NEOSHO, MO.--- The fate of the Neosho city government's ethical standards may soon be in the hands of the people. The code of ethics came into question nearly two months ago when one city leader began speaking about a private legal matter during a council meeting. Other council members stopped him due to the code of ethics ordinance in place which states those things cannot be talked about until they are finalized.
Right now, the code is not part of the city charter and only exists as an ordinance, which was adopted in 2010. Two councilmen tried to abolish the code last month so that meetings could be more open and transparent. They were unsuccessful, but the debate has now become a hot topic. So, tonight the city attorney presented the five councilmen with the preliminary verbiage to make the code part of the city charter.
Neosho Mayor Richard Davidson says adopting the code into the charter would allow residents to decide the council's ethical boundaries. "The question then became, should the people who are elected to be ethical be in charge of determining what level of ethics they should be held to? My opinion and the majority of the council views that should be put to the vote of the people and put into our charter."
City leaders will still have to officially approve the issue for an April ballot. The city attorney will finalize the verbage for council members to approve within the next few weeks.
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