Parsons city manager resigns about one week after police chief and fire chief announce retirement
The Parsons staff is making adjustments.
“With the three officials gone, obviously it’s going to create some change throughout the community,” said Kari West, public information officer for the city of Parsons.
These include police chief Scott Gofourth and fire chief Larry Steeby, who will both retire on September 19th, and city manager Fred Gress, who resigned.
Kari west says the three position leaves are unrelated.
“In the incident of the fire chief and police chief, it’s simple retirement, they’ve served the city of parsons well and they’re anxious to do something different.”
Parsons resident Virginia Money is not convinced.
“They had too much power and they were abusing that power.”
Money says she’s seen little results from collected taxes.
“We don’t see where anything’s growing back, nothing’s being reproduced, nothing’s happening.”
“We’re a city that has a lot of projects going on and sometimes the money that you anticipated being available for projects, doesn’t become available,” said city attorney Ross Albertini.
Frank Barnett says there is a lack of accountability.
“We’ve had problems in this city that’s been set aside for four years.”
He also questions the city management’s openness.
“They try to tell you ‘you don’t know what’s going on, they’re doing the best, they’re doing the positive,” said Barnett. “Listen the positive things will show greatly. The negative things and the pot holes and the streets is what we need to work on.”
“I understand that there is some frustration from the public with the way things happen at time,” said Albertini. “I think you can go to every city across america and find that same situation.”
City officials say they are working to move past the recent changes.
“We think we have capable staff still working for the city and we’ll proceed as normal,” said Albertini.
City clerk, Debbie Lamb, will now be the interim city manager. The city has begun accepting applications for a new fire chief., but has not yet begun the process of hiring a new chief of police.