R. Mark Rohr, the current city manager of Piqua, Ohio has been named the new city manager of Joplin. Mayor Phil Stinnett and the other 7 Joplin City Council members unanimously selected Rohr out of the four final candidates chosen in early August. Over 70 applications initially had been submitted for the post. Pending signing a formal contract, Rohr will replace interim city manager Harold McCoy on November 1, 2004.
The council was looking for a dynamic individual to follow in the footsteps of former city manager Steve Lewis who resigned to become city manager of Lee's Summit. Citing negotiating for the Newman Building for use as the new city hall and laying the groundwork for establishing a nature center in Wildcat Park as two of Lewis's acievements, former Mayor Richard Russell said the council was ready to move on to the next level. The council was impressed by Rohr's "management style" and his "desire to get things done."
"Mark has many great strengths as a city manager," Stinnett said. "During the search process, he exhibited a strong work ethic, economic development skills, and is a team player with good leadership characteristics. Mark has served as city manager in several cities and developed strong programs during his tenure in those locations. He'll be a great asset to Joplin."
During Rohr's leadership, the City of Piqua completed a three-phase $10 million citywide project known as "The Loop" and won a Governor's Award for Excellence in 2003 for its downtown revitalization work. Piqua is located approximately 20 miles north of Dayton. It has 8,300 households and a population of 22,000, about half the population of Joplin based on 2000 census figures.
Rohr holds a Master's degree in public administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Currently he is a member of the International City Managers Association (ICMA) and the Ohio City Managers Association (OCMA).
"I look forward to joining a highly qualified staff and a strong council as Joplin's city manager," said Rohr. "During my visit to Joplin, everyone was very friendly and helpful. Joplin has many strengths, and as city manager I plan to continue working on these strengths, increasing others and also developing a good strategic plan to take Joplin into the future."
Rohr's salary will be set at $110,000 per year. His employment contract will be placed on the agenda of the September 20, 2004 city council meeting. The mayor justified the level of salary by saying that the council had to improve upon Rohr's present benefits and salary but still keep well within Joplin's budgetary range.
Commenting about Rohr's bachelor status and tremendous work ethic, Councilman Guy Palmieri (general) with a twinkle in his eye said Rohr could devote 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the job.