Good morning and happy Friday Neosho! It’s been about as cold lately as a brass toilet seat on the shady side of an iceberg! So cold in fact, that I heard even the IRS wasn’t holding their hand out for anything…Now that is cold folks!

Good morning and happy Friday Neosho! It’s been about as cold lately as a brass toilet seat on the shady side of an iceberg! So cold in fact, that I heard even the IRS wasn’t holding their hand out for anything…Now that is cold folks!
By the way, I want to publicly thank the public works men that have been working sometimes around the clock in this weather to address water main breaks and other issues that tend to malfunction during extremely cold temperatures. If you see them out and about, take them a cup of coffee or at least let them know you appreciate their efforts to keep things functioning.
We are now embarking on a new year and with it I’m sure will come great blessings and many challenges that we will face together. I’ve always enjoyed a challenge and boy did I get a great big helping of that being the mayor! One of the greatest challenges of being in this position is leading with both head and heart. I believe in order to lead well you must engage with both. Maintaining the right balance is tough sometimes.  Thinking analytically and fiscally conservative, but at the same time with compassion and desire to do what is best for everyone is a balancing act, but very necessary for good governing.
One of the difficulties with being in leadership is that many times people will not have all the information about any given decision or issue, or may just have wrong information and will disseminate that information as fact to others. People tend to believe what their friends or family is telling them rather than get the facts about the matter. But I want to encourage you to get the facts! Since I have been on council it always bothers me that many times people will ask me about a decision after the fact. Council meetings are completely open to the public and we encourage citizen participation in city business. The agenda for every council meeting is posted in advance so that you can know what will be discussed. If citizens have a concern they can sign up for visitor business and speak directly to council about the issue. Visitor business can also be used to encourage the council regarding matters that are going well!
Another way to get involved is to volunteer for one of the various open board positions regarding city business. Being on a board is a minimal time commitment but a valuable contribution to our community. More citizen participation will transfer to positive progress for Neosho in the future.
I just read a blog recently that published an article about small towns in the state of Missouri. Neosho was number nine in the top ten “downright delightful small towns”! I would have to disagree. I think we should be number one! Although, I admit I’m probably a wee bit biased. What makes it delightful you ask? Well, it starts with you! Take the initiative to get more involved in making Neosho even more delightful than it already is! Until next time, stay awesome Neosho and try to keep warm!


Ben Bakers is the mayor of Neosho and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.