The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


February 9, 2014

Our View: Out of step

— This community is owed more than it is getting from the five members of the Joplin City Council who voted without warning this past week to fire City Manager Mark Rohr.

Community leadership is built upon confidence, trust and open communication — which have been in short supply following the Tuesday night shootout at City Hall. Without an explanation, clouds of suspicion, doubt and mistrust will haunt this council and paralyze it for some time to come, regardless of who is elected in April.

How did Rohr go from hero to goat in so short a time?  

Does all of this stem from his handling of the public works department? Or is there more?

The missing 10 pages from the investigator’s report would seem to indicate there is more, but the city chose to extract it before releasing the rest of the report to the public. The majority of the council is conducting public business out of view of the public, hiding — and that’s the word for it — behind the “personnel” exemption.

That’s weak and unbefitting the leadership that Joplin needs right now.

Those 10 pages and numerous other documents need to be laid out, along with an explanation as to why the investigator, who was given three specific charges by the council, lurched off that path and into territory where he had no charge. From the looks of it, he gathered more information on Rohr than on the three specific charges of the investigation.

When that happened, did anyone of the council call him back into line, telling him that that is not what he was tasked to do, now was it what he was being paid to do.

It’s obvious to us from the letters printed on this page today, that the public is demanding transparency and accountability from its council.

Yet, some of those five council members are telling the public it is time to put Rohr’s firing behind and move forward.

City leadership and the community cannot move forward unless they are in step, and right now, it is the council that is out of step, not the community.

There can be no closure until answers are forthcoming.


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