Pierce City residents and officials have found themselves intensely at odds or respectfully supporting each other since the mayoral election, a political posturing that should ultimately unveil the true soul of the city.
Sparks began to fly around the mayoral election, as two-term incumbent Kenny Smith was challenged by newcomer Edward Golubski, a local businessman and landlord. He campaigned for change, which obviously resonated with voters, as he won a substantial victory, 161 votes to 82 (66%).
Golubski did so despite the difficulties of having his residence in one place within the city limits or another just outside the city limits, and an issue that only a court could now resolve since that time. he took the oath.
His term as mayor began with as many fireworks as his campaign suggested. At his first meeting, he stopped repairs at the municipal pool for a personal contact to come and review, and he asked to file an annual budget reconciliation, which was required by state law.
A month later, allegations of poor accounting led to the city clerk being furloughed – after an attempt to fire her outright – and many city department heads threatened to quit.
When the dust settled, city attorney Darlene Parrigon tendered a resignation, but if she’s successful in her bid for Lawrence County prosecutor, it would have come anyway. Shelly Flummerfelt, a utility clerk, resigned immediately in May.
Police Chief Mike Abramovitz decided to stay on, although Golubski tried to appoint Amber Patrick to his post instead.
This month things got more business as usual, although Verona Mayor Joseph Heck voiced an opinion some didn’t want to hear, but others trumpeted.
In the context of official business, meeting attendance is on the rise. Many townspeople have taken action, forming a group and organizing town halls.
One of them was set for Thursday, and I’m very interested to see the resulting report.
That’s what I’ve learned about Pierce City over the years. The townspeople are more interested than most in municipal politics. Some of this can go back to the city’s history, most recently the May 2003 tornado.
Disasters like this are terrible, but when a city rebuilds brick and mortar, it strengthens the hearts of its residents and gives an even greater sense of place.
Passion never fails in Pierce City.
The question this time is, where will it lead? As with any public servant, I hope Golubski will succeed.
A key to this will be his tenacity, but other keys will be accepting help and compromising if necessary. The same applies to the council and the groups of inhabitants.
Not everyone will be happy. Find what works best and follow it, and don’t mix your personal feelings with running the business of the town.
The tension in Pierce City politics is temporary, but the spirit of the city will extend far beyond this council or this mayor.
As journalists, we are usually one of the few who regularly attend city council or school board meetings. It is encouraging to see so many Pierce City residents intimately involved and developing action plans.
Over the next few months, I hope these ideas and changes come to fruition, that the soul of the city shines and shines brightly.
Kyle Troutman has been editor of the Monett Times since 2014. In 2017, he was named William E. James/Missouri Outstanding Young Journalist for daily newspapers. He can be reached at 417-235-3135 or [email protected]
“Not everyone will be happy. Find what works best and follow it, and don’t mix your personal feelings with running the business of the city.