The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Thursday, February 10, 2005 Volume XIII, Number 167

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?... The Family Literacy Council/Family Neighborhood Center is selling colorful trashbags as a fund-raiser to support Adult Literacy programs in Jasper County. Durable trash bags come in two sizes; 13 Gallon 1.1 mil and 33 Gallon 1.5 mil. and in a variety of colors; green, blue, orange, purple and yellow. For more info please call 358-5926.

Did Ya Know?... The Kendrick Place would like to invite you and your special loved one to an annual Valentine’s Dinner on Feb. 14th. Live music, door prizes, each lady will receive a flower. $25.00 per person, call 358-3127 for more information.

Did Ya Know?... The Carthage Humane Society needs volunteers to take pets to Petsmart on Saturday Mornings. A meeting for volunteers will be held Tuesday, Feb. 15th at 6:00 p.m. at Mazzio’s Pizza. Call 358-6402 for more info.

Did Ya Know?... The Ladies of the Assessors Office have put together a Jasper County Cookbook, the first since 1979. All proceeds go to Relay for Life for donation of $10.00. Receive you cookbook today, call Sandy 358-4952 or Christie 358-7357.

today's laugh

In a garage at Albuquerque, New Mexico, the following sign is posted:
"Don’t smoke around the gasoline tank! If your life isn’t worth anything, gasoline is!"

A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.

For the Contests.

Principals of the High Schools Arranging for the Annual Events.

Principals Barnes, Barbee and Lichliter of the Carthage, Webb City and Joplin High schools held an adjourned meeting in Joplin Saturday and continued their work of arranging for the inter-High school contests.

The gentlemen decided that the contests this year should take place on neutral ground. The first one will be between Carthage and Joplin at Webb City and will be held the last week of February. The second one, which will be between Webb City and the winner of the first contest, will take place at the town where the losers of the first contest reside and will follow the first event by about a month. Last year both contests were held at Webb City.

The principals will meet next Wednesday in Carthage to select the topic for debate.


Today's Feature

Public Will Not Decide on Fire Tax.

Council Votes Against Issue.

The City Council denied the motion to take the proposed Police and Fire pension plan changes to a public vote at Tuesday’s meeting by a 9 to 1 vote. Council member Mike Harris was in favor of the public vote, all others were against.

Mayor Kenneth Johnson asked that during discussion of the matter Council members would keep their comments brief, and not speak a second time until everyone had spoken once. After stating that the issue was brought to Council by the Finance/Personnel committee, the Mayor asked if Finance/Personnel Chair Ronnie Wells had anything to say about the issue before the discussion.

Wells said that after reviewing the proposal his committee had sent it back through City Administrator Tom Short to the Police and Fire Departments in hopes that the Departments would make revisions including a larger contribution on their side. Wells said that the departments returned the proposal without any changes, and after much discussion the committee brought the item to Council without a recommendation for or against taking it to a public vote.

The Council discussion included each Council member speaking on the issue. Some members said how they intended to vote and some simply spoke about their feelings on the matter.

Council Member Jim Woestman said he felt that he had been elected to make decisions for his ward, and did not feel that he should send pass off the responsibility on the public that he was elected to represent.

"I have talked to at least a dozen people, because it is being talked about in town, as it should be, and they feel like the City Council should make the decision on this," said Woestman.

Council Member Tom Flanigan spoke about the current sales tax status, including the upcoming tax to support the Library additions and a proposed Law Enforcement sales tax, and how the fire tax would affect Carthage.

"This quarter percent fire sales tax will kick the total sales tax; if all those dominoes fell in place; to 7.6 percent," said Flanigan, who added "My vote is to vote this down."

Council Member Ronnie Wells was opposed to the proposition going to a public vote.

"I just cannot support this plan," said Wells

Council Member Claude Newport was also in opposition.

"I don’t support this, but this isn’t a reflection on the quality of service," said Newport of the proposal after saying that he thought the Carthage Police and Fire Departments were fine establishments. He added, "I also don’t feel that it is right to have citizens paying tax when many of those citizens don’t have any plan at all."

Council Member Jackie Boyer was not in favor of the item going to vote.

"It just seems like we have a very equitable plan," said Boyer. "I know that most of us would like to retire early, but I think that we don’t expect to do that on the shoulders of other people. I think that we need to vote this issue down."

Council Member Mike Harris was in favor of the issue going to a vote.

"I think retention is an issue now, and I think it will become more of an issue in the future," said Harris about losing Police and Firemen to nearby cities with better pension plans. "I’m not ready to retire. I can’t, for one reason, one of the other reasons that I’m thankful for, is that I don’t have to run up and down a ladder every day," Harris added.

Council Member Dave Woods said he had randomly called 28 people in his ward to get a feel for how they felt on the issue.

"The overwhelming response was opposed to this going forward," said Woods. "Of the 28 people I talked to, 16 opposed it, and primarily because they felt like they were already taxed to death."

Council Member Diane Sharits was in opposition of the public vote.

"I’ve not heard any positive comments from the people in my ward," said Sharits.

Council Member Bill Johnson spoke about the responsibility of making decisions for the people.

"If we run to the people every time we have anything major, I think we’re not doing the job we’re supposed to be doing," said Johnson.

Council Member Bill Welch said that he had been in favor of the plan until he heard that the Departments had not been willing to compromise on the amount they contributed.

"Both sides need to give a little," said Welch.

Just Jake Talkin'
There are two basic schools of thought when it comes to how an elected official should make decisions.

One is that the official should always get the opinion of those who elected them. Poll the voters and get an actual count of those for and against and vote accordingly.

The other view is that officials are elected to make those decisions that are best for the community. Sometimes regardless of what individual voters may think. The idea bein’ that officials are elected to be more informed than the average citizen and the judgement is be made with that information.

It appears that although both schools of thought were incorporated in the decision not to bring a fire sales tax question to a vote of the people. The combination was impossible to overcome at this time.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’

Sponsored by
Metcalf Auto Supply
Weekly Column
Click & Clack Talk Cars

By Tom and Ray Magliozzi

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a ‘95 Geo Metro with a 1.0-liter engine and a five-speed transmission. I recently took my car four-wheeling and broke a few things, the catalytic converter being one of them. Anyhow, when the converter was there, I got 52 mpg, but now I’m getting just over 60 mpg. I want to know why I’m getting better mileage. And would I be evil if I never replaced the converter? The muffler is gone now too. If I’m caught doing this do I get sent to Guantanamo Bay? Thanks. - Steve.

TOM: Steve, Don Rumsfeld is on his way to your house as we speak. But on the plus side, we hear Guantanamo Bay is quite balmy this time of the year.

RAY: The reason you get better mileage is because you’ve eliminated most of the "back pressure" from your exhaust system. In addition to protecting us from air pollution (converter) and noise pollution (muffler), those two devices also restrict your exhaust to a certain degree. And that decreases your mileage. It’s the price we pay for what we call civilization, Steve. You should consider joining it sometime.

TOM: Without sufficient back pressure, the hot exhaust will blow past your engine’s valves so quickly that it’ll burn them up, and eventually you’ll need to replace them. Let’s do the math.

RAY: You’re getting an extra 8 miles per gallon. Which, over the course of 12,000 miles, saves you about 30 gallons of gas. So, without the converter and muffler, you save $60 a year.

TOM: A valve job on this car would probably run you about $600. But don’t forget that while you’re at Guantanamo Bay, you won’t have to pay rent on your apartment. Factor that in, too, and then do what you think is best, Steve.

By Greg Zyla
Sponsored by Curry Automotive

A New Season for NASCAR

This week, we’ll catch up with some NASCAR off-season news and views. Here we go!

The Gatorade Twin 125 qualifiers held the Thursday before the Daytona 500 are no more. Beginning this year, a new format calls for twin 150-mile qualifiers under the name "Gatorade Duel at Daytona." We don’t like the name at all, as "Twin (whatever)" or "Qualifiers" have been in existence since the track’s inception in 1959. This extra 10-lap format will force teams to apply more pit strategy, which we do like.

Mike Bliss takes over as full-time driver in the NetZero Chevy, replacing Ward Burton. ... Road-race expert Boris Said has a minimum 10-race deal with financial backing from Centrix Financial. Best part of this deal is the addition of crew chief Frank Stoddard, who has 14 Cup wins to his credit. ... Jimmy Spencer receives some part-time Cup rides in the No. 50 Don Arnold-owned Dodge, which was driven last year by several drivers, most notably Derrick Cope. ... Look for Dave Blaney to do well in the Richard Childress Jack Daniels-sponsored Chevy. This is probably Blaney’s best shot at winning.

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