Anonymous Writer Begs DAR To Investigate Engineering Selections

Feb 28, 2013

For the record, cause some of you are probably wondering: I did not write them nor do I know who wrote or sent these letters to the DAR.

Two letters from an anonymous person have been sent to the Daily American Republic this week requesting the paper investigate and inform their readers of City Council’s soon-to-be-selection of engineering company for the first project by the Poplar Bluff TDD (a city corporation handling and funding the development of area transportation projects using a 1% sales tax).

According to each of the letters, Carbon copies were also forwarded to Doug Libla, Todd Richardson, PB Mayor and all city council members, Ed Strefel, and Steve Halter. The second letter also included the SEMO Times. obtained copies of each of the letters and have posted & linked them below for your viewing.

First Letter – 2/25/2013
Second Letter – 2/28/2013
  1. gary ward

    I believe in fair competition for everyone in Poplar Bluff. The new kid on the block will always have to work harder and cheaper to prove they can do their job. Lets a least give them a chance. Both You and I know that it’s hard nut to crack, to gain local respect and buck part of the old boy’s club around here. We need some fresh faces and ideas to get this city moving forward. I believe that Poplar Bluff will expand greatly now that the economy is moving again. Let’s just not put out inuendo’s and anomymous accusation’s that may defeat a new start-up in our area before they get started. In 5 years, they may be the Engineering Firm everyone around here uses. You were screwed by Poplar Bluff, but don’t add to others getting the same thing. Doesn’t matter who is the hunter, or the hunted, if we just do what is right. I remember signatures, but couldn’t sign, because I live in the county. Maybe there is something to the old saying that “You can’t fight City Hall” I’m a supporter of SEMO.NET and plan to remain one; this just struck me as irony and reminded Me of the gossip columns in some small weekly hometown newspapers

    1. Brian Becker

      I totally agree regarding Bobby’s new company. He did a great job on the Shelby Road project. I understand the anonymous seems underhanded by the writer(s), but if not anonymous…I know first hand how hard the City pushes back.

      Some of the largest business owners in town came to me three years ago when all of my ordeal started, all of the conversations were the same. After asking a close friend who had a 100+ employee company to stand with me he said, “If I support you, they will retaliate against my company. If I move my company and need a secondary entrance to the highway, they will say no. These guys will retaliate. I can’t put my business at risk for your cause even though I totally agree with you. I also hope you won’t ask any other businesses to support you Brian, if they do…it will only be because they don’t know these guys.” Another business owner was sharing his support with me while we were both pumping gas, when he saw a “City of PB” vehicle turning in to the station he actually asked me to step away from him.

      After that I made a decision…1) I did not ask any other businesses to publicly support me. 2) I will publicly stand up for companies if they are in the right.

      This person(s) feels that the selection of the Engineer is not a fair process…I don’t see any reason why publishing the letters is detrimental to anyone, including Bobby’s new company. We certainly won’t know if it is being awarded fairly if people don’t ask questions.

      I appreciate your input, Gary. Thank you!

  2. gary ward

    Sounds like another smear campaign to be started by SEMO times and I almost felt sorry for You and considered donating for Your legal funds, but not now. We were one of your very,very first subscrbers as Polar Check your facts on Employee’s. How do You expect any competition to the entrenched locals, w/o giving another firm a chance, before acusing some-one of “hiding something” I’m tired of the constant witch hunts I’m reading about.

    1. Brian Becker


      I have been vocal for two years that I think all City engineering jobs should be granted on a bid basis. I think bids are the best way to get the best price and save money. But I’m not condoning these letters, I’m only letting people know about them.

      As for the letter’s claim about Horner Shrifrin, Inc. Let me be clear — I love Bobby Summers. My wife and I were his (and M’s) youth pastors while he was in high school. He’s a great businessman and engineer and I expect him to be highly successful with his new company. I would LOVE for him to get the engineering work. But that doesn’t mean that he or Smith and Co or Shultz Engineering or __fill_in_the_blank__ should get the job without it being bid.

      I think it “might” be safe to assume the person(s) who wrote these letters are from an engineering company. They are wanting to be heard because they think something is wrong in how the engineers are being selected. I see no harm in bringing peoples attention to this person(s) concern. Especially if it helps to keep all parties on the up and up…

      I understand what you are talking about regarding “constant witch hunts.” No one is more tired than me and my family. But then I remember that our city officials “threw away” over 1200 signatures so they wouldn’t have to put Open Access on the ballot. I remember that volunteers worked 10 days straight to get those signatures again and the city officials then increased the number of signatures needed. I remember that once in 2011 and again in 2012 city officials filed ethics complaints on me. I remember that the city wrote me a ticket and threatened to send me to jail because a city employee said they saw me put a flyer on a car’s windshield. And I remember that they sent City Police around on election day to steal all my campaign signs.

      So yes, I’m tired of constant witch hunts…but we appear to disagree on who is the hunter.