The next City of Joplin Election is August 3, 2021. The County Clerks are the Election Officials for residents of Jasper and Newton Counties. Please contact your County Clerk's office or the Missouri Secretary of State for details on voting information.
Elections for municipal officials serving the City of Joplin are held in even numbered years. Joplin is a Charter form of government, setting the terms for all City councilmembers to four years in length. With a nine-member council, terms for half the council will expire every even-numbered year. The position of mayor is a two-year term and is voted on by Council.
More information for citizens interesting in running for a Council seat can be found in the Election Guidelines booklet.
Working toward a Vision….
With the leadership of the City Council, the City of Joplin is working towards a community vision that has been inspired by listening to our citizens. The Listening Tour gave citizens the opportunity to share their thoughts on the City’s strengths, areas that need attention, and ways they’d like to see Joplin grow. Many agreed our biggest asset is the people. Known for their grit and determination from the early mining days to today’s cyber society, Joplin citizens recognize the importance of working hard and joining their neighbors to enhance their community.
Founded in 1873, Joplin settlers developed this city by working together in the mining industry, establishing needed businesses, while some even donated beautiful green spaces for the whole community to enjoy as parkland.
But after nearly 150 years, our age is showing. For Joplin’s next 150 years to be as good as its last, reinvestment and revitalization are needed to enhance the quality of place within our community. This means creating and revitalizing our residential and commercial places into more desirable and high-quality destinations. The next 150 years will require more aggressive economic development so citizens have economic mobility through the addition of more job opportunities.
What the Community Wants...
Citizens responding to the Listening Tour added comments about the need for community improvements and beautification. Residents encouraged the City to tackle blight in neighborhoods while reducing vacant buildings. They want public safety issues addressed and more economic development efforts to increase job growth. These are just a few of the areas that our citizens raised in the Listening Tour.
Our Goals, Vision, and Plan...
These citizens’ comments were invaluable as Council members established the City’s Vision and Goals in late 2020. In reviewing the citizens’ interests, Council set the objectives to make Joplin more attractive that focused on their concerns.
Fulfilling these goals will require hard work and collaboration throughout the City organization along with our community. In establishing Action Plans that align with Council’s goals and focus on the ideas identified by our citizens, it was recognized that additional resources are needed for some programs within the plans. Action plans are the efforts and strategies the City will implement to help accomplish the Council’s goals.
Citizens will be asked to go to the polls three times in the next 12 months to decide how Joplin moves forward.
Each ballot question will address an initiative to provide funding for specific projects for our community. The City will provide information explaining how the funding will be used in parks and stormwater projects, social concern issues, Memorial Hall’s renovation, as well as job growth opportunities coupled with economic development for our own citizens and companies seeking a Midwest community location.
This is an important time for voters as they help determine Joplin’s future. We appreciate your time and attention to these matters and thank you for your consideration.
The upcoming elections are summarized below with links to more details about the issues that voters will consider. Please contact us with your questions.
Proposition Renewal (Parks and Stormwater ¼-Cent Sales Tax Renewal)
On August 3, 2021 voters will be asked whether they support the renewal of the Parks and Stormwater Sales Tax. Citizens originally passed this ten-year, ¼-cent sales tax in 2001 and supported its renewal in 2011. Voters will consider a renewal of this sales tax to provide funding to continue addressing water retention and flooding issues with stormwater improvements in the next ten years. These funds will also be used for Parks projects, including developing park destinations along with maintenance of the existing Parks infrastructure. If approved, the sales tax will have a sunset date of March 31, 2032.
The Citizens Task Force Committee for the Renewal of the Parks and Stormwater Sales Tax reviewed proposed projects and developed a final project list as a recommendation to the City Council for this funding. Council (unanimously) approved the Committee’s recommendation at the May 17, 2021 Council meeting. Projects lists and maps can be found at this link: Stormwater Maintenance and Improvements & Parks and Recreation Projects
Proposition Action - Addressing issues our citizens requested (Use Tax)
On November 2, 2021, Joplin voters will be asked if they would support a Use Tax for the City of Joplin. A local use tax is not a new tax. And it’s not a double tax. If a sales tax is paid, a use tax is not. A use tax applies to purchases made outside of the State of Missouri, such as online, catalog, and direct marketing items, and brought here for use. The Use Tax will be collected at the same rate as Joplin’s current Sales Tax (3.125 percent). Use Tax revenues are distributed among City accounts in the same manner as sales tax revenues.
April 2022 Bond Question #1 - Restore Historic Memorial Hall
On April 5, 2022, citizens will consider a bond issue to provide funds for the renovation of Memorial Hall. In early 2021, City staff and consultants group, SFS Architecture, completed a review and study of Memorial Hall and its structural integrity. Public meetings were held along with multiple surveys to hear citizens’ ideas and hopes for this historic building. In this process, Joplin citizens indicated that they preferred/supported this 1928 structure to be renovated for continued use by the community, as it had been in the past. Learn more about the Study and the Memorial Hall renovation proposal by visiting the Memorial Hall webpage.
April 2022 Bond Question #2 - Launchpad: Educational and business resources for students, entrepreneurs, start-ups and new job growth.
The second question on the April 5, 2022 ballot will focus on the Launchpad, the adaptive re-use of the former downtown Joplin library. The Launchpad is a collaborative effort to attract, retain, and train a 21st-century workforce and tomorrow’s innovative entrepreneurs. With voter approval, the City of Joplin, Missouri Southern State University, Joplin Schools, and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce would combine resources to address talent retention and workforce development at the Launchpad.
The competition between communities for talent will only sharpen because the pandemic accelerated existing trends: boomer retirements, decreasing labor participation, and lower birth rates. In response, the Launchpad’s objectives are to:
- LAUNCH Careers - Integrate high school and MSSU students into the Joplin business community to demonstrate 21st-century career opportunities are here in Joplin.
- LAUNCH Entrepreneurs - Expand collaboration and leverage resources across our entrepreneurial ecosystem partners to better support innovation and entrepreneurship.
- LAUNCH Culinary Start-ups - Incubate culinary entrepreneurs while providing a safe, large-scale outdoor seating area for food, drinks, and entertainment. Creating a central gathering place for sharing ideas, creating community, and establishing placemaking.
- LAUNCH our Digital Workforce - Accelerate digital economy reskilling of our displaced workforce and prepare our workforce of tomorrow.
- LAUNCH Access to Opportunities - Increase access and diversity to attract minorities, females, and low-income entrants to digital occupations and entrepreneurship.
Paid for by the City of Joplin | Nick Edwards, City Manager | 602 S. Main Street, Joplin, MO 64801