Dave Woods

The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

I’m ready for this Tupper trouble to end.

For the sake of Joplin, it’s time to put this council chaos behind us. And, by ‘behind,’ I don’t mean swept ‘under’ the rug.

Our online users apparently feel the same.

On Monday night, the members of the Joplin City Council will hear allegations made against former Mayor Jon Tupper by city employees. Initially, two city parks employees came forward and said that Tupper had made disparaging remarks aimed at Parks Director Jerry Calvin. They also allege that Tupper made it clear to them that he wanted Calvin — and a couple of other parks employees — removed from the city’s employ. According to them, Tupper said he planned to increase the pressure on Calvin until he was fired or resigned.

Other city employees have since come forward and made similar allegations that Tupper attempted to interfere with the way they handle their city jobs and run their departments — including City Manager Mark Rohr. If true, that is a violation of the city charter and punishable by removal from the council. Tupper says he’s innocent of the charges. Here’s a sample of what was said this week in the story comments section at

“This is all very unfortunate. While I’m not a Rohr fan, he is getting task accomplished in Joplin. We may not all like the projects he tends to pick. Let’s remember, it’s the council that lets the money get spent in such ways, but the results have tended to come to completion. With that said, I do not think Mark Rohr should be the target of anything from this case and due to Tupper’s personal dissatisfaction. Stinnett had obviously sided with Tupper the day this all was broadcast, and I’m sure Vegas put the odds on it that Stinnett falls on the sword to protect poor little Jonny Tupper. That’s fine Phil, kill yourself to save another, that’s smart right? Now, as for Mr. Glaze, you are a man of higher intelligence. Don’t let stupidity become a disease! If no one wants to see disharmony in the council, then Tupper should resign, or everyone should vote the same way to send him out the door!”

— Will

‘Reminds me of school’

Since this story started to unfold, many of our regular online users have likened the current squabble taking much of the Joplin council’s time and attention reminds them of school-yard antics. More than a few online commentors think it’s time for the former mayor to “grow up.”

“What is taking so long for him to either be fired or put in his place. It’s evident to the public that he is a bully and doesn’t deserve to call himself a member of the City Council. Reminds me of school. Even the authorities are afraid to make the bully mad. Are we, the public, paying for a bunch of chickens to sit around clucking or human beings to do something? It’s always nice to know that our taxes are so hard at work. Thanks mayor, and to think, I USED to go to your church.”

— Shawna

‘Oust Tupper’

Dozens and dozens of the Globe’s online viewers seem resolved: It’s time for Tupper to go.

“Every time something goes wrong in this city, it seems like Tupper is in the middle of it. I think it’s time the citizens let Mr. Tupper know who really runs this city. Us. Oust Tupper.”

— Tallow

“Seems like Mr. Tupper should just resign after all the time he is spending on the trouble of the past few years. How about it? Mr. Tupper just resign.”

— Mike

“Tupper needs to go. I would be all for the current council being dissolved and a new one voted in ASAP.”

— J

“I’m so disgusted with Jon Tupper. I hope the citizens back our city manager on this one. If our city council cannot stand up like adults and resolve this problem, we as citizens should move for a recall election. We’ve suffered through months of his whining and, of course, when confronted on anything it’s always someone else’s fault. I think ‘We the People’ have had enough of you.”

— Oust Him

“Can you say ‘recall?’”

— writes

‘Do the right thing’

During the last several months, as this story has developed, the Globe’s online users have submitted hundreds of comments critical of the council, and Tupper too. In a recent development, Mark Rohr — who previously had few friends in the comments’ forum — has now earned a few fans.

“The city manager’s authority is being undermined by some on the city council. No human being would stay in such a situation (city manager) very long. Surely there is a remedy to remove the culprits before the next election? The voters cannot be counted on to do the right thing.”

— curious

“Poor Jon. It’s really unfortunate, but he became a powerless zealot when he became mayor. I wish the mayor could do more, as he is answerable to the voting citizens of our great city. Unfortunately, we invest all powers of the city in someone hired by the council who can do whatever he wants with no recourse in the eyes of Joplinites.”

— Walter Lincoln

Dave Woods is new media editor for The Joplin Globe.

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