On Monday night, I addressed the Joplin City Council involving concerns of mine and other citizens who have helped me dive into the Joplin City Government budget. During the meeting I discussed a $22.6 Million error in the 2021 Financial Report put out by the Joplin City Government.
Although it got tense at moments, I made it known that my intentions are to find a pathway to finance the Police and Fire Department, while also making public safety a top priority for this city. In addition, we want to ensure that our taxpayers funds are fiscally secure and managed in the most beneficial manner for our residents, and for the city.
The video presentation is attached, although the city said that there was a period where they lost video and audio. When that happens, it returns in a few minutes, so be sure to watch it through to the end. Also, I attached a letter I emailed to Council members today, in regards to my presentation last night, and their questions and comments is listed below:
Dear Council members,
I would like to thank you for the privilege of addressing our citizens’ concerns last night. I know Mr. Stinnett was upset, but I assure each of you that finding Police and Fire funding is a top priority, so we can finally put public safety as our top priority. It is not only my greatest concern, but it is the concern of the citizens of this city, as it should be everyones!
Mr. Stinnett asked if I would be at all the meetings this week for budget talks, so I wanted you to know that I will not be able to do so, due to spending so much time on this effort, and missing more than 80% of my daughters volleyball games, sons soccer practices, which it is important to my children and they are to me!
Therefore, since my values put God first, my family second, and my country third, I will not have the opportunity to be present in the meetings. However, I know some of those helping me in this effort will be there in my stead, and I will be watching each and every minute of the three meetings online after my kids events are over. Also, Thursday, I have to work, as it is our school’s title night, which is something that I not only cannot and should not miss, as it is to help the children in our community become better readers, and keep parents active in their children’s education.
Finally, I would like to ask a couple of questions about last night, which is pertinent to the upcoming budget talks.
Ms. Haase stated that our city has received the ‘Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting’ from the Government Finance Officers Association for the past 32 consecutive years, yet the Missouri State Auditor gave the worst possible “poor” rating to Joplin municipal government in 2015, citing that “millions of dollars were mismanaged by Joplin city government”!
Many of the issues addressed in the 2015 audit were a launching pad for us to find issues within the current financials, which we will work to help you explore and understand some of the issues that we are finding, as we move forward in our effort to place procedural safeguards in place for Joplin city finances. Again, our intentions are to ensure that we continue progressing not only to make Joplin safe, but also to ensure that we are fiscally sound and strong!
In your service,