We were in Jeff City for an interim meeting on local governance. Most of what is being looked at is pertaining to the St. Louis area. In St. Louis County, there are nearly 90 incorporated cities and towns. Many years ago, they got together and agreed to a 1-cent county tax to be divided evenly among all the different cities. Now there are some that have a population of several thousand and some with as few as 50 or 60. Now they want the state to get the mess cleaned up. I don’t even know where they will start but it’s sure going to be interesting! We also had an organizational meeting for the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. We elected Sen. Schaefer as the chairman and I will be the vice chair. We are going to meet again about the middle of October and by that time all 14 members will have had a chance to interview children’s service workers and law enforcement officers about their experiences. By the time we begin session, we hope to be working on some new laws to help solve some of the current problems.
We attended the McDonald County Republican Club meeting Thursday evening and were served a great meal. There were several local candidates present and there were also representatives for the statewide offices. Bill Dobbs started making announcements of upcoming events and I’ll bet there were 15 pie auctions coming up. Somebody is going to open a pie shop for politicians and we can just buy direct!
Friday evening we attended the school carnival at Goodman. No pie auction but a great silent auction. The high point was the principal getting in the dunk tank! There was some talk of “letting” me participate in the dunk tank festivity but I was able to convince myself not to.
Saturday was Newtonia’s Sesquicentennial celebration. There were many activities planned but the ham and bean lunch was by far the best! The Civil War re- enactments are always great and all the kids really enjoy getting a dose of history this way!
Finally, I want to visit a minute about the proposed closing of the Seneca Library. The Neosho-Newton County Library Board placed a question on the ballot for a tax increase to expand the Neosho Library. Unfortunately, the issue was soundly defeated. Now it seems as if they wish to close the Seneca Library to save an estimated $70,000 a year in salaries, rent, and utilities. I’m all for saving tax dollars, but in August (a very slow library month) there were 2,600 transactions.
Remember, there are two assisted living centers in Seneca and it’s a long drive to Neosho. The students at the alternative school downtown also use the facility for access to computers. Around 4 p.m. daily there is a real rush of Seneca school children that show up to check out books. The facility has existed in Seneca since 1935 and it sure seems like there ought to be something we can do to remedy the problem.