The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 6, 2013

New members take seats on redevelopment board

By Susan Redden

— Three new members took their places on the board of the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. in a meeting Thursday.

The panel welcomed as new members Laurie Delano, vice president of finance for Empire District Electric Co.; Gary Duncan, retired president and chief executive of Freeman Health System; and Phil Stinnett, a former Joplin council member and mayor.

The board, also known as the 353 Commission, is the city board that is buying land for the tornado redevelopment projects being guided by Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, the city’s contracted master developer focused on recovery from the 2011 tornado.

The panel had scheduled a closed meeting to consider real estate transactions, but no closed session was held. Instead, the meeting focused on orienting the new members on the history and activities of the board since it began work with the city’s master developer.

Two members were absent from the session, noted Ron Darby, board chairman.

The Joplin City Council appointed the new members after the board, at the city’s request, amended its bylaws to allow for the addition.

The shift increased the board to seven members to address concerns about the board being able to transact business if a member was absent or had a conflict of interest.

Members who work for banks that have lent money to the board for property transactions have to abstain on property purchases to avoid a conflict of interest, Brian Head, city attorney, said earlier.

Current members

IN ADDITION TO RON DARBY and the three new members, other board members are Michael Hagan, Brad McIntyre and Brian Shaw. McIntyre and Shaw were absent from the session.