The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

February 11, 2014

Your View: Question apparent support for Rohr, vote on April 8

Using letters as indicator

Judging from the recent letters to the editor in the Globe, one would think the whole town of Joplin has joined the public outcry over the Joplin City Council’s vote to fire City Manager Mark Rohr.

There were at least seven letters supporting Rohr in Sunday’s edition alone and not one letter supporting the council’s vote. I have trouble believing that the citizens of Joplin as a whole are as united in their support of Rohr and in their condemnation of the council’s action as these letters might suggest.  

I particularly take issue with the idea, as stated in at least a couple of the letters, that the faction of the City Council that voted to fire Rohr represents the “good old boy network.” If either faction represents the good old boy network, I would suggest that it is the side that is rising with such vehemence to Rohr’s defense. Trisha Raney and Melodee Colbert-Kean certainly weren’t part of that network when they first got elected, unlike some of the council members on the other side who were elected with the support of the Chamber of Commerce and other civic organizations. Raney and Colbert-Kean were elected through grass-roots support and organization. Besides that, they’re not even boys.

I find it interesting that in Sunday’s online Globe, the daily poll asks readers whether they agree with the recommendation of the special investigator hired by the City Council that all business under contract between the city of Joplin and Wallace Bajjalli should be stopped and, as of this writing, the vote is 100 “yes” votes and only 41 “no” votes. It was the findings of this same special investigator that apparently prompted the City Council to take its action against Rohr. I realize that just because people support the special investigator on the Wallace Bajjalli issue does not mean that they necessarily support the firing of Rohr, but it does make one wonder whether the public outcry against the council’s action is nearly as great as the avalanche of letters to the editor would indicate.

Larry Wood

Joplin

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