Do you want to know more about how your Neosho city government operates? Do you have any questions or concerns about what city officials are doing?
Richard Davidson, Neosho mayor, invites the public to join him at 6 p.m. Monday, March 31, 2014 in the Neosho Golf Course Club House, 1850 Club House Road. Davidson said he will address attendees about several present and future issues facing the city in a town hall style setting, and will then solicit comments from citizens.
“Typically in March I cover the audit that we received in detail.” Davidson said, “Given we have an ethics petition on the ballot, I’ll go through the basic language and thought behind that to explain it to anyone who wants to know why we are putting it to a vote of the people on April 8th.”
Following the presentation, Davidson said the floor will be open to anyone who has an issue, a comment or a question. While this public meeting is not a meeting of the council, he said a quorum of council members may be present. No vote will be taken, but Davidson said he and other council members will do their best to answer questions.
“If we don’t have an answer that night, we’ll put city staff to work on it and have an answer back to them as quickly as we can,” he said.
Davidson said he started this series of town hall style meetings in 2010. In response to city council’s request for a property tax increase, he said the voters at the time told the council, “Hey, you only come to us and tell us things whenever you want something.” Davidson said he made a commitment at that time that city officials would try to get together every quarter, “And talk about the state of the city, just to keep the citizens informed of what was and wasn’t happening and to be more transparent with the actions of city government.”
Davidson feels the quarterly series of public meetings has been well received by Neosho citizens.
“The attendance varies depending on the time of the year; and as things continue to improve and there are fewer issues and topics of contention, the overall draw has tended to drop slightly; but everyone I’ve talked to after these meetings appreciates the efforts we put forth in trying to better explain and inform the citizens of what’s going on and to make the government as transparent and open as possible,” he said.
“The government exists for the people, and some people can’t come to council meetings, some people don’t get the paper; and at the end of the day, letting the people know what is going in the government, what the government is there doing to make their lives better, what services we are providing, how we are working to improve them, all those things are bits of information that people like to know, and anything we can do to better inform the citizens of Neosho what’s going on in their town and make them aware is better for everyone.”
Because of these quarterly meetings, and the weekly column he began writing for the Neosho Daily News in 2010, Davidson said he continually receives positive comments of appreciation to the council for doing more to make the public aware of what is happening.
“Too often, you can get in your own little rut and do your own little thing. If people don’t show up at council meetings or don’t read the paper, they can be a little naïve to what’s going on; and this is just another conduit we can provide to make the citizens better informed and to let them know their city is doing its job and the oversight of the people they elected to run their city is being done correctly.”
The Neosho City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at city council chambers, 203 E. Main St.