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Winona, Mo. community struggles as aldermen accuse mayor of wrongdoing

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 9:47 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The small community of Winona is facing a big struggle. City leaders are questioning the ethics of their newly elected mayor.

“This community has been on an uphill battle for a long time,” said Mayor Dino Romeo.

He took the office of mayor of Winona just five months ago. He says some aldermen on the town’s board are making accusations of wrongdoing though they won’t tell him what the issue is. He feels they are working to block votes on ordinances that could benefit the community.

“It’s pretty difficult working with a group that doesn’t want to see our city make progress and take advantage of some of the opportunity we have,” he says.

Many others agree with Romeo.

“The community as a whole is really frustrated,” said Carrie Roberts.

Scottie Haynes said, “It makes it really difficult.”

Roberts is the unofficial president of the town’s library board. She is working to re-open the library.

“There’s currently no city library or a library at all in Shannon County,” she said.

Roberts wants to give kids the resources to excel.

“In a poor community like this when their parents are having to choose between paying the rent and buying books it’s a pretty obvious choice,” she said.

Haynes is working on opening the town’s equestrian arena.

“It’ll be super exciting. I grew up horse showing in every other town around. It will be so surreal to be able to do it here,” she said.

Both say they feel members of the board of aldermen are halting their plans supported by the mayor.

“At this, point we’re really hopeful in spite of everything,” said Roberts.

But that hope could fade as accusations of illegal activity against the mayor circulate.

“That’s what I call it. Growing pains. There’s a shift. There’s a change in the structure that was there before,” said Romeo.

He says those accusing him have yet to bring their concerns to him directly.

“I’m new to all of this. I’m learning. If there’s a good case against me and I did something illegal like they’re saying then I should face the repercussion of that,” he explained.

We attempted to reach out to the three board of aldermen members who are questioning the mayor’s leadership. We spoke to Bill Brawley over the phone. He says that he can speak for the other two in saying that they have no comment right now about the current situation. He says they only want to see the city succeed.

So does Winona’s current mayor.

“Community restoration back to where people can dream again,” said Romeo.

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