Ben Baker, Neosho, state representative elect for the 160th district in Missouri, announced that his resignation as city councilman and mayor will be effective on December 31. Until then, he will continue to serve as Mayor of Neosho. In January, Baker will replace Bill Reiboldt, Neosho, as the state representative for the Neosho area. Reiboldt also assumes his duties as presiding commissioner of Newton County in January. Both men were elected to their respective posts in the November General Election.
"I don't think anyone has ever enjoyed being a councilman and mayor as much as me. There have been ups and downs. I've made some mistakes but I like to think we've accomplished some things as well. Overall, it's been a wonderful experience."
Jon Stephens, councilman and current mayor pro tempore, will assume the duties of Mayor, a post Baker hopes will become permanent.
"I would like to suggest that you vote for Jon Stephens as mayor in April," Baker told his fellow council members. "I want to thank my fellow council members. You've made Neosho a better place."
Baker, who lives in Neosho with his wife Naomi and their four daughters, says despite serving in the Missouri State Legislature, he will be around.
"You can always reach out to me for any reason," he said to both the council and the community.
Although the Neosho City Council normally meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month, they agreed to meet only on the third Monday in January since the first falls on New Year's Day.
"Since there will be no meeting on the first week in January, this will be the final meeting for me," Baker said. "Thank you, everyone. It's been a good ride."