City council elections in Joplin will be competitive next month. Five candidates are running to fill three general council seats. The candidates that receive the highest two vote tallies will be awarded four-year terms. The individual with the third most votes will serve two years.
Josh DeTar is a newcomer to running for city council, although he currently visits on various boards and committees in Joplin.
Interview edited for clarity
FRED (HOST) – Joplin City Council elections take place Tuesday April 5. Three general council seats are available, in addition to the seats in Zones 1 and 4. Josh DeTar is running for one of the three, four-year openings on the city council. I recently interviewed Josh and first asked him to introduce himself to voters.
JOSH (GUEST) – My name is Josh. I’m a lifelong resident of Joplin. My family has been around here for many generations. I have a wife, Stephanie and three children. I’ve got a sister that lives in town. I’m a financial advisor in the area. I’ve been around for 46 years. I’m serving on the parks and recreation board.
I’ve sat on different committees with the city of Joplin. I also sit on the Joplin school’s foundation board, and then I’ve been on the facilities committee with the school district. I’ve just been involved in a lot of different areas throughout the community.
FRED – Quality of life issues, improving Joplin’s police and fire, in addition to making Joplin attractive to potential business owners that reside in the area and to attract new businesses are some of the issues that Josh say he would address if elected. In addition to providing amenities that our neighbors in Springfield and Northwest Arkansas already enjoy.
JOSH – I believe in civic duty, but also believe in leading in the community I live in. I’ve been on the different committees and different boards. But Joplin’s really kind of made this momentum the last couple of years. That’s been pretty exciting with the passage as well, renewal of the stormwater tax, the passage of the use tax.
Those are huge. Those are tremendous things for Joplin. And so, the willingness to see Joplin kind of support it, and take part of its own growth is, is pretty inspiring and exciting. So that’s one, the reasons I wanted to lead and get on city council to join that.
FRED – As a current member of the Memorial Hall committee Josh says that if elected to the council, he would seek to address the on-going issues with the site.
JOSH – That being said, the things that I really kinda want to focus on are, you know, and this is kind of a complex and broad statement and I have to explain a lot, but really improving the quality of life. And there’s a lot that goes into quality of life and that there’s, there’s parts of that we talk about.
Building safety and security. So, we want to make sure that we are recruiting good officers, firefighters, that we are able to pay them competitively, to retain them here. So, safety and security comes along with that, but we also want to be, we want to make Joplin attractive. So, we want businesses or people to come to Joplin.
We want them to come here and we want them to stay here because that again, increases our tax, our tax base that allows us to do many more things down the road. So having parks and amenities and entertainment that’s quality of life. And those are the things that I talk about a lot, traveling, connectivity, obviously near and dear to my heart, because I’ve been on the parks board.
But it does make a difference when you, when we did a survey or the city, I say we, the city did a survey. They’ve done a few over the last year and a half or so, but the city manager did the, the listening tour. So, Nick did that listening tour. And if you read through some of that raw data, a lot of it is people want more things to do.
They want something to do but they want it safety and security. So, we’ve got to talk about parks. We’ve got to talk about making sure that those are safe places for families to go. And there’s parts of that use tax to allow us to do that by adding, a beautification study that can allow us.
Park Rangers and I’m using quotes as Rangers. I don’t know what their title would be, but that they can go in and patrol to patrol the parks to make sure and work with JPD to make sure that everything is okay to make sure they’re family friendly and used the program.
FRED – I close each interview ask asking each candidate to make their best pitch to voters and why a Joplin resident should consider voting for them. Josh says that his willingness to listen, be open minded regarding the topics that are brought for the council to consider and to work others on the council to move the city forward are some of his best qualities.
JOSH – My willingness, you know, it’s like I tell people, what you’re going to get with me is you’re going to get my willingness to listen. You’re going to get my willingness to work with other people. I don’t come with an agenda. I come with, maybe I do come with an agenda. And my agenda is that we don’t go backwards, that we don’t stand still.
And I’m not for status quo and for improving and to continue to grow. But my willingness to work with others from different perspectives, I think that we’ve got to be open and up. I have objectivity in order to find solutions. And so that’s really what it is. I’m not in here to identify problems.
I’m here to find solutions for the, for the needs and the issues that we have. Anybody can, it’s easy to identify problems. I mean, my six-year-old can do that. What we need is we need people that are passionate, passionate. We need people that are willing to listen and work with others in order to find the solutions.
So, probably it in a nutshell is just I’m willing to willing to do the work and I’m willing to listen and I’m willing to get in and do it.
Josh DeTar is one of four candidates running to fill three general council seats on the Joplin City Council. Absentee voting started on Friday, February 25. In-person voting takes place on Tuesday April 5.