West Plains Mayor to Resign in April

In a letter to the citizens of West Plains dated December 10, Mayor Jack Pahlmann announced plans to join City Administrator Tom Stehn in retirement effective April 30, 2021. 
The letter addressed the ongoing recall effort, stating the, “…petition had no bearing whatsoever on my decision to leave [in April].”
Mayor Pahlmann has seemed confident the recall effort would fail to unseat him. City Attorney Charles Cantrell issued an advisory opinion on December 3 regarding the Recall Committee’s submitted petition. He suggested that it did not meet the requirements set forth in the City Charter, which prevents the City Clerk from issuing official petition collection forms. 
In an email dated December 8, 2020, Mayor Pahlmann wrote, “I most certainly agree with the atty's opinion since it is right on the money. Disagreeing with a councilmember's vote and then attempting to remove the member from office because of that vote is the wrong approach. The proper method is to submit a referendum petition to the public and have them vote the offending ordinance up or down. Plus, as was noted in the letter, this effort to recall has no chance of appearing on the April 2021 municipal ballot. By the time the April 2022 municipal election occurs, this Covid-19 issue should be a bad memory.”
Read the full text of Mayor Pahlmann’s public letter of resignation below. 
Twenty five months ago I had a decision to make. In November of 2018, I was 
considering to not file for reelection for Mayor. After discussing my options with family and valued friends, I decided to file for the April 2019 election, but I 
had one condition if I was to run. I would remain in office until our City 
Administrator, Tom Stehn, retired. I didn’t want to break in a new City 
Administrator, and he didn't want to break in a new Mayor.
As you know, Tom has set April 30, 2021 as his retirement from the City of West 
Plains.  I will join Tom on April 30 with my retirement as Mayor.
Normally, this would end my letter to you, but recent unpleasantries within our city deserve some comment. Three of us on council voted for a masking ordinance to help stem the surge of new Covid-19 cases in our city. This upset several of our citizens who desired to remove me from office by using the recall provisions in our City Charter. It was apparent from the outset of this movement that the recall ballot would not be voted on until the April 2022 municipal election when hopefully the Covid-19 pandemic would be just a bad memory. I want to emphasize that this petition had no bearing whatsoever on my decision to leave on April 30, 2021. I was quite confident that I would be able to survive the recall, if it were to occur at all.
I’ve had a great 21 years representing the citizens of West Plains both as a council member and as your mayor. I have no doubt that the new mayor and city administrator will make it happen here!
Thank you for supporting me over the years. I wish you well.
Jack Pahlmann, Mayor
August 2012 - April 2021

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