The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


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


Text Only
  • Our View.jpg Our view: Street smarts

    If your daily commute has been shortened because you no longer have to wait at 26th Street and Connecticut Avenue for a train to pass, thank your own tax dollars.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: No time to turn away

    With the shooting down of a commercial airliner over Ukraine and fighting that has now escalated to a ground war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, it would be easy for most U.S. citizens to throw up their hands and turn their backs.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Amendment 5 is deception of the highest order

    Amendment 5, sponsored by Missouri Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, “relating to the right of Missouri citizens to keep and bear arms” provides that “any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”

    July 21, 2014

  • Our View: Vote no on Amendment 1

    Proponents of Amendment 1 — the Right to Farm Act — have not made their case. We’ve met with advocates of this amendment to the Missouri constitution and listened to their arguments, but we don’t believe they have adequately answered the central question: Who is it protecting, and from what?

    July 13, 2014

  • Your View: Power to defend

    The Globe’s editorial ‘More guns not the answer’ (July 15) was saturated with classic progressive blather.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: Thanks for the generosity

    Generally, all we hear about is the bad news, and obviously, there is plenty available. Our church felt this event worthy of public knowledge.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: How to upgrade your business

    Let’s see now. When some folks wish to improve the exterior of their properties and have other taxpayers pay for the improvements, they create a community improvement district.

    July 21, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: Decision fails test

    With the announcement that the State Board of Education has decided not to release individual school test results because of cyberattacks and other problems this spring, educators are scratching their heads, as are taxpayers who footed the bill.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Our View: Welcome additions

    After Joplin voters failed to pass a curbside recycling proposal in the spring, the City Council said it would study alternate ways to make recycling easier for residents.

    July 18, 2014

  • Your Letters: Be careful what you wish for on Amendment 1

    The proposed Amendment 1 should have been called “Freedom to Farm Without Any Restrictions Whatsoever” because that is what it is. Do you really want a feedlot opening next door to you in Joplin? Or a hog-raising operation on your block in Carthage?

    July 17, 2014

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