My only desire was to faithfully and equally serve all of the residents of Baxter Springs to the best of my ability, without consideration of their individual social or economic status; in my mind, all citizens are equal and all voices should be heard by their government. My desire was to lead our city to a brighter tomorrow, and I was convinced in my ability to do this. And in my almost 5 years in service to this community, both as a councilwoman and mayor, we have accomplished some great things:
Reestablished a long-time dormant Economic Development committee placing Mr. Gregg Motely as the chairman. Finally, with the assistance of the motivated and forward-thinking individuals that have been placed on this committee, Baxter Springs has a plan and vision for the future.
Worked with City Attorney Robert Myers in forming alliances with Chief John Berrey, Allen Mauk and surrounding municipalities in the development of the Shoal Creek Waste Water Authority. Through this initiative, Baxter Springs will see great developments in their waste water managements systems and have a significant place in future projects that could lead to greatness for our community that otherwise would not have been possible without Chief Berrey and Mr. Mauk's guidance.
Worked with Empire District Electric to create a plan in order to rectify expensive cable code violations as well as work to develop a contract that would allow the citizens of Baxter Springs to actually own the street lights that line military and remove the citizens from a costly perpetual light agreement.
Worked with the by-ways committee to see that Baxter Springs is now on the register, which is significant in promoting our city through route 66 tourism.
Worked with Richard Hildebrand and surrounding cities to form MAPS (municipalities action prosperity partnership). Mr. Hildebrand has formed a strong base of individuals that are working together to bring greatness to the southeast Kansas area.
Worked with Mr. Jimmy Morton to help bring the city to code with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Acts) to help to make the lives of all citizens of Baxter better each day as well as to prevent our city from receiving substantial violations charges.
However, in recent months it has become increasingly difficult to fulfill my rightful duties and responsibilities as Mayor, and efforts to restrict my authority and limit my effectiveness have been broad, relentless, well-publicized and unfortunately those trying to manipulate our government have used your tax dollars for personal legal services which has proved to be rather expensive for our City. These efforts have effectively limited my ability to do what I was elected to do -- serve all of our citizens and lead our city forward. And in my opinion, these efforts have been designed to benefit a select few at the great expense of our broad base of citizens.
In listening to the people of this town, I marched bravely forward to make the changes that were necessary to return the government of this town to the people. I believed in this city and the efforts we could make together so strongly that I declined invitation to run for Kansas State Senate and chose see my city through the growing pains to positive change. Unfortunately, in my efforts to make positive change, the strong-arms on council have repeatedly struck down my efforts in protection of their own agendas and their own people. In most recent months, they have continued to validate my point in refusing to listen to the people and continue to unrightfully control council meetings to fit their needs and agenda's purposes.
The people spoke during the Nov. 6th election and the constituents were within very small numbers of recalling all three councilmen. I believe the outcome of this election speaks volumes. I believe the numbers tell us that the people of Baxter Springs are not going to allow government to be non transparent any longer and that the people are reclaiming control of their government.
I do not believe in the practices of government currently in place in this city. However, I most certainly believe in the mission the good people of Baxter Springs have started and I believe in April the people will speak again and great change is inevitable.
This situation has and continues to take a toll on myself personally and on all of those that I love and that are closest to me. I have been forced in a position as your mayor that offers me absolutely no ability to neither help our city nor bring any of the desires of the citizens to fruition.
In placing the needs of my loved ones as well as the needs of the city I love at top priority, I hereby resign as Mayor of Baxter Springs, effective immediately.
I so greatly appreciate all of the help and support from so many during my term in office. And I would ask that you continue to provide your strong oversight for our city, and help ensure that we do not allow a select few to deter the strong majority far from the path that we have started down together. Because in the long-term the dear citizens and corporate residents of Baxter Springs deserve a strong and fair government and the good and honest citizens of Baxter Springs will prevail.
God's blessings always,
Jenifer J. Bingham