Joplin council members and city manager not yet discussing... - KOAM TV 7

Joplin council members and city manager not yet discussing Tuesday's special meeting

Updated September 4, 2013 at 11:40 AM CST:  Tuesday night the Joplin City Council met with City Manager Mark Rohr concerning his duties as city manager.  But council members and the city manager are not talking about what happened in that meeting.

The council has been working for weeks on a list of directions for Rohr.

Last month some council members wanted Rohr to resign because they felt he was ineffective as an administrator but they also fell short of votes to fire him.

The city manager has not returned calls a response.

City Council Bill Scearce spoke with us on camera but would not discuss the closed session.  He feels that Mark Rohr should speak about the meeting first.

Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean says she is waiting to hear what the city attorney advises her to say to media.


Updated September 3, 2013 at 10:06 PM CST: The Joplin City Council voted to enter a closed session to deliver expectations to City Manager Mark Rohr. The council has been working for two weeks on a list of directions and expectations for the city manager. Some council members didn't want the expectations to be delivered behind closed doors. Five council members were in favor, four were against. The results from the meeting could be published 72-hours after the meeting, if a vote was taken during the close session. 


Updated August 13, 2013:  The Joplin mayor's office tells us at the next council meeting members will hold another closed session to prioritize the list of directions for City Manager Mark Rohr.

There will be one more closed session where the council will meet with Rohr to discuss the list.

They hope to have the situation resolved by the end of August.

Rohr has come under fire after some council members have expressed concern he did not have control over departments in light of recent allegations involving the city's public works department.


Posted August 9, 2013:  Joplin City Council held a closed session on Monday to discuss the issues with the city's public works department.

During the meeting a motion was made by Councilman Benjamin Rosenberg to ask the City Manager Mark Rohr to resign.

"I feel that he (City Manager Mark Rohr) did not have control over his departments and I felt that is his job to be in control, he's been here 9 years."

The councilman continues by saying, Rohr has become ineffective as an administrator.

Rohr says the vote in the closed session comes as a surprise.

"Well the vote was not taken when I was there and I was not aware there was a vote taken to well after the fact,"said City Manager Mark Rohr.

Results from the vote were posted on the first floor of city hall.

4 were in favor 3 opposed and 2 abstained. 

On Wednesday, Mayor Melodee Colbert-Keanand Mayor Pro Tem Bill Scearce asked Rohr to resign.

"She (Mayor Colbert-Kean) did but then she rescinded her request so originally she did and after we had a chance to talk about it she withdrew that request," said Rohr.  

For a suspension or removal process 5 council members would have had to be in favor.

"The council cannot pass any resolution or ordinance without any absolute majority of 5 votes, what was reported to me is there was 4 in favor 3 in opposition and 2 abstention so that does not create an action by the council necessarily," said Brian Head City Attorney.   

Rohr asked for a list of goals at his last evaluation, according to him he never received them from the council.

"We are works in progress I'm certainly willing to listen to input but I don't know how we would have done much better in terms of what we've done," said Rohr.

"I would say I think myself and I hope every member of the council will support Mark he is our city manager and we need to do everything we can to make him successful and this city successful," said Rosenberg.

Request to speak with the Mayor, were unanswered.

The council will hold another closed session on Monday.


City Manager Mark Rohr's responds to the City. 


"I was both surprised and confused by what happened the other night;
a)  First of all, I had just received a merit raise back in April or May of this year.
b)  We are known for setting the national standard for disaster response and recovery.
c)  Some 86% of the homes and 90% of the businesses impacted by the tornado, have either been rebuilt or have plans/permits to do so.
d)  I have helped secure an additional 192 million dollars in aid for Joplin to build on the above numbers. We have not yet started utilizing these resources.
e)  We have reduced crime 26% during the last five year time period,
f)  We have enhanced the city's financial strength significantly during my tenure, multiplying the General Fund balance over six-fold since 2005.
g)  I have developed a plan that resulted in the redevelopment of downtown Joplin that has dramatically improved the appearance of the center city and the image of Joplin as a whole.
h)  We have constructed the Athletic Complex.
i)   We just completed building an extraordinary water park in Schifferdecker Park.
j)   In 2012, I was the only city manager in the country to be honored by a national publication as Public Official of the Year.
k)  As part of a group of officials from Joplin, I was recognized by the state for the work done following the tornado.
l)  Most rewarding to me has been the approximately 1500 or so Joplin citizens that have sent me letters, e-mails, called or stopped me in public thanking me for my work over the last two years..

I was told that the meeting was about the recent investigation into the Public Works' Department. I understood why there might be questions surrounding that situation. It is my job to address problems within a department when they arise. It is my job and my job only to straighten those situations out and that is what I did. I have done so successfully in the past and had been complemented by several council members and others in doing so. Unfortunately, given the on-going investigation into the circumstances and individual's legal rights to protection surrounding personnel matters, I couldn't explain in more detail into what it was we were doing. I gave the citizens of Joplin my word, at the one week moment of silence observation held on May 29, 2011 that we would rebuild Joplin bigger and better than it was prior to the tornado and that is what we have been focused on."

City Manager Mark Rohr. 


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