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Some candidates emerge for new Joplin mayor and mayor pro tem - KOAM TV 7

Some candidates emerge for new Joplin mayor and mayor pro tem

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Joplin's city council will meet tonight at 6 to welcome two new council members, and then elect a mayor and mayor pro tem.  We asked many of the council members, including the two being sworn in, if they would be willing to serve as mayor or mayor pro tem.  Based on their responses, it's clear many of them believe it's time for a change.

Joplin's current mayor, Melodee Colbert-Kean, says, "They'll cherish it.  But they'll also have those moments where they're saying, what is this I'm doing again?"

Those are words Mayor Colbert-Kean passes along to whomever becomes Joplin's next mayor.  Mayor Colbert-Kean is willing to serve as mayor for another two years.

"That is totally up to the council," says Mayor Colbert-Kean.

But council members we've talked with would like to see someone new.  Council members say most of the time, the mayor pro tem becomes mayor.  But Mayor Pro Tem Bill Scearce says he's too busy to take on the role, and no longer wants to be pro tem.  

Councilman Mike Woolston says there's been lobbying among council members.

"I've heard from a few, and I wouldn't want to embarrass somebody by saying that they had inquired about it but couldn't get the votes," says Woolston.

Councilman Morris Glaze favors Councilman Mike Seibert as Joplin's next mayor.  Glaze is willing to serve as mayor pro tem no matter who becomes mayor.  But Glaze feels now is not the time for him to be mayor.

Councilman Benjamin Rosenberg favors newly elected council member Ryan Stanley as the next mayor pro tem, though Councilman Woolston feels that may not happen.

"Pretty unusual for somebody that new, just elected, to be put into a leadership position," says Woolston.

Newly elected Councilwoman Miranda Lewis says she won't nominate anyone for any position because she doesn't know any of the council members well enough yet.

Newly elected Councilman Ryan Stanley doesn't want to be mayor, saying he would turn down a nomination.  But he would be willing to serve as mayor pro tem, especially if Mike Seibert is elected mayor.

Councilmen Mike Seibert and Gary Shaw did not return our calls for this story.

Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean is Joplin's first African American mayor.  To hear her reflect on this, as she may no longer be mayor, watch the associated video.

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