The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

February 17, 2014

EXPLORE: Public pulse

Readers continue to weigh in on city manager's firing, investigation into City Council

— Letters, guest columns and social media comments continue to provide reader commentary on the Feb. 4 firing of Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr, as well as the results of a council-ordered investigation.

Rohr had been the city manager for nine years. He received a national award last year as a public official of the year for leading Joplin’s tornado recovery efforts.

The council’s charge to Tom Loraine, an attorney from Osage Beach, was to address questions about the relationship of Councilman Bill Scearce to a gambling bookmaker who had rented an office from him; about how Scearce obtained a memo from Rohr’s desk without his permission; and about whether Councilman Mike Woolston had engaged in improper property dealings. The probe’s report to the council stated that the investigator believed that Scearce had been cleared of any misconduct.

The investigation report to the council was 27 pages, and 10 pages were said to involve complaints about Rohr. Those pages were removed from public copies of the report, with Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean saying it constituted a personnel record that was exempt from disclosure under Missouri’s open records law.

Rohr was asked by the Globe last week to disclose those pages, and so far he has not at the advice of his attorney.

The total report, including the Rohr portion, is one of the records sought by the Globe in a request for the city to release records pursuant to state open records law. On Friday, the Globe received a portion of the records requested but not the full report and still no details on Rohr.

The sooner, the better

For the past two weeks, the supercilious antics of our Joplin City Council has drawn much attention and discussion among the residents of Joplin.

The general consensus from people with whom I have had discussions is that the actions were both recreant and nefarious.

As a member of the council that hired Mark, I have never been disappointed in our choice of candidates for the post. He, in my opinion, has never dodged his responsibilities and in following our initial instruction of restoring downtown, the results are evident.

His leadership after the tornado is an example of his strength of purpose, and he has been recognized nationally for our achievements.

As for the “fabulous five” who are responsible for this debacle, I’m not sure that they measure up as a group in comparison to what Mark has accomplished.

This insidious action deserves recall consideration and the sooner, the better.

Don Landrith

Joplin

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Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: No need for No. 9

    “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong

    On Aug. 5, voters will be asked to make a decision about Amendment 1.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: No on Amendment 7

    The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: Bad way to get revenue

    I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.

    July 29, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: Symptom of bad policy

    The Obama administration continues to be surprised and shocked when its policies of good intentions suddenly meet the hard reality of unintended consequences.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rebecca French Smith, guest columnist: Amendment 1: Farmers are 'boots on the ground'

    Take a moment and ask yourself who was the last person in your family to farm.

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View; Makes no sense

    Chess was never my game. It’s too complicated.

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View: Time value of money

     I was shaking my head along with Anson Burlingame (“Much has changed in U.S. over 14 years,” Globe, July 22), then he offered his readers a chance: “Go ahead — take your pick.”

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View: Boiling a frog

    We voters are now being urged to vote on Aug. 5 for Amendment 7 “to fix our roads, highways and bridges.”

    July 28, 2014

  • Our view: 'Yes' on 7

    Opponents of Amendment 7 say this: “Missouri families are already hard pressed to pay their bills during this period of slow economic recovery.”

    July 26, 2014

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Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

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