Bittersweet Day In SEMO.net-Land

New Mayor
Posted by Brian Becker  /   April 22, 2014  /   Posted in Business, Features, FrontSlider, General Articles, Human Interest, Open Access, Political/Government, Sticky  /   6 Comments

PBII’s Appeal Case Is Affirmed (the bitter)
Pearson Is Appointed Mayor (the sweet)

First the SWEET…

Last night three new councilmen (Jack Rushin, David Johnson and Peter Tinsley) were sworn in. The first order of business was to elect a Mayor. Angela Pearson was elected as the new Mayor of Poplar Bluff and Jack Rushin elected as the new Mayor Pro Tem.

The Mayor is the spokesperson and figurehead for our community.  Many people hear the word “mayor” and assume it is a position of power. In Poplar Bluff’s form of government, a third-class optional City Manager form found in Mo Rev Statues 78.700, most of the power typically associated with Mayor is wielded by the City Manager.

In our form of government, the Mayor holds no veto power as in other types of third-class cities. A simple majority of four votes is all that is necessary to pass or change an ordinance.

That’s not to say the position isn’t important. One role the Mayor has is to set the agenda of the council meetings. As one who has been denied five times to have something placed on the agenda, I can attest to the fact that the Mayor wields power.

There is a very big difference between speaking at the “Citizen Input” portion of the meeting and being a part of the “Workshop Items” on the agenda.  For one, a workshop item has to be voted on whether it is to table, deny or pass on to a voting session.

Any citizen whose issue is not resolved by the City Manager can contact the Mayor. Knowing Angela Pearson and her love for our community and citizens, I have every confidence that, as Mayor, she will listen to each issue with a fresh perspective.

It is a new day in Poplar Bluff.

And Now the Bitter…

Late yesterday, the Southern District Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Ligons’ decisions in the Poplar Bluff Internet v City of Poplar Bluff case. That’s a huge blow to us here at SEMO.net because it drains away most of the hope of a favorable resolution. The court’s decision is 27 pages long and goes to great lengths to avoid discussing the real issues in our case. A lawyer friend of mine who has helped me remain sane during the past years read the court’s opinion this morning and stated, “It’s really upsetting to see them dodge the issues.”

You can read the opinion online.

And All This Means…

The timing of all this is certainly movie-esque:

Two divergent paths, one legal and one political, were brought to an end on the same day.

On the same day that the face of Poplar Bluff politics changed and Angela Pearson was named mayor…my legal battle has been brought to a screeching halt.

What does that mean? Well, it’s too soon to know that answer, but I can assure you that we will come up with a plan which will sustain the future of SEMO.net.

One thing is for sure, I will always remember yesterday as an amazing, bittersweet day.

 

6 Comments

  1. Ruthie April 22, 2014 11:00 pm Reply

    Next step – getting a new city manager…YES!!

  2. John May 6, 2014 12:30 pm Reply

    Way to go, Brian!

  3. John May 6, 2014 12:32 pm Reply

    Whatever it costs the taxpayers of Poplar Bluff, you know it’s worth it!

  4. Tom May 6, 2014 7:02 pm Reply

    My wife and I relocated here last fall from Charlotte, NC and have been watching the city council meetings on local cable. It became fairly obvious to us early on that there needed to be changes in city government here even had we not hag friends who have lived here for many years and we visited them several times. We were always amazed when we visited at the slow growth of such a nice little city with a killer geographical location. Yes, one can argue that the city has grown a lot in recent years but you have to think it should have never taken this long.
    With the sale of the city cable and Mr. Bagby’s departure I urge the new city council to have an independent audit of the city’s finances. I am thinking the two slugs left on the council from the old coalition should begin neck stretching exercises so they can kiss their butts good bye in the next election.

  5. Ruth May 6, 2014 7:30 pm Reply

    Congratulations new Council members, job well done! Mayor Pearson, I am real proud of you. Brian, I wish you the best. God is good!

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