Joplin Public Works Regroups After Summer Turmoil - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Public Works Regroups After Summer Turmoil


After months of turmoil, which has included missing funds and personnel turnover, the Joplin Public Works Department is looking for a fresh start.

With over 100 city employees under his wing, and three weeks under his belt Joplin's new Public Work Director says his job and the latest plans to reorganize the third largest city department are going well.

"Real good, real good, really impressed with the dedication of the employees you've got here," Nick Heatherly, Public Works Director said.
Heatherly joined the Joplin city team after a pretty rocky summer for the Public Works Department. Back in July an employee; Jeremy Jasperson was charged with theft, and the then Public Works Director David Hertzberg was reassigned to a new position in the midst of an internal investigation. The icing on the cake, the department's building code enforcer resigned ad mist missing funds after an audit. 

"Obviously the investigation from early on early on there were some issues with fleet maintenance that we had; building permits and code enforcement," said Sam Anselm, Assistant City Manager.

Crystal Harrington's job with the Homebuilder Association of Southwest Missouri has her working with building code enforcers at the city, closely.  She says the regroup is needed, but that the city lost a lot of experience this summer.

"I think what they lost, when they lost those personnel was a depth of knowledge about how this city works, the infrastructure of this city," Harrington said.
Additionally the fleet maintenance and city code enforcement will both be taken out of the Public Works realm, and instead be placed under the care of the City Manager's office.
"We've hired a Fleet Maintenance supervisor now to help oversee the garage operation, and we've advertised for the mechanics to bring that service back in house," Anselm said.
The City says that all changes will only help the Department run more simply; and will not effect day to day activities for Joplinites. For now, the City says this re-group mainly means dividing Public Works into two main branches.; day-to-day operations and long-term future oriented type projects and divisions, which will go under planning and development.

For a link to the City of Joplin's website, click here. 


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