JOPLIN, Mo. - The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce held a press conference today to announce the official kick-off of a canvassing campaign to rally support for Proposition B.
Proposition B is a half cent sales tax, and officials say it will help the city in it's final push to correct issues with fire and police retention and recruiting. Prop B helps the city fund the existing pension plan to ensure those already drawing from it, don't lose their benefits, and it helps transition everyone else to the new "LAGERS" program, which is more common for police and fire departments nationwide.
Joplin Police Chief Matt Stewart says "I really think it's going to help our recruiting efforts in the fact that now, instead of coming to Joplin and having to start all over on a brand new pension, if they're coming from a city or another agency that has LAGERS, they can bring those years of service for retirement with them, to Joplin, which I think is really going to help our recruitment."
The chamber kicked off a door-to-door canvassing initiative to help gather support. Warren Turner is one of those residents pushing for a yes vote. He says it's important for people to vote yes, because the sales tax, allows out of towners to help fund police and fire needs. "They're coming in, and like I say, using our streets and eating in our restaurants and shopping and, we're providing safety for them, so why not vote for this? And it's a win-win situation, I can't see why you would not want to vote for this."
For Joplin Fire Chief Jim Furgerson, getting to this point means they'll be able to recruit more experienced firefighters. Furgerson says "Experience matters in an emergency, four guys on a truck matters in an emergency, you want the best trained, and the best qualified personnel to show up to your residence, this initiative helps keep that in place, for years to come."
The Proposition B initiative will be on the November 5th ballot. You have until October 9th to register to vote.
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- Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Copyright 2019 by KOAMNewsNow KOAM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.