Three candidates are in the running for the for the seat of Newton County Presiding Commissioner in Tuesday’s general election, the only county race in which the election is contested.

EDITOR’S Note: The following responses are those of the candidates and not of the Neosho Daily News.

Three candidates are in the running for the for the seat of Newton County Presiding Commissioner in Tuesday’s general election, the only county race in which the election is contested.

In the order in which they appear on the ballot, those candidates are Democrat Jenna Booth, the Republican incumbent Marilyn Ruestman, and Libertarian Roxie Fausnaught.

The Neosho Daily News asked each candidate a short list of questions. Here are their responses.


NDN: What do you see as the most pressing issues facing Newton County?

Booth: Making sure every citizen has a voice in decisions that affect them personally and financially.

Ruestman: The foremost issue facing Newton County is to balance the budget on an annual basis. A part of the budgeting process is the oversight of all county expenditures. This includes county road funds, as well as payroll for county employees, purchasing necessities, oversight of grant applications and receipts as well as the proper use of billing and payment procedures, along with bidding protocol. Newton County operates on a cash basis and must adhere to a set of strict accounting principles. Recently, a need for additional space for administration and judicial functions created the necessity for expansion of county facilities. The purchase of a 17,000-square-feet building has presented many challenges related to renovation and relocation requirements. Roads and bridges are always an issue for counties, particularly in weather related years.

Fausnaught: Newton County, like the federal and state regimes, promises legitimate rule by the governed while becoming a police state internally. My own four grandchildren were stolen, bought and sold like cattle and my domestic partner Pastor Martin Lindstedt illegally sent to the Fulton State Nuthouse to soften him up. The Newton County Detention and Often Torture and Occasionally Murder Center is a sort of dungeon used to coerce ordinary people into confessing before the conviction mill run by the local korts. Thus Newton County has good roads and a better system of injustice leading up to Civil War II.

NDN: What are the responsibilities and functions of the presiding commissioner?

Ruestman: The presiding commissioner is responsible to present the operating business agenda for the commission each week. Because the presiding commissioner signs the county contracts, it is imperative that she/he be qualified to interpret a variety of legal documents and statements. She/he must clearly understand the different set of restrictions required to operate as a public entity. State statutes must be able to be interpreted and applied to many differing situations, including the relationship to public liability. The presiding commissioner is responsible to represent the commission as well as the county in public relations and a variety of functions in a professional manner.

Fausnaught: The primary responsibility and function of the presiding commissioner is to simply tell the Newton County judges and sheriff that the Newton County taxpayer is tired of the moral responsibility of allowing regime criminals to trump up false charges, provide a 120-bed dungeon housing 180 plus prisoners and the legal responsibility of having to defend against lawsuits by their victims.

Booth: Roads and bridges, budget, upkeep and maintenance of property owned by Newton County.

NDN: How could you, as presiding commissioner, address those issues?

Fausnaught: I would inform the county sheriff, prosecutors and judges that their budget would be slashed to the bare minimum so that they would have to obey the Missouri and US Constitutions and laws regarding allowing affordable bail for those not a flight risk or a danger to the community. Any police officer or jailer found torturing prisoners would be fired by not being paid. Also, a jail commission will be established to inquire as to jail conditions for those who can’t and shouldn’t be bonded out.

Booth: I would attend to the responsibilities and functions of the job I’m elected to do and not interfere with other officeholder’s jobs.

Ruestman: Having served in a public representative capacity for 20 years, and as the presiding commissioner of Newton County for the preceding four years. I will allow my record to speak for itself. As presiding commissioner my goal is that the commission work as a team and reach major decisions as a unanimous group or at least by consensus. We have been successfully acting in this manner and because of this have been able to make strides forward in these previous four years. We have been able to bring our required reserve fund from well under one million dollars to a high of double that amount. We have spearheaded an initiative that enabled us to add $1.7 million to the county road funds, thus enabling us to hard surface 65 plus miles of county roads. We have increased courthouse security. Our technology is improving each year. Our county policy manual has been upgraded to meet new federal and state guidelines.

NDN: What makes you the best person for the job?

Booth: Having worked in the assessor’s office for 22 years, I know that the courthouse functions much better, when each officeholder does the job they are elected to do, and not interfere with or assume they can do everyone else’s job.

Ruestman: My vision for the county is eventual First Class Status based on assessed evaluation. This will take time, and should not occur until the county is fiscally able to afford the additional cost required by statute. These requirements include a 24 hour medical examiner and a building to house juvenile detention. I strongly believe that the county should have a basic long range plan. Each road district should have a proposed plan of maintenance and improvement. The county should always maintain a reserve fund of six months operating expenses. I have the personal desire to continue my service and to see the completion of the renovation project, new road and bridge projects as well as updated technology for county facilities. For personal and bio information please visit my website www.Ruestman.com.

Fausnaught: Actually, as a bed-bound old fat woman who is running because state law refuses to allow overt white men to run for federal, state and local office, I was solely chosen to run because as a woman the Secretary of State wouldn’t under color of law remove me from the ballot under a pretext. So given that reality, those who still bother to vote should vote for me and nobody else to show how much you hate and despise our current form of corrupt government and those which infest it.