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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Several seek county offices

  • This Tuesday, Newton County voters will determine the winners of two county commission races, while McDonald County will select a sheriff and a western commissioner.
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  • This Tuesday, Newton County voters will determine the winners of two county commission races, while McDonald County will select a sheriff and a western commissioner.
    While several county positions will be up for a vote on Tuesday, most candidates are running uncontested, as many of the races were decided in the August primary election.
    In August, Newton County voters selected Jim Jackson of Neosho to represent the Republican Party in the race for District 2 Commissioner, and Alan Cook of Granby to represent the Republican Party in the race for District 1 Commissioner.   
     
    Also on the ballot seeking those positions are Libertarian candidates Heather Bowers of Neosho, District 2, and Roxie Fausnaught of Granby, District 1.
    The two commissioners currently filling those posts, Jerry Black, District 1, and Jack Sanders, District 2, have decided to retire instead of seek re-election.
    In McDonald County, voters selected incumbent sheriff Robert Evenson, of Noel, to represent the Democratic Party on the November ballot. Evenson is being challenged by Republican candidate Michael Hall, of Pineville, who did not face competition in the August primary.
    McDonald County voters will also choose between Republican David Holloway, of Anderson, and Democrat Nadine Sexson, of Goodman, for the western commissioner position, neither of whom have previously held elected public office.
    The western commissioner position is currently held by Republican Ronnie Walker, who was defeated by Holloway in the August primary. 
    Each county candidate appearing on the November ballot was provided a Neosho Daily News questionnaire. Following are the candidates’ responses.
    The Daily News was unable to reach Sexson, and a form mailed to her address was not returned.
    NEWTON COUNTY
    County Commission, District 1:
    • Alan Cook
    Question 1. Tell us about yourself.
    I was born in Neosho and am proud to call Newton County my lifelong home, where my family raised beef cattle for many years on a farm east of Neosho. M’lle, my wife of 26 years, is a registered nurse at the Granby School. We have two daughters. Breanna is a senior at Missouri Southern State University. Chelsey is a junior at Freed-Hardeman University. I am a graduate of Crowder College, attended MSSU, and then received a bachelors degree in mathematics from Oklahoma Christian University. I worked at Leggett & Platt for 23 years in the Computer Information Technology department. I served as staff vice president - head of development, supervising as many as 65 programmers and was responsible for all related budgeting. I also worked at EFCO, a Pella Company, for 4.5 years as a business partner in the human resources department. Serving this community has always been important to me. I’m a deacon, and Sunday school teacher at the Hillcrest Church of Christ. I’m the current president of Neosho Christian Schools Board of Trustees. I have served as president of the East Newton Schools Charitable Foundation and the Newton County Extension Council, and treasurer of Monark Springs Park Board.
    Page 2 of 6 - Question 2. What do you feel is the most important issue facing Newton County today? How do you plan to address that issue if elected?
    I care about the future of Newton County and am eager to be a part of its future financial stability and potential growth opportunities. My short-range goal is to see the issue regarding the condition of our county roads improve. The quarter-cent sales tax that was passed last year should allow visible improvements to be made in the months and years to come. A solid infrastructure will lead to my long-range goal of bringing more industry and potential jobs to Newton County. Possessing a business environment in which commerce can flourish, and at the same time maintaining an affordable cost of living, creates a community that is well positioned for the future. Good stewardship of tax dollars is critical in order to address issues and reach goals. I will accomplish this by using my knowledge of Newton County plus my education and experience to make informed decisions.
    Question 3. What sets you apart from your opponent?
    I have served as project manager for several multi-million dollar projects, and have been responsible for employee relations for more than 1,200 employees. I have been involved in long-range planning, disaster recovery, financial compliance regulations, and software installations for Leggett & Platt, Inc. I designed and implemented a customer service call center and conducted many management level training courses for EFCO Corporation, a Pella company. My early experience as a cattle farmer, my mathematics degree, and over 25 years of combined computer information technology and human resources expertise, I am confident that my background will allow me to relate to all Newton County citizens. I’m comfortable talking in the boardroom or visiting on the farm.
    • Roxie Fausnaught
    Question 1. Tell us about yourself.
    I finished the 12th grade. I’ve lived in Granby since 1970.
    Question 2. What do you feel is the most important issue facing Newton County today? How do you plan to address that issue if elected?
    No complaints.
    Question 3. What sets you apart from your opponent?
    I don’t want it.
    Newton County Commission, District 2
    • Jim Jackson
    Question 1. Tell us about yourself.
    I have lived in the four-state area for more than 50 years, the last 16 years in Neosho. I am a Vietnam combat veteran having served six years in the U.S. Navy. I have a degree in mass communications from Missouri Southern State University and began my broadcasting career at KCTE Radio in Southwest City, Mo., in 1977. For the past 32 years, I was the main 6 and 10 p.m. News Anchor at KSNF-TV in Joplin. I also served as news director for both KODE and KSNF for three years, supervising a staff of 50 employees. From 1997 to 2008 I served as an adjunct instructor of communication at Crowder College. I am a member of the Missouri Southern State University Media Hall of Fame. My wife, Susan, is a retired Neosho elementary teacher. We have two daughters, Heather and Amanda.
    Page 3 of 6 - Question 2. What do you feel is the most important issue facing Newton County today? How do you plan to address that issue if elected?
    Budgets, particularly having enough money to properly maintain and operate county roads and services, are always going to be a top priority. The county road sales tax is now in place. It gives us the opportunity to make progress in the effort to improve our roads. I will be a good steward and carefully watch over the funds provided by the taxpayers of the county.
    Question 3. What sets you apart from your opponent?
    I am a strong communicator and problem solver. I learned years ago in order to be a good communicator you have to be a good listener. I have traveled across Newton County and visited with hundreds of residents. I have listened to their concerns, and I believe I understand their wants. I am ready to work with them and would find it gratifying to help find solutions to their questions and problems.
    Through my 35 years in broadcasting, I have strong connections with local and state agencies. This will help me get county needs addressed in a prompt and efficient manner. I promise dedication, passion and teamwork.
    I am proud to be a citizen of Newton County, and I want to ensure that we continue to be one of the best places to live and work in southwest Missouri.
    • Heather Bowers
    Question 1. Tell us about yourself.
    Education: Neosho High School, Crowder College (Assoc Liberal Arts), and MSSU (Bachelor Speech Communication). My hometown is Neosho, both born and raised. I have two children, Josh and Mirra', 13 and three. My career background covers 10 years as a tumbling trampoline coach at Tumble Town Midwest in Neosho. As a non-profit enthusiast I have been involved with many agencies on tight budgets such as MDA and OTC Healthcare. I worked several years in healthcare as an administrative assistant and as a regional manager and national marketing director of Global Professional Healthcare Providers. I am presently full-time with AT&T in Joplin.
    Question 2. What do you feel is the most important issue facing Newton County today? How do you plan to address that issue if elected?
    Cronyism and wasteful spending is a huge issue. Openness of government records and public knowledge of spending creates a sense of community and involvement that is lacking in Newton County. Online access to meeting agendas and meeting notices just aren't there. Bringing politics out of the dark ages and out of backrooms is essential to addressing issues our public funds face in the present and future. Fixing the outdated communication methods will help prevent misuse and provide monitoring by the public of their own government. Besides promoting involvement, it produces better decisions for all areas of the county, not just the few. Being involved is better attained when information is readily available.  
    Page 4 of 6 - Question 3. What sets you apart from your opponent?
    My intolerance to abuse public funds sets me apart. I have a natural knack and great ability for research. I feel strongly about standing up for the community and fixing what I have known from childhood is wrong with our local governments. I have a record of making vocal the items that others refuse to voice or refuse to act on when it conflicts with public well-being.
    MCDONALD COUNTY
    Sheriff:
    • Robert Evenson
    Question 1. Tell us about yourself.
    I am a graduate of McDonald County High School, and have my BS degree in criminal justice administration from MSSC in Joplin.  I've worked in law enforcement since 1989, including 11 years as a detective for the Barry County Sheriff's Office and eight years as Sheriff of McDonald County. My hometown is Noel.
    Question 2. What do you feel is the most important issue facing McDonald County today? How do you plan to address that issue if elected?
    I believe that the drug issues facing our community are the most pressing thing we deal with. I believe that the majority of all crime is drug related in one way or another.     While it is very important to have a prompt response to all calls for service, I feel it is equally important to have good investigative skills in your sheriff's office. These skills are important when it comes to the identification of suspects, recovery of property and conviction in court of the suspects.
    Question 3. What sets you apart from your opponent?
    I have the education and skills needed to not only operate the sheriff's office and supervise investigations, but to also build partnerships with other agencies and the public to make the efforts of the sheriff's office more efficient. I have the experience of eight years as serving as your sheriff and will bring the benefits of that experience with me into the next term.
    • Michael Hall
    Question 1. Tell us about yourself.
    I am a graduate of McDonald County and a lifelong resident. I currently live on the family farm south of Powell with my wife and two kids. I knew that I wanted a career in law enforcement and after high school attended MSSU taking criminal justice and law enforcement classes.
    I am currently a licensed EMT, certified Peace Officer, and D.A.R.E instructor. Since 2006 I have taken more than 600 hours of continuing education and taught more than 500 hours to other law enforcement officers. I have gone through several instructor development classes and first line supervisor classes.
    I have worked in law enforcement for the past 15 years in McDonald County and have risen through the department. I have been a first line supervisor and part of the command staff and feel that I have the knowledge and skills to lead the Sheriff’s Office.
    Page 5 of 6 -  
    Question 2. What do you feel is the most important issue facing McDonald County today? How do you plan to address that issue if elected?
    I believe that the most important issue facing not only McDonald County, but the state, is the synthetic drugs and our young people. Our kids are important because they are our future. Most of them believe that because some stores are selling this stuff that it cannot be that bad. These drugs are coming in and because they are being sold as incense, they do not have to have FDA approval. We need to work together to try and get this stopped. I want to work with our drug enforcement officers, the prosecuting attorney, the media, and our local stores to try and stop the synthetic drugs from being sold and used here in McDonald County. I believe that we need to educate the public with meetings and facts about these.
    Question 3. What sets you apart from your opponent?
    I have worked in McDonald County serving the citizens over the past 15 years. I am involved with all aspects of emergency services from fire departments, EMS and emergency management and have continued to help in all of those.
    I have had experience in all levels of supervising from first line supervising of deputies on individual shifts to supervising sergeants as a lieutenant. I have experience operating the Sheriff’s Office from managing the deputies to knowing how the office should operate in a fair and efficient manner. I will be out talking with citizens from Rocky Comfort to Southwest City, Tiff City to Jackett and help take calls when available.
    I will strive to run an efficient and professional office by having deputies in uniform and being active in the community. I will also try and hold meetings around the county to see where we can improve and get feedback.
    McDonald County Commission, Western District
    • David Holloway
    Question 1. Tell us about yourself.
    I graduated from McDonald County High School and attended Crowder College in Neosho. Hometown: Anderson. Married 26 years to Julie, we have two children; Brice and Kaitlyn and a daughter-in-law Courtney (Kissire) Holloway. Career background: Eight years with McDonald County R-1 School District in transportation, 16 years for Missouri Department of Transportation, the last six as regional maintenance supervisor.
    Question 2. What do you feel is the most important issue facing McDonald County today? How do you plan to address that issue if elected?
    I believe there are many important issues facing McDonald County. The one that ranks highest, based on conversations with local residents in McDonald County is road conditions. If we are looking at growth in our county, we should start with road improvement. We have many chip seal roads that are in need of maintenance. I would look at traffic volume and condition to rank the roads and create a maintenance program. Then, schedule road repair and maintenance as the budget allows. I am convinced with a good maintenance schedule we can improve the roads of McDonald County.
    Page 6 of 6 - Question 3. What sets you apart from your opponent?
    I have worked in McDonald County the last 16 years, building and maintaining state roads and bridges. The last six years I served as a supervisor (prioritizing, planning the budget and employee supervision) making sure day-to-day operations were completed. My prior work experience has prepared me for the office of Western Commissioner; to review the daily operations of our county and plan for future spending.

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