If you hadn’t noticed, we are enduring a worse than normal winter. The citizenry has accepted the situation and survived with great restrain. We at city hall have had two great losses this month. Our Third Ward City Councilman, Tom Douglas and former Fourth Ward City Councilman Paul Howard both passed within two days of each other. Their accomplishments while serving on the City Council were many and will be recognized by the citizens for years to come.

As we dream of the warmer weather and activities of summer, the park department will be circulating job applications to area schools for part- time employment positions. Application forms can also be obtained at city hall. Most of the available jobs will be at Chilli-Bay Water Park.

The police department has logged an increase in domestic complaints and especially child abuse/sexual assault incidents. The increase usually correlates with the adverse weather conditions we have been experiencing. Our officers work these cases very aggressively which

involve many hours of investigation on each incident. They estimate that only 25 to 30 percent of these instances are ever reported. The abused individual many times grows up to be the abuser or another type of criminal in future years.

We all should commend the street department personnel for their efforts to keep our roads and highways open and safe. The park department has partnered with them to assist in cleaning the sidewalks, especially at city hall and in the downtown area. Many night and weekend hours have been spent to accomplish this task. The chemicals used to treat the ice and snow become ineffective in below freezing temperatures, so we ask your patience until warmer conditions prevail.

The city’s new contracted engineering firm, Allgeier-Martin and Associates, Inc. of Joplin, Missouri, has done an assessment of the city streets along with street superintendent Jeff Gillespie. These projects will be finalized and put out to bid by the end of February, so the

construction can be started before summer commences. Many of the streets will have a new process micro-seal coating that has proven to be very durable and at a great cost saving to the city, thus allowing for many more miles to be rehabilitated.

On Wednesday, I traveled to Jefferson City to meet with many other mayors from around the state for our quarterly Missouri Mayors United for Progress meeting to discuss mutual concerns and try to develop solutions to those items that affect many of our cities in the state. Many of the issues must be addressed at the state level before the cities can act.

Thank you for being #greatestcitysince……..