Missouri Cities Call for Collaboration With State and Federal Legislators
Thursday, February 11, 2016
February 11, 2016
Missouri Cities Call For Collaboration With State and Federal Legislators
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri local municipal officials discussed the best way to work together with state and federal officials this week in Jefferson City at the Missouri Municipal League Legislative Conference Feb. 9-10, 2016.
More than 230 municipal mayors, counci lmembers, city administrators and other local officials reviewed how proposed state legislation, such as sales and property tax exemptions, right-of-way issues and municipal court issues affect a city’s ability to provide critical services to citizens. Two-thirds of Missourians live in a municipality and depend on the day-to-day services their city provides, such as water, sewer, trash pickup, street maintenance, police protection, snow removal and more.
“Piecemeal legislation dealing with increased tax exemptions or right-of-way management only ends up harming citizens,” said Randall Rhoads, mayor of Lee’s Summit and MML President. “It shifts the costs from private enterprise to cities, and removes the voter-approved resources we need to clean streets, take care of abandoned buildings and protect property values.
Mayor of Riverside and MML Vice President Kathy Rose says the recent focus on municipal courts paints Missouri cities with a broad brush by the Missouri legislature and does not reflect the hard work by thousands of city employees across Missouri who keep their communities vibrant.
City leaders are concerned it results in a breakdown of trust at a time when partnerships are needed to move Missouri forward.
“There has been a lot of attention on municipal courts, but that is just one part of a city’s operations,” said Rose. “Cities do our part day in and day out to support a citizen’s everyday quality of life. We need our partners in Jefferson City to stand with us and support us.”
Transportation was another top priority discussed. Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna addressed local officials, highlighting the critical state of Missouri’s bridges and how a continued decline in road conditions will mean businesses locate elsewhere. Missouri cities support a proposed increase in the fuel tax as a first step to help fund the most essential infrastructure improvements.
The Missouri Municipal League provides a united voice for municipalities across Missouri. Founded in 1934, MML now serves 660 municipalities with training, resources and legislative advocacy for local government leaders. Learn more at www.mocities.com.