on whether or not to put a charter addition on the April ballot and are currently still in the process of discussing the proposed language of the potential charter addition.

The ethics language addresses several ethics prohibitions, including improper use of public property and conflicts of interest, while the city’s ethics board would also be addressed under the potential charter addition.  

The city’s current ethics code has been in place since 2010.

The council is also set to pick up discussion on a possible lighting upgrade on East Spring Street.

Dana Daniel, Neosho’s Director of Development Services, approached council Nov. 5 about adding the lighting upgrade to the already planned improvements scheduled for a portion of East Spring Street.

“As Branco prepares for this project, they have identified the fact that in the first block we have four city lights that are owned by Empire,” Daniel said. “Branco has stated that if the city wanted to consider upgrading those lights to match what we have on the square they’d be willing to provide at no cost foundations and conduit for those lights.”

According to information in the city council packet, the current monthly cost for the four existing light posts is $70, for all four, while the combined monthly cost for the four new light posts would be $192.

If the council opts to upgrade the light posts, that would result in an increase of $122 per month for all four lights.

Branco Enterprises has agreed to provide foundations, conduit and ribbon at no cost to the city, and the upgrade would allow the four lights posts to match the lighting on other streets coming off the Neosho Square.

In other business:

• Council members will take a final vote to surplus 280 acres of city property located in the industrial park.

The property, formerly known as the Betz-Bond property, is located west of Doniphan Drive and south of Burr Crossing Road.

The city purchased the property from Dr. Robert Betz and Les Bond in May 2000.

• Council members will consider bids for chemicals for the Neosho Municipal Golf Course. City staff recommends a low bid of $18,211.96 from GreensPro. The city also received a bid from Agra Turf, Inc. for $19,582.36 and from BWI, for $18,680.56.

• Council will announce vacancies that exist on the airport industrial development board; board of adjustments (zoning); economic development sales tax committee; enhanced enterprise board, ethics board; parks recreation and golf course board; the senior citizen committee and the TIF Commission. Council will also consider two letters of interest, one from Heather Bowers for a vacancy on the ethics board and one from Larry Newton for his expiring term on the senior citizen committee.