De Soto City Council grapples with finding more money for city workers

DE SOTO, MO – The De Soto City Council called an emergency closed door meeting after the police chief resigned and criticism about how the city is handling money.

About an hour into that meeting the City Manager, David Dews, was seen getting things out of his office and leaving the building.

Last week De Soto Police Chief Rick Draper put in his two weeks’ notice, and on his way out he is advocating for better pay for all city employees.

Draper said officers are leaving De Soto every day to go work for other departments, and based on morale at the station he doesn’t know if in the next few months they will have enough officers to have a department.

Citizens who were at the short meeting before it was closed to the public said they have had questions about the budget, like why the city manager needs a take home car and makes such a large salary.

Draper said for the three years he has been chief, he has been spinning his wheels in the mud when it comes to the topic of pay.

“You have a lot of people here who are busting their hump to makes sure the city functions every day,” Draper said. “It is not just the City Manager’s office that makes things happen in fact I would venture to say that it’s less that office and more the people who make the city function every day. He makes a healthy salary probably the highest in the whole county of elected officials, but he is appointed, what kind of message does that send to the people who are out it the field every day doing what they can to make sure this city functions.”

We asked Dews if he wanted to comment while he was leaving the building but he declined.