Monday, January 11, 2016

Joplin city manager provides weekly update

(Joplin City Manager Sam Anselm sent the following update to City Council members Friday.)

Good afternoon, everyone. Please see below for this week’s update.

Key Meetings 

-Outside of regular meetings with department heads, this week was light on meetings so I could focus my efforts on finishing our pay plan. I would like to commend Brian Kelly, our assistant to the city manager, for doing an outstanding job collecting salary information and comparing hundreds of job descriptions from over 50 cities locally and within the four states area. I am nearing the point where I can present the results to departments and to the city council for continued discussions that will show the extent to which we are below market in many of our positions, and what the overall financial impact would be if we implemented the plan. Tentatively, I would like to schedule a work session sometime in February to present the information to you for discussion.


-Pursuant to our discussion on Monday night regarding change orders, earlier today our public works director presented me with a draft change order policy. I will review it in depth early next week, but I would like to consider having a work session either prior to our next regular council meeting, or a separate work session on another night, to discuss this in further detail.

-Earlier this week we received several questions from a resident regarding the condition of our city streets. To summarize:

*Manholes-this winter, public works will be awarding a contract to adjust all manholes on our collectors and arterials to within ¼ inch of the roadway surface, to alleviate many of the rideability issues that residents are experiencing. In addition, adjustment of manholes in this manner will be included on all future projects. To provide you with some history, in the past we provided the rings necessary for adjustment, but we only ordered them in one size. By including this as part of future contracts, the contractors will have the responsibility and the control over ordering what is needed.

*Utility cuts-we have new, higher standards in place to address the utility cut issues that have caused us problems in the past, and we have begun to see improvements in the quality of cuts that are taking place on our roads.

*Main Street resurfacing-using a combination of disaster recovery funds and local city funds, PW has put together a plan to resurface Main Street in 2017, from F Street on the north, going south to 32nd Street. Along with this particular project, PW staff is evaluating potential changes in our pavement management program that would focus on the busiest roadways that serve the most people, as well as changing the type of treatment methodology. No final decision has been made, but I commend staff in our public works department for taking steps to address these issues.

-Applications are now being accepted for our second Citizens’ Government Academy, which will begin on March 1st. If you receive any questions, residents can go to to learn more and to apply. Please feel free to invite anyone you feel may enjoy/learn from the experience. We’ll have snacks.

-Finally, included with this week’s report is a summary of activities that took place in the Neighborhood Services Division last year. I would like to commend Stephen Grindle, our neighborhood services supervisor, for putting together the information for your review.

In the Pipeline 

-The personnel board will be meeting next week to review job description changes for several positions, some of which are part of the parks reorganization plan that Director Garrie has been working on for the past several months. That topic of discussion will likely come to you at our first regular meeting in February.

-Earlier this week I was notified by our finance director that the state auditors are planning to conduct their follow-up to the state audit sometime shortly after our regular audit is concluded. Most likely, we are looking at the end of February or March for their return to see how we have progressed on some of the issues raised in the audit report.

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