JOPLIN, Mo. — A longtime Joplin city official is retiring this October.
Assistance City Manger Dan Pekarek’s retirement will be effective October 4th, 2021, according to City Manger Nick Edwards.
Pekarek has been with Joplin for 35 years and has taken many titles during that time such as Public Health Director for 23 years, Interim City Manager for one, and finally Assistant City Manger as of June 2020.
For much of Pekarek’s time with the City he focused on public health issues, and education. He also worked to improve ordinances for the City’s Animal Control, Tobacco 21 passage, and Joplin’s prescription drug monitoring ordinance approval in recent years, among projects.
Edwards credits Pekarek’s work along with other individuals for their establishment of the Jasper and Newton Counties Community Health Collaborative as well as the later development of the Joplin, Jasper and Newton Counties Emergency Healthcare Coalition.
More recently during his role as Assistant City Manger, Pekarek led the work to develop 50-plus Actions Plans for the City towards the City Council’s goals of community betterment.
Pekarek began his career with Joplin in 1986 as an Environmental Sanitarian and later promoted to Lead Sanitarian eight years later. In 1996 he was named Director of the Health Department where he worked for 23 years.
“It has been a great honor to have worked for the City of Joplin for these 35 years … I can’t begin to list literally the hundreds of city employees I have had the privilege to serve with over the years. The City is blessed to have a committed, high-quality staff, devoted to providing exemplary service to residents. This has been what I have witnessed over my 35 years of employment. I cannot, in good conscience discuss the staff I have worked with and not make special mention of the many, many colleagues I had the immense honor to work with at the Joplin City Health Department. Whatever success the department (not me) had in my 20 plus years as department head is completely attributed to them. They always made me look good. I wish them, and Ryan Talken the new department director all success in the future.”Dan Pekarek, Joplin Assistant City Manager
Edwards and Pekarek will work on transition plans in the upcoming weeks. The City will begin a search process for the permanent replacement at a later date.