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Posted on: March 22, 2019

Council selects Cortez to fill general seat vacancy

Keenan Cortez

During the March 18, 2019 meeting of the Joplin City Council, members elected Keenan Cortez to fill the vacant General Seat on the Council. He will serve until the next City Council election in 2020. Cortez has volunteered for the City, serving on numerous boards and commissions during the past 15 years.

Cortez served as chairman of the Public Safety Sales Tax Task Force, Joplin Police Advisory Council, and Public Safety Coalition. He is a former member of the Capital Improvement and Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee, and most recently was a member and chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

He has lived in Joplin for the past 15 years and stated on his application that he desires to make a positive change by building on his past years of service that he’s given to this community.

There were ten citizens who applied to fill the seat that became vacant upon Council Member Jim West’s resignation in February. During a Special Meeting of the Council on March 11, 2019, the applicants spoke to Council about their interest and qualifications to serve. Candidates were Tom Rogers, Mike Seibert, Troy Kinast, Leonard Miller, Matthew Robertson, Charles Copple, Sarah Hinkle, Bill Goodwin, and Achala Tiwari-Pandey. Cortez was absent that evening due to illness and presented on March 18 before the vote.

“It was great to see the interest from our citizens in filling this general seat,” said Mayor Gary Shaw. “In listening to them, there are many strengths, and we encourage them to stay engaged with the City by serving on one of the boards or commissions that help our community in many ways.”

Following the election, City Clerk Barb Gollhofer swore Cortez into office, and he took his chair at the dais. His first meeting will be the regularly scheduled Council meeting on Monday, April 1.

“We look forward to having Keenan on the Council,” said Shaw. “Through his work on the Planning and Zoning board, along with others, he brings good experience with city business and proceedings. It will be good to have a full Council again.”

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