Parma, MO (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) – The drugstore is long gone. So, too, are the bank and the barbershop, the opry house and the hardware store.
All that is left of downtown are collapsed awnings, caved-in ceilings and broken windowpanes of century-old buildings.
And now that the city of Parma has elected its first black mayor, the town of about 700 residents is suffering another kind of abandonment: Six of its 11 employees — including the police chief, city clerk and water department supervisor — have resigned.
“I don’t understand,” said Tyus Byrd, who was sworn in as mayor a week ago. “I never said anything about cleaning house.”
People here cite a variety of reasons for the departures. Hurt feelings. Worries about being fired. Loyalty to the former mayor, who had been in power for much of the past half-century.