Mayor Brian Steele Stays


Nixa Mayor Brian Steele

   Recently in Nixa, Mayor Brian Steele was recalled for trying to mandate wearing masks last year. Petitioners that wanted the mayor out of office had a recall election that took place on Tuesday, Nov. 2. of this year. The results showed that about 25 percent voted not to keep him, while about 75 percent voted to keep him, according to Ballotpedia. 

   Mayor Brian Steele said he was really appreciative of the community’s support for him. 

   “I knew I had strong support throughout the community and was glad so many people came out to vote in the election,” Steele said.  “It is impossible to avoid controversial decisions.  As a leader at any level, all you can hope to do is make the best decisions based on the information available at the time.”

   Steele said that he believed his decision to be best for the community at the time.  

   “I do not believe the government should mandate that people get any vaccine, but I do believe businesses and organizations should have the ability to choose how best to protect themselves, their employees and customers,” Steele said. “I understand that many did not like masking, but based on the information available and the advice of our local, regional and national health experts it was the responsible decision to keep our schools and businesses open and our people safe,” Steele said.

   Like all leaders, Steele wants to be remembered as something more in our community. 

   “I want my time as Mayor to be remembered for the strong, controlled growth of Nixa over the last decade.  We have been able to create a home where so many people want to live and work, while keeping what makes Nixa truly special,” Steele said. “I have been very blessed that there haven’t been any great downfalls in Nixa during my time as Mayor.  We may not have been able to accomplish everything we have wanted, but Nixa is in an incredible position as we move into the future.”

   Alexander Edwards, an American government teacher at Nixa High School, explained the process of recall elections. 

   “Recalls are only in a few states and local governments. The constitution does not cover recalls,” said Edwards.  

   Recalls require a petition with a certain amount of signatures. Nixa’s petition had 98 signatures, which was valid enough to have a recall.  

   “For the most part recall elections are not allowed in Missouri but Nixa is a ‘home rule’ city that allows that type of election. Recall elections are not allowed at the state level in Missouri or at the federal level in the United States,” said Edwards. 

   Although it was evident through the voting results that a decent amount of citizens were angered at Steele’s actions, it was also apparent that most residents were still satisfied with the mayor.  

   “From a government teacher’s perspective, I feel like the mayor has a right to issue executive orders to protect the public good. I do not believe that he did anything wrong,” Edwards said. “I think that most people recognize that Mayor Steele was simply trying to protect the public and that the masking order was only temporary.” 

   Edwards added about the potential reason why this might have been such a sensitive topic. 

   “I think you have some push back from people that think the pandemic is overblown and try to limit the authority of the government.” 

   The pandemic has brought a lot of debate, especially considering that some citizens were willing to fire their mayor because of a masking mandate. 

   “Masking/ vaccines are irrelevant to our constitutional rights and are not a slippery slope to losing more rights. The government exists for one sole purpose and that is to preserve life, liberty, and prosperity (or the pursuit of happiness). If the government mandates masking, that is simply to uphold those principles,” Edwards said.