CFP NEWS Headlines:
Zoning and setbacks - Gate at Quail Creek and concern for the character of the Rountree neighborhood / Moon City Creative District inspires artists and passersby with whimsical and meaningful paintings on utility poles / City and SPS reach agreement on crossing guard issue - School and City officials state public safety important for both parties / Most recent DWI Checkpoint results in 14 arrests, 20 tickets / Greene County Sheriff’s Office reports decrease in crime / SFD receives smoke alarms and batteries / Bricks on Sale through November 30th for Republic Veterans Memorial / Sleepout raises funds and awareness for homeless youth - Wesley United Methodist Church proud to host event for second year / Project ACCESS receives large grant to continue work / MSU, Convoy of Hope team up to help Haiti / STAR Summit returns for a second year on November 4 / New Introduction to Ceramics course available at OTC / OTC hosts 2014 Innovation Showcase / Dan Smith selected as City’s Public Works director / Petsway opens 5th Springfield store / Vecino Group continues growth in downtown / AT&T Inc. ready to hire 60 employees in Springfield / Local companies recognized as some of the fastest growing in the country - Businesses discuss keys to their growth and success / Trek trails of Little Sac Woods Conservation Area / Small game hunting presentation happens November 18 / Scouts can earn nature badges at Badge Bonanza / Little Acorns to learn about whitetail deer at next program / Nature Through an Artist’s Eye event at Nature Center / Moxie Cinema and Drury to expand movie series / Drury’s Christmas Vespers performance featured twice / Student managed café now open at Missouri State University

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The Edge


Bob Mace

There’s an election coming and The Edge is probably the only opinion column that doesn’t care who you’re voting for.

There’s a section of the ballot that asks us to vote whether or not to retain a bunch of Missouri appellate judges that nobody’s ever heard of. The system allows the governor to appoint judges from among a group suggested by a panel of lawyers. There’s no retail politics involved; no candidates presented to the voters except the incumbents.

The Edge is not a fan of this lawyer-backed form of job security and therefore, votes “NO”
on the question of retaining any judge he doesn’t recognize.

Some years back, the same system was adopted for local judges serving, in the case of Greene County, on the 31st Circuit bench. The Edge votes “YES” for those he knows and respects and “NO” on the others.

The numbered Constitutional Amendments that this column pointed out to be missing in
the August election are found on the November ballot. Number Two allows prior bad behavior to be presented when prosecuting child sexual abuse cases. The Edge doesn’t believe any right-minded citizen needs advice on this issue.

Number Three is a little more convoluted in that it sounds good to tie teacher pay to performance. The Edge doesn’t want the unions telling school districts what to do and the same goes for the State of Missouri. Well intentioned or not, here’s yet another attempt to wrest control of schools from the local residents whose children attend them.

Amendment 10 would prohibit the governor from assuming passage of revenue issues and other future events when making the state budget proposal. While The Edge doesn’t have a problem with forecasting revenues and expenses, the chief executive has used this scheme in the past to attempt to sway the people’s representatives (the legislature) to folding to the governor’s will. The Edge therefore is swayed to take ruler to executive fingers and vote in favor of this one.

The Edge is most committed in opposing Amendment Six that opens the way to early voting in future elections. While this particular proposal is rather tame compared to what some other states have adopted, it’s a slippery slope. There is an election day and the candidates deserve our attention during the time they campaign.

Nobody would go along with the St. Louis Rams playing the first quarter of this weekend’s game on Saturday without the opposing team around. Bad as campaign ads can be and desperate as last minute candidate whistle stops are, the process we value IS democracy and we should participate in the whole thing.

As a final thought The Edge is concerned that whenever one of these amendments passes, the opposing side immediately declares it to be unconstitutional and runs to the courts for relief. The point to which we all should be agreed is that it is an utter waste of time and money to vote on ballot measures that run afoul of the state’s constitution.

It would seem that the amendment we need is one addressing the job of our state supreme court. Currently, after a law has been voted upon and enacted a party claiming to be injured can present the question of constitutionality to the judiciary. Missouri’s constitution should be amended to require the state’s high court to examine all measures headed to the ballot, rendering an opinion on whether or not each will stand constitutional muster. The citizen’s time and interest in government should not be wasted based on a judicial system that is reactive rather than proactive.



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