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Citizens React to Audit of Joplin - KOAM TV 7

Citizens React to Audit of Joplin

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

 Missouri's eighty-eight page report on the audit of Joplin is a little long. But even though citizens may not have read it all, they are reacting to its summaries with concern

Residents point to new restaurants and business built back after the tornado as evidence the city didn't need a master developer, who's hiring came with bias according to state auditors. 

Jessica Quinonez says, "We didn’t need to bring someone in to make those decisions for us. But now look at the situation we're in."

Mike Christy says he had a hunch and says, "I told my wife, I said, Joplin will regret  the day they got involved with him because of all the things I’d heard about him. And yet they went ahead and hired him  above all the others that could have come in and did development."

City manager Sam Anselm realizes people are saying I told you so and says, "Hindsights always gonna be what it is. The failure of the master builder to do a lot of projects  he came and presented to city is disappointing. We won’t bring another master developer to town again."

 "For one Joplin resident, the biggest concern was the brokering of properties by a city councilman. She called it profiteering and carpetbagging."

Ruth Guzman says, "If they can pin down responsibility, those people should be held accountable."

Fank Fogg says, "It’s just a sad thing that the city of Joplin has to be involved in something like this. Or be this bad."

But many residents we spoke to believe the audit can be a good thing for Joplin for the future.

Guzman says, "If it discloses illegal dealings, discloses, like you said,  bias interest, yes it will be a good thing.  These things need to be exposed and need to be fixed."

Business Owner Brad Baird says “If you don’t know you're doing something wrong, you just keep doing the same thing over and over again. I hope it shines some light over and just makes more folks accountable."

And Baird says it goes beyond the big issues making headlines like the master developer. He says, "Did we make a mistake? We may have. Can we correct that?  No, but the other seventy pages we can correct because  we're all still here."

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