EditorialWith Don Schrieber’s and Donna Farley’s daily tirade in black and white of the Daily American Republic and the nameless cowards printed in Speakout, I decided it was time to weigh in.

First of all on Speakout: if you do not have the courage to put your name on it…then sit down and shut up. Don’t be a coward on Speakout, send a letter to the editor and sign your name.

Next I’d like to remind everyone that Doug Bagby deposited the funds from the City Cable sale into a “CITY” bank account. When Kaplan took over on August 18, the proceeds were sitting in a “CITY” bank account not a “Municipal Utility” bank account. It is clear that Bagby was not giving that money to MU.

Although Bagby did good things for our city, he was reckless with the city’s finances and cost the city millions and millions of dollars.

  1. Bagby and Bach took the 2nd lowest bid for catalytic converters and cost the city $250,000 PLUS multiple lawsuits that followed?
  2. Bagby gambled on the city’s self insurance fund and lost $1.7 million dollars
  3. Bagby never made the departments stick to their budget and didn’t get permission from Council to spend more than authorized
  4. Bagby illegally used sales tax monies designated for Capital Improvements for common expenses like gas and diesel fuel (as much as $1M)
  5. Bagby tried to take Bob Whelan’s property by Eminent Domain and refused to pay the fair market value after inflating that market by using city funds to buy his buddies’ properties at elevated prices at the same intersection.
  6. Bagby sent armed policemen to take down campaign signs the city didn’t agree with on election day.
  7. Bagby and Duncan threw out over 1000 voters’ signatures on valid petitions (already authenticated by the county clerk) stating it was because of staples.
  8. Bagby never told the citizens that the company hired to sell City Cable was going to be paid $250,000
  9. Bagby never told the citizens that the ZCorum contract wasn’t included in the sale of City Cable which cost the city $187,500.
  10. Bagby, in his haste to sell City Cable, mistakenly signed away his three-year battle against Poplar Bluff Internet and the $206,000 judgment to New Wave.
  11. Bagby made Councilwoman Pearson pay to look at city records
  12. –> Update: this one it appears is not correct  The switch to Blue Cross/Blue Shield is not a fully-funded insurance fund. #12 should have read:
    Bagby and MHJ Insurance continued to drive our self-insurance fund into the red for more than 3 years running. In four months Kaplan successfully put an Insurance cost-savings in place where the city can actually begin to reduce debt of the self-funded plan.
    Original item: Bagby and MHJ Insurance couldn’t figure out how to get us off the Self-Funded Health Insurance, Kaplan got it done in 4 months.
  13. Bagby used appraisers who broke the laws of Missouri with their appraisals on the Oak Grove project. The appraisers closed their doors once discovered. Bagby STILL used the information in those appraisals knowing they were not legitimate.

The list could go on, but it doesn’t need to. We are no longer run by thugs and now the new City Manager and current City Council have to fix, update and shore-up what Bagby and the Good Old Boys did not.

It is hard to make difficult decisions like the ones facing this council. You are never popular when you are the one delivering bad news and making the tough decisions. If you have an opinion then you should call one of them or go to the council meeting and voice your opinion.

Here’s what I believe to be true:

  • Kaplan is doing a good job and if given time the city will be better off next year than they are this year (which hasn’t happened the last four years).
  • Turning this ship around after the past decade of the Good Old Boys using it as their personal cashcow will take time and the decisions will be difficult.
  • The money claimed to have been misspent by Kaplan and the current council is laughable when compared to the last City Manager’s dealings.
  • and, Don writes most of the Speakouts.

 

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After graduating from Mizzou with Computer and Electrical Engineering degrees in 1985, Brian Becker spent a decade singing Christian Rock and being a labeled artist with Benson Music Group of Nashville. In 1995, he and several investors started the area's first Internet Service called PBMO.net and by 2000 the company was serviing Internet access in over 50 communities throughout Southeast Missouri as SEMO.net.

  • The only place of truth is in the obituary and if you read your name there you might be late.

  • Wow! Tammy Hilderbrand, I did not know all that list of things done by previous city manager. It almost sounds like criminal activity.