Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Joplin city manager provides weekly update

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

Good afternoon, everyone. With the events surrounding the five-year anniversary of the tornado, I was unable to complete an update last week, so this week’s report covers the highlights from the past two weeks.

Key Meetings

-On the 16th, AtCM Brian Kelly and I interviewed a new intern for the city manager’s office, we received a tutorial from Jon Johnson on the Fiscal Health Diagnostic Tool, and I attended the ribbon cutting for the Crosslines building. With respect to the diagnostic tool, it is almost ready to demonstrate the tool to you, so after Director Haase returns from her GFOA conference, we will be able to finalize the data and schedule a work session to review the information.

-On the 17th, staff and I met with the Sales Tax Task Force to review next steps to share information about the continuation of the sales tax on titled property, that will be on the ballot in August. Our next meeting has been scheduled for June 2nd .

-On the 19th and 20th, I attended the Disaster Recovery Summit hosted on the campus of Missouri Southern.

-On Monday of this week, Mayor Seibert and I attended the monthly Chamber of Commerce meeting. Chamber President Rob O’Brian was at the annual retail convention in Las Vegas along with our retail consultant, to meet with prospective retailers about Joplin. Once I receive a summary of their trip, I will pass it along to you.

=On Tuesday during our weekly department head meeting, representatives from AJ Gallagher & Co. presented a report detailing the loss history on various workers’ compensation, general liability claims, etc. over the past five years. The complete reportis included for your review, but to highlight a few items:

*The frequency of our workers’ comp claims is going down, which is a positive indicator that our safety program is having results.

*However, 2015 was the second highest year for the severity of our workers’ comp claims, at just over $580,000.

*The most frequent types of losses/injuries are strains and sprains (129 cases in five years), absorption/ingestion/inhalation (73 cases), and poison ivy (71 cases). Falls and slips (59 cases) and cuts/punctures/scrapes (52 cases) round out the top five. This data will help us tailor future safety topics/trainings to help ensure we continue on a positive trend of reducing workplace injuries.

 -On Wednesday, I joined Chief Stewart and Major Rowland for the monthly Coffee with the Chief program, held at Panera. I commend Chief Stewart for his efforts in engaging with our community through this program, as it’s a great way for residents to meet the chief and ask questions about the department.

-Later that morning IT Director Mark Morris and I, along with AtCM Kelly, sat in on a conference call with our website provider, CivicPlus, to begin discussions about updating the look and feel of our city website. The target date to roll out our new website is November 1st, but I am happy to report that the new site will be much more user-friendly and compatible with mobile devices like smart phones and tablets.


-At the recent Joplin Schools board meeting, our assistant public works director, Dan Salisbury, was present to give the school board an update on the plans for 20th Street in anticipation of our next round of public meetings. During the course of that presentation, members of the school board asked if the city was willing to waive the permit fee for the construction of the early childhood center, which will be constructed using state and city CDBG-DR funds. Dan correctly pointed out that staff does not have that authority, so a written request will be forthcoming for the city council to consider waiving the building permit fee on construction of the early childhood center project.

-I was notified this week that both SEMA and FEMA have approved the Jasper/Newton Bi-County Hazard Mitigation Plan, which will also come to you at a future meeting for your consideration and approval.

-As a follow-up to the results of the community survey regarding our budget priorities, next week staff will receive training to begin the next step in the process, which is to cost out all of the programs that have been identified. Basically, this will involve identifying the personnel, operations and maintenance costs for each program in order to develop a more accurate picture of the true cost of the programs and services that we provide to the community.

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