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.
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.
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.
After graduating from Mizzou with Computer and Electrical Engineering degrees in 1985, Brian Becker spent a decade singing Christian Rock and being a labeled artist with Benson Music Group of Nashville. In 1995, he and several investors started the area's first Internet Service called PBMO.net and by 2000 the company was serviing Internet access in over 50 communities throughout Southeast Missouri as SEMO.net. In July 2014, Becker again made a major pivot and became Publisher of the SEMO TIMES: a weekly print and daily online news and entertainment source for the region.