Citizens – Take Action for Joplin’s Future

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! That’s the kind of spotlight I hope can shine on the city of Joplin with a successful passage of Proposition Action on November 2. This is an amazing opportunity for us to make a difference in our community. 

Through a 2020 community survey, City Manager Nick Edwards asked citizens what issues concerned them about Joplin and without hesitation area citizens replied. With their wishes and words, they’ve set the stage for what they desire for Joplin’s future:  

  • a more attractive community that is inviting, draws new businesses here, and offers our citizens the amenities they can enjoy with their families,  
  • a community that offers clean and well-kept neighborhoods and business districts, and
  • a sense of security and safety whether they’re in a commercial district or in residential neighborhoods. 

Listening to the people’s input, City Council set out on a realistic, goal driven journey to develop projects that follow along with citizens’ requests to focus on the betterment of Joplin: 

  • Improve community appearance
  • Address declining neighborhoods
  • Increase economic opportunities for all
  • Address homelessness
  • Reduce crime and increase safety
  • Create and grow resilient revenue to improve city service levels and maintain infrastructure

Motivated by the desire of citizens, City staff explored ways to provide the services and environment we all want and deserve in our community. This research resulted in nearly 50 “Action Plans,” plans to benefit Joplin for our next 150 years.  

Now it’s time for ACTION by us, because this will take a collaborative approach by all of us. On November 2, we are being asked to support Proposition Action, which enacts a local use tax for purchases made online or through catalogs. Revenues from this use tax will provide funding resources to respond to your input and concerns on how to improve Joplin.

As a service industry, municipal government is reliant on resources supported by all of us. The fact is sales tax revenue is eroding in all communities as more people move to purchasing things online because of convenience, selection, and many other reasons. A use tax will provide resources from these purchases to help ensure our community reflects what we need and desire. Through Proposition Action, an estimated $3.7 million will be reinvested through the programs outlined in the Action Plans to address the areas in our community needing improvement. 

One of these areas is Public Safety. This is truly significant service for any community. 

Whether already living in the area or looking to relocate, everyone wants to feel safe and secure at home and throughout the community. Realtors know this firsthand; common questions people ask are about safety measures in the community, crime rates, and other neighborhood issues. 

It’s widely known that police departments nationwide are facing some unprecedented challenges. One of the Action Plans calls to update the City’s recruitment strategy to help alleviate openings, often created by retirements of seasoned officers.

Other Public Safety Action Plans not only address staffing needs, but also encourage more community engagement and visibility in commercial and residential areas. An increased presence in a community creates strong partnerships with neighborhood groups, coalitions, and others to support crime reduction and safety. Area parks and green spaces will benefit with added presence that offers a more secure environment for everyone enjoying the amenities Joplin offers. 

The Action Plans are essential as the tools for a vibrant community. They outline programs that will be initiated to attract new business, as well as encourage reinvestment by those in our community. Upgrades and enhancements to residential areas can reverse the effect of declining neighborhoods. 

Community beautification is one most relate to as well… We all know that first impressions count. So does our voice. Council listened and now it’s our time to take Action, Joplin – Vote YES on November 2!

Kim Cox
Chief Executive Officer of the Ozark Gateway Association of Realtors

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