This manual is, first and foremost, the work of the late John Ballard. This edition would not be possible without the original manual that John conceived and wrote. One mark of John's authorship is his use of stories to teach. Several of those stories are included here, as John wrote them.
The effort to update John's work depends on many people. First, John's family led the effort by making his work available to MU Extension. The Local Government Resource Group (LGRG) within the Community Development Program worked diligently to provide the updates necessary to reflect changes since the first edition, and devoted many hours to editing, creating and reviewing this edition. The LGRG members are Ron Higginbotham, community development specialist, Boone County (retired); Julianne Stone, director, Local Government Partnership, St. Louis; Tony DeLong, MU council relations, Tri-Lakes Telecommunication Community Resource Center (TCRC), Stone County; Judith Stallmann, professor, community development extension, agricultural economics, rural sociology and public affairs, MU; and the late Eber Cude, co-editor of this edition, formerly local government and community development specialist, Pulaski County. Eber devoted his career to assisting local governments in Missouri and his untimely death is a loss that will be felt by his colleagues and all those he served. We also thank MU Extension Publications, particularly George Laur, Amy Spindler and Dennis Murphy.
Practitioners of local government across Missouri also contributed to the update: Rick Purdon, former mayor of Laurie; C.J Dykehouse, Boone County counselor; Kevin O'Keefe, principal, Curtis, Heinz, Garrett, and O'Keefe P.C.; and Gary Markenson, executive director of the Missouri Municipal League. Many others provided advice and comments that greatly improved the quality of the update. We express our deepest appreciation to all who contributed to the work. They provided the quality, any errors are ours alone.
We hope this effort is useful to those who make city government work. This material is current through August 2008. However, laws change and errors slip into even the best efforts. Always check for updates and changes since publication. The following is a list of useful websites for this purpose:
- After the effective date of Missouri legislation each year (Aug. 28), city officials are urged to check the legislature's website to identify new laws affecting cities. Online at moga.state.mo.us/
- Some, but not all, changes that affect city government would likely be found at moga.mo.gov/statutes/chapters/chap065.htm.
- Sunshine Law changes would likely be found at moga.mo.gov/statutes/chapters/chap610.htm.
- Changes in eligibility for office would likely be at moga.mo.gov/statutes/chapters/chap115.htm.