City Attempting Eminent Domain of Whelan Property

Apr 04, 2013 has confirmed that the City is filing for Eminent Domain of property at the corner of Westwood Blvd and Oak Grove Road owned by Robert and Robin Whelan which houses Robert Whelan Financial Services. has already reported that one property near that intersection sold at a premium. Two more properties nearby have been purchased by the City:

Location Schalk
(#1 in photo)
Ozark Medical
Car Wash
Sold for $828,000 $789,000 $1,000,000
Appraisal $828,000 $655,000 $748,700
“Good Will” $0 $134,000 $251,300
Office $38/sqft $58/sqft none
Lot $10/sqft $18/sqft $21/sqft

This leaves the Whelans’ Property (#4 in photo) as the sole, business property remaining along Oak Grove, all other lots are residences or empty. From a “business” perspective, it can be claimed that the Whelans’ property which faces the traffic flow into the city with 130 degrees of intersection frontage is THE most valuable property of the four being purchased.

Here is the info has pieced together:

  • Months ago the City made a low $400,000 offer based on the appraisal for Whelans’ property
  • Whelans aparently made a counter-offer in the $900s
  • City purchased properties #1, #2 & #3 for a total of $2.6M
  • City made no other offers to Whelans
  • City notified Whelan that negotiations were over and planned to condemn the property and take it by Eminent Domain

Taking Whelans’ property by Eminent Domain after a pathetically low-ball offer SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN in our community especially since the city seems to be free-flowing money for other properties.

Also, two more potential Conflicts of Interest have reared their head:

  • The City has tapped Terry McVey, husband of City Councilwoman Susan McVey, as their legal representation.
  • The property appraisals are being performed by employees of the City’s Engineering firm: Smith & Co.

Isn’t it time for you to get involved and speak up?

Ward 1 – Ronnie Hendrix 573-429-6542 Angela Pearson 573-300-2081
Ward 2 – Mayor Ed DeGaris 573-785-2064
Ward 3 – Betty Absheer 573-785-3285
Ward 4 – Johnny Brannum 573-429-4578
Ward 5 – Robert Smith 573-785-9656
At-Large – Lloyd Matthews 573-785-0296
At-Large – Susan McVey 573-785-1441

  1. jerry

    just some good ol boys never meaning no fill my bank account i will fill yours…

  2. CAF

    Well the DAR finally printed the story on Bob Whelan’s building.Using simple math:the.39 acre of Tinsley’s building sold for $ 789,00. Using the same formula the .36 acre of Whelan’s would bring $ 728,308 for the property. In actuality since Whelan has Westwood Blvd frontage, his property would sell for more than Tinsley’s. Location, location, location. I don’t think the city has a leg to stand on in court. Go Bob and Robin!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Brenda West

    I dont think the goverment or city should be able to take what they want unless the seller is wanting to sell, this is not freedom. its robbery

  4. J-Rod

    Well that explains why the car wash sucks as of late!!!!

  5. Pat Wood

    I think Brian should run for council, too, Ruthie. We need someone in there who is not a yes-man, someone who thinks for himself and does not just follow blindly.
    Eminent Domain is just a way to ‘legally’ steal and should not be allowed.

    1. Brian Becker

      Thank you both for your kind words. At this time, it isn’t possible since I no longer live in PB, or even Butler County. But, from the feedback I’m getting we will have plenty of good candidates next year!

  6. Ruthie Carter

    Hang in there Brian. The stench from the city council reaches far and wide. I have friends in St. Louis and Memphis who know how crooked the council is. This last shenanigan of trying to legally STEAL Mr. Whelan’s property after laying out a couple million to purchase the other properties is so pathetically obvious to even my 10-year-old granddaughter. Anyone with even the brains of a grasshopper should be able to see through this farce. “Give ’em hel_, Harry” is the phrase that comes to mind. When are YOU gonna run for council and try to clean up some of this manure?

  7. River Cryer

    I am so sick and tired of your sob story Mr, Becker. Your sole agenda in life appears to be to retaliate and keep the pot stirred with the city. You feel you were wronged by them, maybe you were to an extent, maybe you werent, furthermore, I dont care. You have an outstanding debt with them, why didnt you pay it?

    Do your opinions on the Oak Grove Road project stem from jealousy? You fail to mention the risks this “flipper” took. Could you have not taken this risk yourself? Why yes, you could have. Your opinion on the Whalen property is just that. Have you checked all the facts? Do you know how much the Whalen’s owe on this property? Could this factor into anything? Quite possibly, but not your agenda now does it.

    You remind me of the school bully. You are constantly taunting and goading Mr. Bagby and other city officials with emails and articles to solicit a response from them, just so you can twist their words and find more reasons to feel sorry for yourself. Strong willed and professional or not, a person can only put up with so much BS from one person before they get enough.

    Here is a suggestion. If you hate the city of Poplar Bluff so badly MOVE! You have stated that all the legal procedures have been financially difficult for you, declare bankruptcy and start over with another city. Do you even live in the city limits? Exactly.

    1. Brian Becker

      RE: outstanding debt. You are mistaken.
      RE: risks the flipper took. That property was sold before it was bought…that’s the point of the story silly. So ANYONE would have taken that risk…but only a chosen few COULD have taken that risk.
      RE: Mr Bagby and other city officials. I don’t think I’ll answer that one.
      RE: Whalen property facts & debt. How much is owed does not determine its value…well, unless the Bank that owns it influences the City to pay more so their note gets covered 100%. But no bank with good morals and ethics would do such a thing at the taxpayers expense. Then the question becomes: Do all of the banks in our community operate with good morals, integrity and ethics?
      RE: hating the city of PB? No, I love our city…it’s people like you who are comfortable with the corrupt good ole boy system that I despise and am expiring all my energy to rid our city of.
      RE: living in city limits. Yes, my sole business address is within the city limits of PB and each of my employees live in the city. My family is currently living in my brother’s old geodesic dome for free in Williamsville.
      RE: being sick and tired of me. Dude…stop coming to…seriously…direct your browser to something more on your level…like

      [Also, though we seldom let fake email addresses post I made an exception for you. Please use a real email address in the future.]

  8. mary

    I agree with Shirley.
    Cindy, agreed. Parts of the town are in such shambles. It is embarrassing!! As far as the hospital goes – new place, same shoddy service.

  9. shirley stoll

    The city officers are a dirty entrenched bunch…. BUT they keep getting elected by people who do not understand the level of dishonesty. How can PB hire an attorney married to one of its officers…. This lady, and I use that lightly, is a pit bull and will claw her way to the top no matter who she hurts. I can’t help but notice that Tinsley did quite well for himself… In PB it is who you know…. I hope the Whelans hang in there and we property owners should back them up.

    1. Kevin B. Sample

      Oh how I miss good old SE Missouri…now you have low-level mobsters playing politicians, sounds like a soap opera in the making…

  10. Cindy

    What does the city want with these properties??? What you are describing sounds like some kind of “mafia” scenario…sell your property for what we offer, no if’s, and’s, or but’s, or we’ll just take it!!!! What kind of city is Poplar Bluff anyway??? Maybe instead of spending their money to buy up these properties they SHOULD spend the money to fix up this town and make it more attractive for businesses other then the new hospital. A lot of areas around this city look like freaking slums!!!!! :(

    1. Brian Becker

      They are widening Oak Grove Road and making a better intersection at Westwood. A VERY important project to our community. It does appear that the project is being used to make some people wealthier and others not so much.

  11. Brad

    What did Property #4 appraise for? If the fair market value IS higher, and they actually take it for their offer by Eminent Domain, I am glad I don’t live in PB! That is dirty politics at its best. However, if the value is comparable to that of the other properties and the owners want a higher price, then that is a different story.

    1. Brian Becker

      RE: Property 4 appraisal. The city won’t release that information because it is part of a pending lawsuit.

    2. Brian Becker

      The properties are being appraised by the city’s engineering firm…that doesn’t seem right. One residential owner further up Oak Grove was handed an appraisal for their land and the three comps were 1) the price of that same property years before when he bought it. 2) a property near by that has had a contract on it for two years but hasn’t closed. 3) another nearby property that hasn’t closed. Those are not valid comps.

      And finally, notice that two of the three properties that sold (#2 & #3) included up to a quarter of a million dollars in “good will.” How can they justify $0 good will for the Whelan property?