The Mornin' Mail is published daily Tuesday, June 9, 1998 Volume VI, Number 249

did ya know?
Did Ya Know. . Applications for the upcoming Leadership Carthage course are available at the Chamber of Commerce office. Class size will be limited to 15. The nine session course will give an overview of local and county political organization as well as touching on social and economic factors. The main focus is to prepare citizens for community leadership roles.

today's laugh

A mother was taking her young son for a ride in the car. On their way home, the lad asked:

"Mother, where are all the infernal idiots?"

"Why, Son," she replied, "they only happen to be on the road when your father is driving."


Judge - "Witness says you neither slowed down nor tried to avoid the pedestrian."

Motorist - "I took all precautions. I blew my horn and cursed him."


"Doesn’t that soprano have a large repertoire?"

"Yes, and that dress she has on makes it look worse."


"And this, I suppose, is one of those hideous caricatures you call modern art."

"Nope, that’s just a mirror."

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


Sad Matrimonial Disappointment
for an Arlington Hotel Girl.

Miss Leona Newton, who was employed at the Arlington hotel till a short time ago was engaged to be married on Friday of next week to J. C. Beard, yard master on a railroad at Coffeyville, Kas. She herself was from Coffeyville. She quit working a few days ago and was a boarder at the hotel, preparing for her wedding.

Yesterday there came a telegram announcing that her intended husband had been run over by a freight car in the yards at Coffeyville and could not live six hours. Miss Newton left for Coffeyville last night.

I. C. Wheeler is now burning his first kiln of brick for this spring. There were 220,000 brick in it.

  Today's Feature

Quality of Life Focus in New Budget

City Administrator Tom Short issued his Budget Overview last week to the Mayor and City Council. The following is the bulk of that document:

"On the whole, the fiscal condition of the City remains good. The City enjoys a General Revenue Fund surplus which provides a "comfort level" for fiscal stability. In 1994, the City Council adopted an ordinance establishing a minimum surplus in the General Fund. This minimum balance was adopted at a level equal to 33% of the City’s annual operating expenditures. This action provides a guideline for future budget planning. The City, due to conservative projections and prudent financial management over these years, has accumulated a substantial fund balance. Estimates for this fiscal year indicate that the fund balance will total approximately $3,426,568 to begin the year. In last year’s audit, one of our auditor’s recommendations suggested evaluating the City’s current needs and monitoring and following up on budgeted capital projects. Further consideration was suggested regarding maintaining a minimum three-month operation reserve versus the current four-month policy. This year’s budget will use some accumulated fund balance.

"This year’s budget also reflects a number of Council goals and priorities. The provision of current funding levels for city departments, boards and agencies illustrates the Council’s commitment of providing the same service levels previously enjoyed by the citizens of Carthage. The Council has continued to regard economic development as an important priority for the City’s long-term development. The need to maintain and improve city streets has also been established and addressed as an important objective this year.

"A conservative approach has again been used to estimate the anticipated 1999 revenues. Projecting revenues in a conservative manner represents another policy decision of the Council to carefully manage our financial assets. Sales Tax revenues and Property Tax revenues are projected based on the anticipated activity level for programs while other revenue sources are projected based on actual revenues received in 1998"

General Revenue Fund- Revenues

"Total General Revenue Fund Revenues are projected to increase approximately 2.58% from the approved fiscal 1998 budget. This amounts to an increase of $138,600. The two main portions of this increase are attributable to the Tax category and the Other General Revenue category. The Tax category is being projected to increase $121,300 or 3.92% from the fiscal 1998 approved budget. These projections are in line with historical trends seen by the City and continue to be the main revenue source of the General Revenue’s Fund’s budget. The Tax category accounts for approximately 58.44% of the fund’s total revenues. The taxes in this category are Property, Sales, Cigarette, Gas, and Transportation. Some of these taxes are designated for specific uses by local or state law. Sales Tax continues to be heavily relied upon by the City to provide for necessary services to our citizens. Sales tax is the single largest item in the revenue budget. We are budgeting an increase of $80,000 or 5.11% in this line item. In 1992 the State of Missouri started collecting sales tax on out-of-state purchases (local use tax) and remitted the local share to the cities. In 1996, the Missouri Supreme Court determined this taxation to be unconstitutional. In June of 1996, a counter-lawsuit was filed. The statute of limitations limits claims for refunds to the past three years. The total use tax collected by the City (as reported in our audit report) from July 1, 1993 to June 30, 1996 was $294,335. Due to unclaimed refunds and work by the Municipal League and the Department of Revenue, the City’s amount to repay is $172,109 beginning April 1998. Several options were made available to cities. The one approved by the City Council was to allow a withholding from various sales tax distributors (option #3) monthly for twelve and one half months. The increase projected in sales and transportation taxes do not include and allowance for this rebate. We have however, set up an appropriation in the budget to offset these amounts and to keep a true picture of actual receipts. The Other General Revenue category is anticipated to increase $27,700 or 32.74%. The Interest Income, Utility Transfer and Worker’s Compensation Premium Return constitute most of this increase.

"Generally, the revenues have been established on the conservative side based on previous years’ experience. We do not feel the projections are out of line."


"Overall, expenditures in the General Revenue fund provide for maintenance at the same level of municipal services as provided last year. There are no new programs or new employees being added to he budget. We are providing for capital equipment for the various departments of the fund to adequately maintain current services. We are however, increasing spending for capital improvement projects. In this year’s budget we are appropriating $1,563,000 for capital improvements. Of these, $763,000 are for various construction projects. These involve Stormwater projects on Fairview and River Street to upgrading the storm siren system in the City. The other $800,000 in capital improvements are set asides of one type or another. Five hundred thousand dollars of this is for the airport relocation, $100,000 each for the Fairview and Civil War Road interchanges, and $100,000 for incentives to developers for curb & guttering and asphalt programs.

"Total General Revenue Fund appropriations of $6,904,081 are approximately 27.40% higher than the fiscal 1998 budget. However, this includes the capital improvements mentioned above. If the capital items are taken out of each year’s budget, the increase is 5.77%. This includes a 2% step increase for employees on the pay plan ( who satisfactorily complete their evaluation) adopted by the Council last year and a recommended 2% cost of living adjustment. This figure also includes an increase in the hold Harmless payment for the Library and the Parks and Recreation departments of 12.91%. An item that will need further investigation and review is the rationale for the hold harmless agreement. As mentioned above, the funding levels for this are scheduled to increase this year. The "formula" used to compute the amount was based on the personal property tax values. As these increase, so do the reimbursements amounts to the various Boards. This year we have agreed with the respective boards to reduce the amount from that requested by 4.5%. This was based on a 3.5% estimated amount for uncollectables (based on prior history) and a 1% collection fee by the City

"The budget for this fiscal year is basically a status-quo budget with the major change being the City’s commitment to capital improvement projects. The projects recommended for approval are much needed and are not new to the Council. These projects have been discussed previously but funds were not available to undertake them. This year, a conscience decision was made to use unallocated accumulated fund balance money to fund these projects and diminish the fund balance to a more realistic number considering the City’s overall needs."


"We can take pride in living and working in the City of Carthage. Our City has mode significant progress for our citizens. We have provided infrastructure to support continued community development including improving arterial roads, overlaying residential and collector streets with City, State and Federal funds. Additionally, we are working with developers in a partnership to provide for expanded opportunities for our citizens as evidence by our agreement with the 71A Partnership. We are also providing for expansion of our water storage and distribution capabilities with the two new water towers. We are also in the process of expanding the treatment capacity at the Wastewater Plant. All in all the City is accomplishing improving the quality of life for our residents.

"Future accomplishments will address the needs for expanding services. The 1998-99 budget addresses the need for high quality public services and provides for a responsible and practical plan to achieve our goals. We believe this budget sets a responsible course for the future of our city, leading us into a stronger, more formidable position in the years to come.

"In closing, I would like to express my appreciation to the Mayor, Budget Ways & Means Committee, the Council, and the Department Heads for their diligent efforts in making this budget year successful. We have made some changes in the budget process and I thank everyone for their understanding and patience in this effort. Additional changes to improve the process will continue to evolve."

Respectfully submitted,

Tom Short
City Administrator


Martin "Bubs" Hohulin
State Representative, District 126

It is with some hesitancy and trepidation that I write this column, but I promised you I wouldn’t shy away from tough issues and I intend to keep that promise. Please keep in mind as you read this that it is not my intention to be judgmental of anyone or their situation, I am just telling you how the law has been changed and what the results may be.

I am talking about the issue of child support payments, or nonpayment, visitation, and custody. This has been a hot topic in the Legislature the last couple years as dominant thinking has changed in regard to cus tody. It used to be that the mother was automatically given custody unless proven to be grossly unfit. Increasingly, judges have begun looking at which situation would be best for the children. This has been a positive step, although we still have a long way to go. I guess it must be a hot topic with the public as well since the last seven years I have been in office I have received more phone calls regarding child support and custody problems than anything else. Kind of sad, isn’t it? Some of the stories just break my heart and others make me furious.

In this year’s bill there were about two dozen substantive changes. While some of these just dealt with court proceedings others will have an impact. One such change is that the noncustodial parent that is paying child support will now be allowed to receive a summary of the expenses paid on behalf of the child. I really think this will be a positive step. I have lost track of the number of calls I have received from a parent telling me they aren’t getting enough child support only to be followed with a call from someone telling me their ex spouse just took the support payment and used it to make a boat payment.

Another change will make interfering with visitation and custody subject to the same penalties as not making support payments. Again, I receive many calls from parents complaining they haven’t received their check on time only to be followed with a call from someone telling me they are not being allowed to have their child that weekend because their ex is upset about something. To me one is just as bad as the other.

Probably the most heartbreaking change in this bill is the one that allows a court to require a neutral location for the exchange of a child and to have a neutral third party present at the exchange. Think about this for a moment. I’m not saying this isn’t needed in some situations, but if it has come to that, think what kind of impact that is having on the kids. If kids are going through that in their formative years, chances are they are going to be calling me (or one of my successors) with their own set of problems in a few years.

I guess the bottom line of all this is that we can make all the laws we want. But until BOTH parents make the decision to put the interests of their kids first and foremost, much of what we do in Jefferson City will continue to be just a Band-Aid on a gaping wound.

As usual, I can be reached at the House Post Office, State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO 65101 or 1-800-878-7126 or for your questions, comments, or advice.


Just Jake Talkin'

As usual, the night before the City Clean Up day increased the amount of traffic throughout the community. Pickups loaded with various amounts of this and that picked up curb side. For our neighborhood, the hour or so before sundown was the most exciting. Sittin’ on the porch watchin’ folks stop by and asses the "haul" was entertainin’ in itself, but one visit outdid the rest.

Just as it was gettin’ dark, a school bus, I couldn’t make out the markin’s, pulled up with ten or twelve folks. Four or five of ‘em got out and spent some time checkin’ out our pile. One of the passengers was equipped with a flash light. These folks took the game serious. Most of our stuff was fairly large so I don’t think they picked any of it up. Maybe the Chamber should start advertisin’ bus tours for next year’s clean up days.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.



McCune-Brooks Hospital

Weekly Column

Health Notes

Health & Nutrition by Judith Sheldon

SUMMER ITCH: There are actually some 60 plants that can cause severe allergic reactions. The most commonly known are poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac. Often, it’s not the first contact with the sap of these plants that causes the problem. In most instances, the first encounter sensitizes one to the allergen in the plant. It’s the subsequent encounters that can be dangerous.

Some people who recognize the poison plants may decide to burn them. Not a good idea. Burning releases the toxin into the air and causes a painful, itchy rash.

Handling garden equipment that has been in contact with the sap can cause problems. It’s a good idea to run a garden hose at least five minutes on the equipment to minimize the risk of making contact with any sap.

If you’ve stepped on a plant’s leaves and picked up its sap on the sole of your shoe, even two months later, touching the sole can cause an allergic reaction. The shoe’s soles should be wiped off with warm soapy water. Launder any clothes that might have picked up some sap residue. Carefully wipe your pet with warm water and soap.

If you have developed a reaction, ask your family doctor or dermatologist for medication to relieve itching and discomfort while you heal.



Copyright 1997 by Heritage Publishing. All rights reserved.