JOPLIN, Mo. — The City of Joplin has new leadership.

Doug Lawson was nominated and confirmed by City Council as the new mayor.

“I want to see the City of Joplin come together. We are united in most ways but I would like to see that more,” said Mayor Doug Lawson, City of Joplin.

Monday night the Joplin City Council held a special meeting to swear in five new city councilors and select the new mayor and mayor pro tem.

Joplin mayor Doug Lawson says his number one priority in his new role is to compensate police.

“We are competing with the whole world basically to find police officers of quality that Joplin has come to expect and we are gonna have to pay them. So that’s the big issue right behind it our other first responders,” said Mayor Doug Lawson, City of Joplin.

Also topping the new Mayor’s priority list is figuring out what to do with Memorial Hall.

“If we are gonna save it we are gonna have to work quickly. The citizens were very clear they don’t want to spend $30 million,” said Mayor Lawson. “Staff will be looking at it to see if there’s an alternative to save that wonderful building.”

Mayor Pro Tem Keenan Cortez will continue in that role.

“We got a lot of new business coming to town and we have a new shopping center opening up at Sam’s. There’s a lot of work to be done the next couple of years and I’m just gonna be up here showing up every first and third Monday doing the best I can for the citizens of Joplin,” Cortez said.

The five newly elected city councilors were also sworn-in and will now take their place for the next four years.

“The future of Joplin is bright and the future of council is bright. Because this is the exact example of democracy at its best,” he added.

Tonight former Mayor Ryan Stanley took the time to thank outgoing City Council members. He was also given a plaque and seal of Joplin for his public service.