Interim city manager Sam Anselm is vying for the permanent title now with two contenders left, Steve Rasmussen of Jefferson City and Dean Kruithof of Bentonville, Arkansas. Randy Wetmore, city administrator from Marshalltown, Iowa has withdrawn his application for this position. Originally, about 40 applications for the position were received.
But according to the Littleton Gazette providing information on the background of that town's city manager finalists (Jennifer Smith, 8/8/11), Steve Rasmussen, a candidate for the current city manager opening in Joplin, was fired from a position he had held for about five years. The city council's unanimous decision, according to the article, came "more than a year after he was investigated in relation to a hit-and-run accident." While Rasmussen was never found guilty for allegedly hitting a parked car reportedly while driving drunk, the article alludes to some sort of cover-up by the police chief.
Rasmussen had been a runner-up in a city manager position he sought in St. Joseph immediately after he had been fired. In applying for a position as city manager of Sterling City, Texas (population dropping-888, 2010 census), somewhat recently he also was denied
Kruithof, a native of Carthage, left the position as city administrator of Branson amid surprise by the board of aldermen. Of course, they had known that a couple of years ago he had sought the city manager's position in Broken Arrow, an application he had made, he said, because he couldn't pass up the opportunity to "return home to Oklahoma." In his letter of resignation, Kruithof explained his wife had accepted a new position (senior human resources manager in Benton County for Arvest Bank) that will require their relocation to northwest Arkansas. Apparently, he intends to commute to Joplin, a question to ask him, especially regarding its affect on his emergency availability.
A welcoming reception to meet two of the three candidates will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in the lobby of the Joplin City Hall, 602 S. Main. Kruithof won't be there due to "scheduling conflicts." Instead meet him from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on November 1, 2014, at city hall.
For more about the finalists, go here.