Joplin mayor reacts to council member’s resignation

Joplin mayor reacts to council member’s resignation
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A familiar face will be missing from Joplin’s city council, as Jim West announces his resignation, a departure the mayor didn’t see coming.

“I know how important being on the city council was to Mr. West. He enjoyed it. He worked hard for that, so I was surprised to see him retire, when he resigned,” explained Mayor Gary Shaw.

West sent his resignation letter through his attorney, Bill Fleischaker, who explains that west stepped down for personal reasons.

“Jim enjoyed his experiences as being a council member, but he had his reasons and just felt that this was the time,” said Fleischaker.

Despite the unexpected news, Mayor Shaw says things will move forward with the city and its council.

“We’re about a year away from an election, and so probably we’ll look at filling that seat. There’s several ways that we can do that,” Shaw stated.

Shaw says those options will be discussed with the city attorney at their next council meeting, but expects to fill the seat before elections in April of next year.

“I would guess that we would probably try to fill that seat for a year and then obviously when we have the election, then fill the seat permanently,” said Shaw.

In the meantime, West’s attorney predicts his client will stay busy with other endeavors.

“Jim has contributed to a number of public institutions in the area and public causes and I expect he’ll continue to do what he can,” said Fleischaker.

The Joplin NAACP, who knows West as a current member and past president, wishes him the best in his future saying:
“We hope his seat will be filled with a person who reflects the diversity of our Joplin community.”

As for the future of Joplin, Mayor Shaw is focused on moving forward.

“This is something that we didn’t expect, but I think it’s something that we just have to handle.”