The first City View column written by Rachel Holcomb, former city clerk and current Economic Development Director, assistant city manager and public information officer for the City of Neosho.

In the words of Mother Teresa, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” I believe the same can be said that if you want to change the world, start with your community. One of the most exciting things for me when I started working for the City of Neosho was that I was going to be able to make a difference where I lived. Neosho, to me, is a hidden beauty. I do not think this small community gets the recognition it deserves. Sometimes one has to look deeper than the surface to understand the value and the history of a place. If you take the time to understand Neosho, you know that its citizens both want it to prosper and to stay the same. People of this area love the small town atmosphere the city provides, but also love the opportunities that new developments bring. The success of the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce is a testament to the encouraging growth in Neosho. The people of Neosho believe in helping their neighbors. Not long ago, I was challenged to meet my neighbors. We all think too big sometimes. We are taught to love our proverbial neighbors, but what would happen if we took time out of our day to love on our actual neighbors? How might our community change if we checked in on them and got to know them? What if we included them in our lives? Neosho, above many communities, does just this.

If you are not involved in your community, why aren’t you? Ask yourself what is keeping you from becoming informed. Are you too busy? Are your kids too busy? Are you indifferent? I do not believe we, the citizens of Neosho, can afford to miss valuable opportunities to gain knowledge or to let our voices be heard. Instead of being okay with the “way things are,” go out and love your community; get to know it. What type of government does the City of Neosho have? Who are your councilmen/women? Who is your City Manager? Where is City Hall? I challenge you to find out, to become involved.

One of the ways you can gain insight into the inner workings of our local government is The Neosho Citizen’s Academy. Directors from each of the city’s departments explain where their revenue comes from, what their expenses are, and how they strive to meet the needs of the citizens. It is an eye-opening experience for those that take the time to attend. Another way to be more involved is to vote on April 2, 2019. Neosho has two council positions and a use tax issue on the ballot. If you would like more information on the future of Neosho, become involved in the strategic planning process that will start this spring. The City of Neosho is going to be holding planning sessions and will invite citizens to come and let their voices be heard. We need your input. This community belongs to all of us, and it’s going to take everyone to keep the momentum going. A relationship is not 50/50. It’s choosing to give 100% even if others aren’t willing to do their part. We need to give everything we have to reach our goals. I know we can do it - we are Neosho.