Report of Findings- Shop Local Survey

Oct 25, 2014

Poplar Bluff – We sincerely appreciate our many valued business community members who took the time to respond to our recent shop local survey. It is our HONOR to serve as your chief advocate at the local, state and national level on issues important to you. The purpose for administering this survey was to obtain feedback from our membership, finalize our strategic plan for addressing your concerns and opinions, and to implement strategies that will improve the overall business climate and assist local businesses to prosper. As you will see from the report of findings, we have obtained some very helpful responses and look forward to working with all stakeholders in making our city and this area a better place to live, work, and play.

We appreciate the willingness of local officials to allow us to provide input and look forward to working together for the good of our community.




Steve Halter & Board of Directors


Report of Findings

Response* rate= 60.1%

*A great cross section of industries responded; healthcare, education, technology, manufacturing, retail, financial, insurance, construction, etc.


1.Do you support City of Poplar Bluff Ordinance No. 7476 1, 2-3-2014 and encourage organizations such as our city and county governments and local schools/college to spend money on local, qualified firms versus out of town companies?

99.2% responded in support of Ordinance No. 7476

64 respondents gave a simple, one worded response of “YES”

Below are unedited responses that may provide additional insight


-I totally support trying to buy local whenever possible. How many chain stores names do you see on the back of the soccer uniforms at OSL or on the shirts at Mclane park. “Why do large retail companies get tax breaks, and local family businesses do not?'”– what can be done?           Encourage the schools to look to local businesses for these graduation announcements, class rings etc…why am i receiving letters from Jostens’s? who gives out that information?

continue to get the word out, how much $ stays local when it is spent locally… explain more to the public what happens to towns when dollars are spent online or at mass retailers… maybe they will understand the consequences…


-Yes, whenever possible our taxpayer dollars should be put back into our local economy with a business who has brick and mortar in our local area.

-Yes, for a simple reason when money is spent in town/community that money stays local. It hires more local people, allows businesses to expand and spend more locally. Its quite simple, without money staying local, we only cripple our town/community.

-I absolutely do. I feel it was a slap in our city’s face that the new City Manager chose a firm in London to purchase insurance from instead of a local firm.

-Yes, as long as we don’t become too provincial in our thinking and practices.

-Yes. I think this applies to retail as well as commercial goods as well. With the demand of building materials we are seeing in PB right now it doesn’t make much sense for the companies providing these resources to be from out of town when they are available at a local level, and not only reflects poorly on the business but the town as well.

-I think if all bids are nearly equal, favor should be given to the local provider.

-Yes I believe you should try to buy locally when the past experiences with those local providers have been successful.

-Absolutely. If we have the knowledge and capabilities.

-Yes, it should be adhered to whenever possible.

– Nope. Wal-Mart, the “evil empire”, has done more good for the Poplar Bluff shopper than any local business. IMO. Their market growth through efficiencies and economies of scale are strengths developed through fair market competition. Buying the best product for the best price should be 99% of the criteria to spend my tax dollars in Poplar Bluff!

-If at all possible. We are governed by lowest bid which is not always a local company

-Absolutely. I have been on many boards that have a certain or set “tolerance” for local businesses on bids. For example, if a local business bids on copier paper for the school, they have an 8% tolerance. If the local bid is less than 8% higher, they get the business over the cheapest bid.


-Yes. The council just needs to follow the ordinance.

-Yes. Particularly for products. For some services it may be good to have another perspective.

-I support local spending where services/expertise provided is equitable & where outcomes are the same as from nonlocal providers. I am opposed to the “good ole boy” system which appears to be going on now in our city. It was my understanding the mayor didn’t like it, but Kaplan’s outside buddies seem to be lining up with their hands out.

-I support shopping local when local options present the best buy AND the best products and services. It is important not to become so near sighted that we lose sight of the best options in the bigger picture and unfortunately, I have seen that happen.

-YES I think we should spend locally should be preferred even if the price is a little more and the quality is there.

-The city recently smacked local business in the face. Talk is cheap!

-Yes, I think it is very important that when these organizations spend money if and whenever possible it should go back into our community.

-Yes it is in the best interest of PB to give Local Business and LOCAL nonprofits priority

-All things being close to equal, only a fool spends their money outside of the community.

-Yes; of course. What civic-minded person would not want our tax dollars to be put back into the hands of local citizens, if possible?

-Yes, the local businesses in this town are and always will be the lifeblood of the city and we should support them in every way.

-If I am assured businesses are giving the best price because it is the right thing to do and not because there is an ordinance showing preference the cost should reflect the cost of doing business with a reasonable profit not a cost based upon I will get the business because I am local regardless of other bids.


-Absolutely. The “best” bid, considering ALL factors, is not always the lowest. In fact, it seldom is. Local purchasing builds cooperation. Right now, many people are confusing productive cooperation and consensus building as “good ole boy” evil dealings. While that potential might exist, 99% of the time it is the opposite.

-Yes, but only if pricing if competitive outside of our area.

-I do support this I believe Poplar Bluff needs to look out for Poplar Bluff businesses. This is a huge way to promote growth within the community.

-Absolutely yes unless the out of town company is considerably much cheaper & quality is equal or better

-Every effort should be made to retain services of local businesses when possible.

-I believe in supporting local businesses where and when feasible. However, price must be a consideration. I think it makes sense to assign a specific percentage to the virtue of being local when considering bid prices. Spending twice as much to let a local contract does not make sense. Spending — for instance — 5% more does make sense to me.

-Yes, I think it’s very important that our local governments support local businesses and professional services. The whole reason behind Ordinance No. 7476 was to give a preference to local vendors and professionals who support our local governments with their taxes.

-There should never be situation where the local businesses are not given the opportunity to provide any service. Of course there are some services which cannot be acquired locally, but every effort should be made to keep our business local.

-Yes, we need to utilize our work force here locally if the skill sets are available in Poplar Bluff. I believe this would help our community as a whole.

-I believe there should be a fair bidding process and companies whether they are from Poplar Bluff or outside of Poplar Bluff should be rated on their product and performance. If all of that is equal, then I agree it should be offered to local talent.

-I haven’t read this ordinance but, many other communities that we do business with have a 5% preference clause which means that I must beat a local competitor’s price by 5% on like products in order to get their business. They must also factor in how well the local contractor can service the products they sell.

-The key is “qualified” and not local — There should not be an underground network of giving the business to those in the “power” group. We are experiencing a deficit in the steps because certain engineering firm was not fully in support of the project as we have now learned. Politics should not be the governing factor – key is “qualified”

-Yes, we should strongly support the local economy and businesses.

-All other considerations being equal, Poplar Bluff should choose local firms to provide local services.

-Yes, I think as much of our money should remain right here in PB as possible… Even if it means spending more at times.

-Absolutely. It would be nice to see more local construction working on development of Shelby Lane and Oak Grove Road. Do we not have qualified construction companies?

-I feel that anytime the city, county governments and citizens of Poplar Bluff can spend their money local and invest it back into the community they should. I am a firm believer that for a community to strive it needs a strong back bone. We trust that back bone with our city officials who do not live up to that same belief

-I think an Ordinance like this make everyone feel good when in reality very few business’ including local government actually follow it. Everyone like to “feel” they are supporting local when in actuality the money they spend still goes to ownership that is out of the area or state. The talking points sound good, reality is usually different

-The obvious answer would be: YES. When goods and services are of equal value/price and can be obtained in Poplar Bluff, it would behoove us to “shop Poplar Bluff first!”

-Yes, I do support the ordinance number 7476 S 1, 2-3-2014. It’s extremely important that we support other local business, instead of sending money to other parts of the state, country, or even overseas. We must continue to shop and buy local or we are guilty seeing/helping our community whether and die.

-Yes. If the services and expertise is equivalent and the price is within reason the locally collected tax dollars should be spent locally.

-Definitely support this. Poplar Bluff is full of talented, qualified people who are trying to make this a better community. It only makes sense for our local governments to support them.

-Yes. I/we shop locally for almost every need.

-Yes, I strongly support this Ordinance. It is extremely important that or local governments utilize local firms whenever possible. By doing so, this is a positive reflection that our local tax dollars are being utilized to support the same individuals and/or companies that are paying taxes in the community.

-Absolutely. As an affiliate of a large business, we are committed to investing in our community by using local resources whenever possible. That is who we are. I certainly hope that the city, who is completely supported by our community, will be committed to the same standards and recognize the talent within our peers locally.

-Yes, this is very important in keeping our growing community strong.

-Yes I do. On the issue with the Oak Grove Road Intersection I think the city manager has gone against this Ordinance. Taking it out of town when the difference is $6000 on a $330000 bid is crazy. Very disappointing.

-I support any program that benefits the community of our residents and its employees to provide the best services possible at a competitive price. So the answer is ( YES ) as long as its bid is treated fair for the vendors providing the service.

-Absolutely, why should we cut off our noses to spite our face and purchase from out of city vendors. Chamber support is just that, Chamber support. Bluff City Beer is the only beer distributor still in the city limits of Poplar Bluff. All of our competitors have moved to the county. So, I support the Chamber ordinance.

-I absolutely support this city ordinance and urge the city government to strictly abide by it in all actions taken. To send local tax dollars out of town, when there are competent, qualified local vendors that provide the same services is a slap in the face to our tax paying citizens and shows a lack of respect for our local business professionals

-Yes! We need to give patronage to our local businesses. Even if it is a FEW dollars more.

-Yes. I believe many, if not most, of the better jobs in our community are created by locally owned businesses. I strongly believe that these jobs are jeopardized by our local government leaders spending our tax dollars outside our community. Jobs will be lost, tax revenues will decline, and the local economy will suffer.

-Yes. It is important that as a community we support our local economy.. if our own City does not promote this why would anyone else want to use these companies. Lead by example

-Definitely yes. There are many people and businesses locally that can provide the professional service and quality products for the city and county. Keeping money locally adds to job stability, job growth, population increase and and a vibrant local economy. The members of our Chamber pay dues, supports local events and does many things for PB.

-Yes. There is no reason to conduct business with taxpayer money to firms that will not reinvest those funds back into the local economy.

-absolutely!!! How much of the taxpayers money will be reinvested in our community that goes to Michigan, Texas and St Louis? I would venture to guess very little, if any.



  1. Are there other issues or concerns you would like to see our city and county governments address that could affect your business in a positive way? If so, please list them.

7 respondents gave a simple “No” or “N/A”

Below are the remaining, unedited responses

-Stay out of the way

-Early in her tenure, the mayor talked about “doing things differently”, so she & the council did a 180 degree turn from the previous leadership’s approach. As a business owner I see the 180 degree turn – It represents no more than the mayor, council, and this new city mgr TURNING THEIR BACKS on the very resource that provides the funding for this city – The Business Community. Yes, you’ve turned your back on us. You’ve turned your eyes and ears from us. Frankly, the city mgr.’s behavior is despicable. You may have not liked the way things were running, but why did you immediately disenfranchise our business community-the expertise of many bright and innovative citizens. There is no way to justify a full-time grant writer – Even the community college who has brought in over $25 million in the past few years doesn’t have a full time grant writer. You hire your buddies without open searches. I believe now is the time for another 180 degree turn – BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.

-Our new city manager was hired to LEAD, but it appears he is being led by the council. HE is the expert, so HE needs to lead. Two of these council members were voted in by less than 200 people! Although this was a majority for their ward, they do NOT represent the thoughts of a majority of our citizens. Also, there is a very confusing and frustrating message being sent out by Mr. Kaplan as far as our financial situation. If we have such a huge deficit in the employee medical fund why does he continue to spend, spend, spend? Also, he should have SOME area of expertise. He shouldn’t need to hire a consultant for everything?!?! Also, PLEASE Mr. Kaplan, work on building relationships with the pool of valuable, intelligent human capital you have right here in Poplar Bluff. The message you are sending right now is that YOU can solve it all by yourself and we are all just a bunch of dummies. We understand you report to this council, but remember, the council CAN change.   Mr. Kaplan, we want you to succeed, honestly, but in order to do so you have to change your course and listen to people of reason.

-Spending. This city council is spending too much, too fast. Taxes will have to be raised and we can’t take that right now. Responsible spending is the way….not fast reaction spending

-City Services should be advertised locally and open for bid by interested parties, rather than an announcement of the services after the fact by companies from out of state.

-Yes… Getting advice, support, and services local MUST BE DONE!

-Hire local whenever possible. Local people have more invested in the community and are more likely to stay and not just use Poplar Bluff as a stepping stone to something better elsewhere. By staying here they will be spending more time, money, and talent on things important to our community.

-It’s not only important to push the purchaser’s to buy local, but there also needs to be a push to get local businesses on board. Make sure there’s good communication with upcoming local projects and that local businesses will have a fair opportunity to bid these jobs at competitive prices.

-As for the County, there are certain budget realities that have to be met. But it is unnecessary to resort to desperate, unproven measures provided by outside firms. There appears to have been a lack of due diligence in selecting a broker and plan design in relation to the selection of the health insurance plan.

-To begin with, it does not appear that the City Manager or the majority of the Council is following Ordinance 7476, as evidenced by the recent decision to award the insurance contract to the London-based firm, whose bid was considerably higher than that of the local firm. Additionally, it appears that the City Manager has not taken the time needed to become acclimated to our city and its government to discover the rationale behind decisions that were made by previous administrations, but instead has gone on a spending spree to hire various consultants and employees (again from outside the community) to do various things that he would probably find to have been unnecessary had he taken the time to educate himself on these matters. Finally I would like to see the City Manager and the new Council members educate themselves on the TDD and TIF projects that are going on. These are extremely important to the growth of our community and should be a priority rather than an afterthought.

-Local citizens & local businesses are all affected directly or indirectly in a negative way when money or purchases are spent outside our membership.

-Before bringing in ‘big box/discount stores’ that hire a lot of people (but only give them less than part time hours), think about bringing in more lucrative jobs for those people. Also think about how those larger chain stores will be affecting the smaller locally owned business. (I.e. Hobby Lobby vs. Gift Connection, Scrapbooking from the Heart, La Boutique; Menards vs. Packs, Meeks, Ozark Landscaping). While I understand the need to make more jobs, are the positions quality positions and will they end up hurting small business? This town is made up of a lot of small business owners. These small business owners help support the town and care more about seeing it grow than the chain stores. Where is the protection for them?

-To further my response to question 1, locally owned businesses are the backbone of support for the non-profits in our community. I believe that it will become increasingly challenging for local fundraising as local businesses cut budgets accordingly. The effect of sending the money out of town will be felt throughout the community.

-I feel that local businesses should be the first choice for all contracted services for the City of Poplar Bluff and Butler County. Our local businesses generate the sales tax revenue and their employees pay the property taxes/sales taxes that generate city/county revenue as well. When the city and county use local providers, the money is recirculated in our local economy and that benefits all of us. We have local people who have the ability and qualifications to accommodate most of the needs of the local governments. If there is no one locally that can meet the specific need, then the city and county governments have to look beyond the city for a qualified vendor. As citizens, we have a responsibility to spend our dollars in Poplar Bluff to keep our community growing. Our local city and county governments have a responsibility to its citizens, who pay the taxes that provides their jobs, to do the same!

-I would like to see the Chamber and its membership put much more pressure on Mr. Kaplan and the city council to keep its business in a Poplar Bluff AND to explain their decisions to go out of town in further detail than they have. So far, none of them have given any solid, really good reason for spending A LOT of money on out of town services. Not a good way to encourage growth and development in our city.

-It should be the goal of our local government to encourage and help facilitate growth of Poplar Bluff businesses whenever it can. A positive pro-business attitude should be a priority for all government entities that would help stimulate economic growth in our area. Continue to support and use local businesses that can provide services to local government.

-I would like to see out local government encourage growth of our area.

-If needs arise that cannot be provided locally then we should work to recruit that service into our area.

-Yes, I would like for them to encourage more clothing, both men’s and women’s, stores to locate in Poplar Bluff. When shopping for clothing, our options are very limited at this point. Consequently, the majority of shopping for clothes is done in cities like Cape Girardeau and Jonesboro.

-I was also very sorry to see the Hallmark Store leave its Poplar Bluff location.

-tell the dar to move on

-Keep working on the infrastructure!

-It is of great importance for the city to install sidewalks along Harper Street by the High School. Kids walk in the street in the morning and are in danger of being hit by cars. This issue has long been overlooked or ignored. Sidewalks in other areas of the city are well-maintained, yet in an area at high-risk of danger there are no sidewalks.

-I would like to see “round-a-bouts” in place of traffic lights on the majority of new construction.

-My business allows me to work from home. But driving to do errands is sometimes difficult with people walking in the streets because there aren’t sidewalks in my neighborhood. And the most common location I have issues with is 9th street. People walking in the road and cars parked on the side of the street leave only enough room for one car at a time to pass through. I’ve been clipped once already by a truck that sped off. I filed a police report but since it was dark I couldn’t get a license number. The incident would have been less likely to occur had there been enough room to pass without all the cars lined up obscuring sightlines. 9th Street is a big problem and tons of traffic uses it to avoid Vine Street when traveling to the South side from the north side. That street needs to be widened, sidewalks installed and driveways required to keep people from parking on the street.

-Be mindful of assessing additional taxes on the citizens of Poplar Bluff in order to pay for new projects. We need to pave as many of the gravel roads (streets) that we currently have in the city of Poplar Bluff, this would save money in the long run for the city. On another note, we may need to try and bring in another manufacturing facility to replace Nordyne or some other entity that would bring 500 to 600 new jobs into our city. This would help to boost our economy here in the city.


-Transparency and accessibility on the city web site

-Better use of staff time and talents

-Improvements in walkable environments

-Improvements to Downtown infrastructure and business climate

-A clean up of the city; promote recycling, beautification, city wide Wi-Fi hot spots.

-A new city hall

-The infrastructure of the city needs to be better managed. Roadways and driveways to major shopping centers that are poor or dangerous to navigate should have appropriate repairs to allow for safe entrance. This includes proper drainage systems.

-Zoning and Trade Codes are the weakest of any municipality I have known. We do not have zoning in the county. The city zoning is weak, highly political and lacks leadership. This leads to inefficient community development and discord.

-Construction Codes are a rarely followed guideline at best. Our contractors that educate and deliver good products are under bid by contractors that barely meet the minimum acceptable standard. Realtors and other non-construction trade professionals think they are general contractors? When building, they are usually more concerned with curb appeal than whether or not the structure will be standing in 10 years, let alone utility efficiency.

-Enforce local code and building permit requirements.

-Something that could affect us as realtors in a positive way, is some reasonable tolerance regarding electrical upgrades.

-Higher quality leaders running for City Council.

-We need a New City Council

-Hire a New City Manager

-When I have heard our new city manager talk about his vision for improvements to Poplar Bluff and the direction he would like to see us go as a community with lots of potential, I am in agreement. I know he has made some missteps, but I think his mission is sound.

-We should promote from within the community. This is not reflecting any sentiments concerning the “good ole boys” crap that everyone wants to hang their hat on as “change”. Change for the sake of change is not a safe practice. Change to make a procedure or a policy better understood and implemented is a positive. Poplar Bluff has promoted change but our city has not grown for years. Has our population changed significantly from the 60″s? We need to change ordinances to enhance growth, expand our city limits and make improvements to make Poplar Bluff a better place to live and work. In the construction business we are forced to work in other towns that have made changes to encourage growth. Local communities (Dexter and Kennett) have deleted the permit fees for construction. We want growth in PB but pay a fee just to be able to start a project. Don’t relax any of the Building requirements but work on the little items. We need to license General contractors. Workers comp. required?

-Sometimes a “good ole boy” mentality of leadership in a community can develop only for the good of the ole boys. It is also possible that a networking of capable, community-minded, honorable ole boys and girls can serve the city / county with concern and sacrifice that leads to the good of all. That’s what we had. That’s what we lost…

-A concern is that we moved the cities health insurance to a company that our new city manager used previously that is out of town when we had a local lower bidder. With no explanation except that the “employees” who work for the city manager picked the company. To me it’s the city manager’s job to make a recommendation and then ultimately his decision. With all the recent turnover it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where the employees felt pressure to pick whoever the city manager preferred. Also why are we hiring a grant writer when we have Felicity Brady locally? She is proven and local and I see no reason to spend money on another position when we have someone of her expertise here who works for a fee. Personally I don’t see an emphasis on local spending and that’s a shame. I also find it ironic that at least one of our council members works for a “newspaper” owned by a former chamber president who was convicted of stealing from the chamber and a guy that owes the city $200k!

-I want these governments to make decisions based upon sound business practices. This includes transparency in government (published budgets, monthly statements of revenue and expenditures, published agendas and meeting notices, etc.), regular audits with competitive bidding and results of audits open for public review, a published statement of ethical behavior expected from employees and elected officials. Cooperation and and regular joint meetings between city and county governments for enhanced growth. Goals for development, growth, and orderly management of issues such as drainage, roads, and services should be aligned with mutual respect for the needs of the community.


-Good infrastructure to support the growth that is coming.

-I believe that our City Council has chosen to use an excessive number of people/companies from out of town over our local providers. These have been well documented in the paper. I feel that we have to do more to encourage the city to use more local people. The decision to take insurance out of town, have someone from KC inspect a building, grant writers, investment advisors and etc. is just ridiculous. Dollars that are spent locally stay local while dollars sent out of town don’t come back. I firmly believe that the chamber needs to also assert some influence or encouragement to utilize local people/businesses. In addition, the city wants to pave streets to nowhere and waste dollars that if they will not bring any economic value to our community that could be much better spent to develop a better workforce or opportunity for our community. In short, I have lost complete confidence in our city leaders and council and want change.

-I would like to see the volume of criticism turned down a bit. Let’s give the new City Mgr. a chance to take some reasonable steps toward improvement of governmental functions rather than fighting him every step of the way.

-I began my business in 1982 and have done quite well with local companies that are in business to make money but have not done well with local entities that are in business to spend money. We have had some support from the city municipal utilities and within the last six months have seen more activity with the city street dept. but not nearly what we presently do with the cities of Dexter, Kennett, Paragould and New Madrid! We have had city officials from the surrounding areas visit our business but other than Jack Rushin and Peter Tinsley; I have never seen one from Poplar Bluff. I would also like to see our public officials be more involved in local fund raising, charity, rogers theater & Missouri pacific depot restoration, festivals, and Tinnin center events. The success of these activities affects local business as well.

-I would very much like to see the current city officials attempt to conduct themselves in a more diplomatic nature. I feel there have been far too many instances involving social media posts and print articles, no matter what the source, that have come across as childlike banter and personal bias between certain individuals and/or parties.

The responsible parties to any and all of the above mentioned entities need to realize that their words as well as actions today can and do harm the future of the constituents that they have sworn to serve.

-Evenly divide the tax dollars of the city to all areas of the city — downtown is a shambles not only because of the property owners, but there is no incentive for them to do anything with other deteriorating factors so present — unusable parking garage is an example of wasted dollars. It may not have to be a 50/50 split but we could do better — if you have been in the police station and city hall – you know the condition of the building — damp, dark, dusty, and perhaps mold. There is no money allocated to assist in any beautification projects — we were told when we started the Depot Steps project that it would best to just bull doze everything down — that was the attitude of the former city manager. I am not favoring one city manager over another – but progress has to be made for all of Poplar Bluff – not putting the money in the hands of a few – one bank, one accounting firm, one engineering firm, etcetera — Very difficult to get a project completed with a biased power

-Representatives of local government (city and county) should become more informed and engaged in issues that impact area businesses, employers, employees. Too many local government representatives are making un-informed, arbitrary, or capricious decisions that our community will suffer from.

-I feel that what businesses need is more recognition for from their city. Why hire someone not just out of county but out of state to do something that is more than qualified by some local in Poplar Bluff. Until the city shows confidence in their businesses owners and citizens how are we supposed to have confidence, trust, or pride in them. Poplar Bluff on the outside looks very appealing but to those who live here and are being ridiculed over race, status, and obvious qualifications that don’t meet the City Manager’s liking it is discouraging to not only live here but to call Poplar Bluff home.

I do have faith that Poplar Bluff will be restored. I just wait for the day for everyone to be treated equal; men, women, blacks, whites, etc. I would appreciate it if that recognition and equality started within our city. As of now we have not seen that kind of honor come from them.

-New rules for ALL to follow:

  1. Follow the code of conduct we all learned in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts!
    2. Act with integrity toward ALL.
    3. Speak truth not opinion.
    4. Recognize that manipulation and negotiation are NOT synonymous.
    5. We must all loose our narcissistic ego and selflessly work for the good of all. No hidden agendas!
    6. Remember, One greater than all of us combined is watching every word and deed and His desire is for the highest good for all citizens of PB, Butler County, MO, the USA, the world.
    7. Go and grow PB!!!

-Before making business decisions that contract with an outside entity, the city needs to be certain other entities can’t provide the service for a comparable price. I.E., the grant writer. It’s our understanding she was hire without contacting Ozark Foothills to see if they could furnish the same service.

-I feel our present City Council should focus on what is best for the city of Poplar Bluff. Keeping things local helps all of us. It is time the newly elected members begin to think clearly about their duties and work for all Poplar Bluff businesses and citizens. They clearly had an agenda when elected and now they have gone to the extreme. It is time to stop the spending for all the consultants that have been hired and focus on doing the best job possible to with the money we have. Clearly there has been no evidence of any improvement since being they were elected.

I feel that our new City Council members are completely incompetent and unable to provide leadership in any meaningful way for this community. So my concerns have to do more with voter apathy than anything else. I feel the current leadership group is anti-local business and there should be a concerted effort led by the Chamber to remove them from office. There is no reason to try to work with them since they have unfounded pre-conceived notions about how city business was previously conducted. They have been poisoned by malcontents and are not worthy of their positions.

-Up to this date, it appears the current council is not too concerned about doing their homework on any decisions they have made. The city manager does not seem to be too concerned about the citizen’s feelings or opinions. We must as a group stand up and voice our concerns. I am afraid one of these days we may wake up and find out it is too late. Now is the time to apply pressure to the council and the city manager about our concerns.

-Always promote higher education. Minimum of a bachelors degree needed!

-Technical education, as college education gets more expensive and with the stagnant economy this is going to be more important for the future. Auto tech, computers, HVAC, welding, building trades. We use to have a program called Cooperative occupational education. Local businesses would hire high school seniors and train them in various fields and in some instances keep them on part time as we hoped they would attend Three Rivers College. This we hoped would help to keep local talent

-Yes. I think that the school should use our tax dollars more wisely. Instead of spending the majority of them on the football team and the field, they should spend them on keeping our schools up-to-date and safe. With all of the chaos going on in today’s society, I believe that security should be upped at every school in our district.

-Better use of the college as a resource

-A Tree Board to protect and improve our environment and beautify our home

-Build the profitability of the Coliseum

-Better use of our tourism tax

-New funding sources for community improvements

-Stop creating more tax districts! Between city, county, state and special districts you are encouraging purchasers to seek other cities for goods and services.

-Reduce Sales tax on Business 67. It is driving sales of local goods to online shopping.

-offer better incentives to bring new industrial companies into our town

-I would love to see our community reach out to traveling ball teams. This would be a big boost for our business growth in PB. My daughter did traveling ball for years and we spent tons of money in other communities. From Hotels, restaurants and grocery stores traveling teams stand to bring a lot of money into the community. This would be huge for our business growth here Poplar Bluff. Thank you

-The City does NOT need to combine the budgets of Municipal Utilities and the City. That will undoubtedly lead to a co-mingling of funds. Our community does not need future Councils and City Managers spending those funds, in a short-sighted manner that will ultimately result in higher utility rates for the long term.

-More businesses/restaurants need to be added to the highway signs on hwy 60 loop that now runs along the West side of PB.

-My past observation has been that many issues and concerns have already been addressed and I have confidence as more arise, they will be addressed in a positive way.