• SEMO TIMES has unearthed yet another disturbing instance of former City Manager Doug Bagby’s careless management and costly inattention to the city’s fiscal health. First, Bagby and his coalition on the council left the new leaders with a $3M deficit in the employees’ health insurance fund. Next, the taxpayers footed the bill for successfully challenging the clever, but illegal, perpetual contract that Bagby orchestrated. And now, the most recent instance of manipulation, playing sleight of hand with public money in the sale of City Cable. Eight months and six days after City Council voted to sell the cable system, Utilities Manager Bill Bach stood before City Council on September 23 and said, “The ZCorum contract was not included” in the

    Oct 31,
  • SEMO TIMES Editorial - also see our news coverage regading the Health Insurance selection and our Publisher's take on the local Rust-owned daily newspaper's reporting. Here’s a survey question for you: Do you support and encourage parents taking their child to the doctor if a broken bone is protruding from their arm or leg? It’s a question with only one legitimate answer. Late last week, Poplar Bluff Chamber President Steve Halter informed city council that the chamber was going to survey its members to “gauge the level of support…on the ‘shop local’ issue.” The survey question posed to its members by the chamber reads: Do you support City of Poplar Bluff Ordinance No. 7476 §1, 2-3-2014 http://ecode360.com/29105589  and encourage organizations such as our

    Oct 27,
  • On Sept. 23, a committee of seven city employees unanimously recommended that city council accept AON as their health insurance consultant over a local company’s less expensive bid. The council voted to approve the recommendation. The next day, our Rust-owned daily proclaimed “City shuns cheaper local bid” and misrepresented that it was the city manager who made the recommendation to take the non-local bid. The first eleven paragraphs of the article painted a city council and city manager who did all they could to take the city’s health insurance business “overseas.” Buried on page 2 in paragraph 12, the report finally mentioned the employee committee recommendation. The next day the paper featured a completely uninformed editorial claiming that Kaplan and

    Oct 23,
  • We learned from the Court’s ruling last week that former Poplar Bluff City Manager Doug Bagby had been operating under an illegal contract for over 10 years. Those who actually took five minutes to read the contract along with the unambiguous city ordinance and,  equally plain, Missouri state statutes knew immediately that it was an illegal contract. Any lawyer who saw that city manager contract would tell their client they have no contract. But, Bagby's lawyer pushed ahead and threatened to sue the city for the money stipulated in the illegal contract. Council turned to the courts and asked, "How much do we owe on an illegal contract?" The judges' answer was, "Not a dime." And now, the local Rust-owned daily

    Oct 20,
  • POPLAR BLUFF - Last April's City elections gave rise to a "new" group of largely dethroned leaders whose supporters coalesced to form a public group known as "Citizens For Poplar Bluff's Future," a group who pressed for "transparency" and "financial responsibility," among other things (ironically, two of the very criteria that voters emphatically embraced in removing long-time incumbents and ultimately, their leader, former City Manager Doug Bagby). Over the past months, SEMO TIMES has confirmed that Citizen's for Poplar Bluff's Future (CFPBF) was selectively allowing commentary, deleting comments from those with whom it disagreed, and even blocking some individuals who disagreed with its views from participating at all. The group originally devoted to community-betterment and  transparency also refused to disclose the identity of its

    Oct 15,

Upload Date