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More Employees, Better Pay, Improved Websites - Consulting Firm Lays Out Challenges for Joplin

The Joplin City Council held a work session Monday night, receiving an operational assessment of the community's services and operations. KRPS's Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Chicago-based public accounting and consulting firm Baker Tilly created the over 100-page report that outlined the good, the bad, and the ugly concerning where Joplin could improve.

The study compared the community to seven benchmark communities with similar demographics, such as Jefferson City, Cape Girardeau, and Bentonville, Arkansas. The main takeaways from the survey demonstrated that Joplin has a challenging time filling staffing needs.

The city also needs to improve its websites, information technology, and communication with the business community. Councilmember Josh DeTar summed up the presentation this way.

"Really just want to make a comment that we constantly always hear during one of these presentations. It's people and money. And I think most municipalities are dealing with it as well."

The study found that Joplin lacked a comprehensive program for collecting feedback and suggested hiring an ombudsperson to provide guidance and advocate for residents and other parties.

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.
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