Bi-county leaders need to cooperate

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dear Editor:

Ever since the Pierce City tornado, I have hoped that there would be much-needed, improved emergency communication systems established in Barry and Lawrence counties. Before the E-911 tax issue, I wrote a letter to the Monett paper encouraging the leaders of Barry AND Lawrence counties to work together to establish a cost-effective regional E-911 system. I was afraid then, as I am now, that parochialism could serve to tear apart something with very good intentions.

Having lived here for nine years, I understand and appreciate the fact that many parts of Barry County feel disenfranchised from Monett. Your editorial is ample proof.

As Mr. Bishoff of the Monett Times tried to remind all of Barry County, half of Monett is in Lawrence County and the Monett leaders have an obligation to these citizens to provide E-911 service to these citizens. I can understand that the Barry County E-911 Board's first priority is getting their new system out of the ground before considering extending itself beyond the borders of Barry County, and perhaps they feel that they can't legally or financially extend their services beyond the county line.

I encourage all of the leaders involved with this controversy to take a deep breath, stop with the innuendos/accusations and work to the greater good. In my opinion, the greater good is a series of linked and commonly-funded E-911 centers in Barry AND Lawrence County under an appointed, not elected, regional Advisory Board that are representative of the various civil servants charged with the responsibility for the safetyand health of all the citizens.

I encourage the county commissions and city governments of the two counties that we work hard to serve to get together with our elected officials at the state level to make the greater good come to pass.


Greg Johnson


Cox-Monett Hospital

Monett, Missouri