Mayor Jim Orr has had an opportunity over his eight years as mayor to look back and see how major occurrences in the history of the city have taken place. He wanted to recognize acts of service that changed the course of the city with new leadership awards.
"If anything changed the face of Monett, it was the creation of the MIDC (Monett Industrial Development Corporation)," Orr said.
To buy land to solicit industry to come to Monett, the MIDC, which was established in 1958, sold $100,000 in stock at $25 per share, limiting the sale of two per person.
As a way of honoring the community leaders who created the MIDC, Commissioner Jerry Dierker presented a key to Dayton Mackey, who joined the effort about a year after it began. Mackey recalled going door-to-door along with Jack Fox, telling people the $25 purchase was more like a donation that would not have a return dividend.
The roster of stockholders has been maintained over the years, Mackey said. When stockholders have moved or passed away, other buyers have been found for the original $25 price.
Mackey recalled J.M. "Pete" Guthrie, president of the Monett Chamber of Commerce in 1958, was one of those who spearheaded the effort, along with Ken McShane, finance subcommittee chairman who became the first MIDC board chairman.
Other founding board members were W. Vance Davis, Fielding P. Sizer, V.B. Hall, Walter Reynaud, Dr. Frank Kerr, Don Pray, E.L. Monroe and F.C. Callaway.
Mackey said the honor came as "a shock" to him, not expecting the recognition when he had been asked to attend the meeting.
The other key was presented to Mark Nelson for serving as chairman of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission from its inception in 1996. Orr said the volunteer effort had required many hours of labor and at times has been stressful, in light of pressures from litigation arising from the TIF.
"It's been my pleasure to serve," Nelson said. "I believe that when you live in a community, you should always look for opportunities to give back."
The award to Nelson was presented by Commissioner Mike Brownsberger.