Voters head to polls Tuesday

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Barry County voters have few local choices to make when they take the trip to the polls next Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Only one county office is contested with incumbent Cherry Warren, a Republican, facing off against Democrat challenger Georgia Longley-Wenell for presiding commissioner of Barry County.

Warren is seeking his fourth term as presiding commissioner. The life-time resident of Barry County served for 11 years as county executive director of the Barry County ASCS Office and spent 18 years in the local banking industry before seeking public office. He holds a bachelor of science degree in agriculture from Southwest Missouri State University. Warren is completing his 12th year as presiding commissioner.

Wenell, who currently serves as city clerk for the City of Butterfield, has six years of experience in local government. She has over 100 hours of credit hours in the International and State City Clerks' organizations and is in the process of obtaining certification through both organizations.

In addition, Wenell is an active member of he Southwest Missouri Clerks and Finance Officers Association, the Missouri Municipal league, the Missouri Court Clerks Associa-tion and the Government Finance Officers Association.

The Cassville Democrat asked each candidate to answer two questions. Warren's and Wenell's responses are highlighted below.

Cherry Warren

• Why are you running for county office? I consider it a privilege and honor to serve as Barry County presiding commissioner.

• What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? 1. To continue to be a good steward of the taxpayers money. 2. Effectively utilize existing tax dollars for the overall betterment of Barry County residents. 3. Support road and bridge improvements. 4. Continue to push for a four-lane road from the Arkansas state line on Highway 37 to Monett and Highway 60 to Republic in my role as chairman of the 37-60 Corridor Coalition. Economic development follows good roads. These improvements would tie together two of the most vibrant economies of northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri.

Georgia Longley-Wenell

• Why are you running for office? I feel that the county administration would benefit from a more cooperative approach to county government, providing better leadership to government entities within its jurisdiction. I also have seen a great deal of unnecessary spending that I would like to see changed.

• What do you hope to accomplish as an officeholder? I hope to organize a regional organization to attack the issue of providing a sustaining water supply for the county and come up with solutions. Elected or not, I am committed to the resolution of this issue because it is so key to Barry County's survival. What would happen if the deep well aquifer went dry? How would this affect business, industry and cities? The results would be catastrophic and that is why I have committed myself to the resolution of this issue. In addition, I would like to see more thoughtful consideration of the budget and spending issues. I would also like to see a county government that local officials could feel confident in and know that their concerns are truly being taken to heart instead of causally dismissed as though the county government has no responsibility to other governmental entities within its jurisdiction. I would like to see a cooperative approach to problems that face us all as residents of Barry County and not a sole focus on special interest and good ole' boy politics as usual.

Other election issues

Area voters will also be casting votes for U.S. Senator, State Auditor, U.S. Represen-tative and State Representative. On the local level, incumbent David Sater, a Republican, running against challenger Adam Wells, a Democrat, for State Representative of the 68th District.

Robert Wiley is running unopposed for Circuit Court Judge as is Victor Head for Associate Circuit Judge Division 1 and Carr Woods for Associate Circuit Judge Division II.

The ballot also features five incumbents who face no competition on election day. They are: Circuit Clerk Craig Williams, County Clerk Gary Youngblood, Prosecuting Attorney, Johnnie Cox, Collector Janice Varner and Treasurer Lois Lowe.

Area voters will also be selecting members to serve on the Barry County 911 Emergency Services Board. Incumbents Harold Schelin and Bob Lombard and newcomer Kenneth Whittington are running for two two-year terms on the board and incumbent Mick Epperly is running against challenger Gary Davis for one four-year term on the board.

Bill Shiveley, who currently serves as chairman of the 911 Board, is running unopposed for a four-year term as is Leonard Witt. Incumbent Ron Shook and newcomer Jon Horner are running unopposed for two two-year terms on the board.

The polls open at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7 and close at 7 p.m.

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