Thursday, April 14, 2016
Seibert: There was nothing wrong with how Wallace-Bajjali was selected
Though state audits, the Loraine Report and my book, Silver Lining in a Funnel Cloud, have shown clearly that steps were taken to pave the way for Wallace Bajjali to come in to Joplin, creating the unnecessary position of master developer, making sure that Texas conman David Wallace's firm was hired for that position.
That wasn't the case, Joplin Mayor Michael Seibert said in an interview published in the latest edition of Joplin Regional Business Journal. Responding to a question on what his biggest disappointment has been, Seibert responded as follows:
I think obviously there is a lot of disappointment with what we had hoped to accomplish with the master developer. It didn't turn out as we had envisioned it, but we learned a lot of lessons out of that.
We were trying to make decisions in the middle of a disaster and we made the best ones we could make in that kind of situation.
There was nothing nefarious about who was picked or how the process happened. The fact is we were able to receive a lot of money from the master developer's efforts on our behalf. The reality is we secured about $50 million and it will be shown in progress over the next few years.
That same revisionist view of recent Joplin history will be on view for the nation next month when many of the same people who made numerous mistakes, including the Wallace-Bajjali fiasco, will be those who will be taking a victory lap next month, telling the national media how their wisdom led Joplin out of the wilderness and on the road to recovery.