The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 3, 2012

Webb City officials evaluate open posts

By Ryan Richardson
Globe Staff Writer

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Webb City officials are working toward finding a solution for the vacant positions within city government and the Webb City Chamber of Commerce.

The position of economic development director has remained vacant since the death of Chuck Surface in late September. The executive director position for the Chamber of Commerce has been held open since the retirement of Dixie Meredith this past year.

City Administrator Carl Francis said that while the city is evaluating several options, the merging of the two offices could provide an opportunity to foster economic growth in the area.

“We have discussed the matter with the chamber to decide what the best move going forward would be,” Francis said.

The position of economic development director was created five years ago. Surface was the only person to serve in that job, which pays a salary of $50,000.

“We haven’t opened the position because we are still trying to figure out what we want the position to be for the city. We were prepared for the loss, and Chuck laid out a lot of plans and several of his projects are still going forward. That gives us time to figure out options,” Francis said.

Webb City Chamber of Commerce President Mike Wiggins said that the position might be merged with other positions in the city to cut costs and to streamline economic development.

“We have heard from the community on what is wanted,” Wiggins said. “We’re still in the infant stages in what is going on with the position, but the position may merge with the executive director of the Webb City Chamber of Commerce.”

“We will meet (this month) to finalize a position description and from there, we will put together a search committee to fill the position,” Wiggins said. “We know that the position will focus on economic development, so that new jobs keep coming to the city and that businesses that are already here have the tools to keep growing.”