Monday, May 09, 2016

Joplin city manager provides weekly update

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

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

Key Meetings 

-On Monday, I met with employees from public works to discuss the information I put out relative to the pay plan. 

-On Tuesday, I participated in a conference call with other officials to discuss the upcoming Disaster Recovery Summit, specifically the opening session, which will also be a FEMA webinar.  Later that afternoon, I met with supervisors from the police department to discuss the pay plan 

-The rest of my week was spent at the 55th Annual Missouri City/County Manager’s Association Spring conference. A brief recap of the sessions: o On Wednesday we had lunch with other experienced city managers to discuss various topics and get their perspective on ways to address/handle them. o The rest of the afternoon was spent hearing from Van and Tammy Benson, with Motive Matters, where several of us learned our colors and discussed the strengths and limitations of each. (I’m a white with a healthy dose of yellow, for the record.) o On Thursday we heard from Chuck Marohn, founder of Strong Towns, to hear about the financial health of our cities, and why several communities continue to struggle providing services despite decades of growth. It was an incredibly thought-provoking presentation o Later that morning I participated in a breakout session with Mr. Marohn that focused specifically on transportation and related infrastructure challenges. o On Thursday afternoon, we had another breakout session on wastewater and stormwater management, hearing from representatives from Rolla and Columbia discussing their programs, the regulatory challenges our communities are facing in these areas, and ways they have worked to overcome them. o The final session of the day focused on social media in local government, and strategies cities can use to engage residents through these mediums (insert shameless plug for our Twitter page: @JoplinCity, and our Facebook page at We’ve built a pretty good presence on social media, but there’s room for improvement in how we address rumors and misinformation, so I will be working with staff on developing strategies to overcome these challenges. o This morning was spent discussing emerging issues in local government. We discussed challenges in law enforcement and working better with the state legislature and MML to give the local government perspective on bills moving through Jefferson City. o We concluded the conference by participating in regional discussions with managers and administrators from our respective areas of the state, discussing ways to improve the regional communication and collaboration on issues. Within the southwest region, we will be working to set up quarterly meetings 


-Earlier this week I met with Chief Furgerson to discuss the creation of a Firefighter Trainee position, similar in concept to the Police Officer Trainee position that we have in police, and similar to what other communities offer in their fire departments. Offering such a position would allow us to better recruit potential firefighters to fill our ranks. We are just beginning to look at this, but I commend Chief Furgerson for bringing this idea forward for consideration. 

-Attached is the most recent update from public works detailing the projects they’re working on.

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