On this Monday night, the Joplin City Council will be meeting in a work session, as they begin discussions on the next years budget!
It is early in the budget talks, but one item being presented to the Council involves city employee pay raises, which I have received a lot of messages from concerned citizens over. Many have found it especially concerning being the city has openly admitted that we are in a ‘Public Safety Crisis’ in Joplin! As a result, I have emailed each Council member and encourage each of you to do the same. If you truly want to help make a difference for our First Responders, email our Council members and let them know you are concerned!
Remember, be adamant in your defense for Police and Fire, but be polite in your correspondence. That is how we will win… not on anger, but through facts, transparency, determination, and grit! Now is the time that we can help out our Police and Fire Departments, and this is how we can begin!
Therefore, I have attached today’s email to the Council below, and listed each Council-members emails at the bottom of this post. You can copy and paste any portion of it in your correspondence with Council, or draft your own. I thank you everyone for your help!
MY EMAIL TO COUNCIL:
Dear City Council Members,
I noticed that during your work session on Monday August 8th, that the city will be bringing forth a measure to each of you on Council, as they seek to give all city employees a pay raise. It is admirable during normal times, but troublesome during a time when you have openly and adamantly, and admittedly proclaimed that the City of Joplin is in a ‘PUBLIC SAFETY CRISIS’ due to Police and Fire pay and retention issues!
I am in the process of contacting other city’s governmental leaders, Police and Fire Departments, as well as others who have been able to find a resolution to their crisis, similar to the one that we are currently experiencing, as to garner their input, success on their efforts, as well as failures!
However, in the meantime it is imperative that this city stop’s continued expenditures on non-critical and non-essential budgetary items, or we will only see this crisis become much, much worse for not only our First Responders, but for the citizens… the men, women, and children of Joplin!
I emailed each of you with my concerns last week over your premature spending of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds that could have been utilized for Police retention, and on public safety efforts that promote retention such as take home cars, Police and Fire equipment, and much much more. However, I only received a response back from two members, and everyone else ignored, or refused to even acknowledge my concerns as a citizen.
As a result, we spent half of the almost $14 Million in ARPA funds, much of it on culverts, parks, trails, and other non-essential and lower priority items, that should already be covered under other funding sources! That is a huge concern!
It is time that we prioritize and financially support our critical infrastructure, and cut back and/or slash non-critical items and expenditures, as we should make public safety, especially our Police and Fire a top priority!
Therefore, I request that each member of this city… including Councilmembers, our City Manager, and departmental directors, such as our Finance Director… put our First Responders as the number one priority. After all, public safety is the number one responsibility of any government, whether it be at the national, state, or even the local level.
The public has become frustrated, and it is high time that we work together to correct this problem. It is time to re-prioritize our funding in every department, and cut or minimize our expenditures on items that have little benefit to ‘We the People’!
I hope that this message finds you all doing well, but I also hope that you find the will and fortitude to stand up for what is the right thing to do, and not just what is the easiest path forward!
Regardless, you can rest assured, I will continue to work diligently on this effort, work with the city staff, the unions, and the citizens of Joplin… as I am willing to do whatever is necessary to get the proper information to you, as well as, I will work to help nourish the growth of community involvement in bringing forth a swift and definitive resolution to this crisis, as I plan to see this effort through to the end!
Thank you for your time, and I hope we can work on a common goal and find a quick and definitive fix to the current Public Safety crisis that we are now enduring.
Council members Emails: