* Background and brief biography: Born and raised in Barry County; married to Glenna Sturgell Dummit who was also born and raised in Barry County; seven generations of Barry Countians; family first settled in King's Prairie area in 1800s; belief in family values; member of Arnhart Baptist Church; lives on a farm on Flat Creek; have a cow-calf operation and horses; retired from Delco Remy Division of General Motors; owner-broker of real estate company.
* Why are you running for county office? I love Barry County and want to give something back. I want to serve all the people of Barry County not just a select few. I think I have something to offer.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? Improve law enforcement and be supportive of our law enforcement officers; help improve roads; encourage new business and new industry to make more jobs in the county; to improve standard of living and keep our kids here at home; and continue the good work already done at the same time protect your money and work within a balanced budget. I will also listen to concerns and ideas.
* Background and brief biography: I grew up on a small farm on King's Prairie, east of Monett, and lived there until I was married to the former Karen Roetto, also a Barry Countian. We lived away from here while I finished college and for my first job, but we have been back for almost 30 years. I have worked in a computer-related field for my entire career with jobs varying from programmer to manager. My educational background began at King's Prairie school for seven years, followed by graduating from Monett High School in 1969. I then received a bachelor of science degree from Missouri Southern State University and later a masters in business administration from Pittsburg State University while working in Pittsburg, Kan. Karen and I have been married for 37 years and we have three children and four grandchildren. I am proud to say that all of our children are a positive part of society. My mother, Norma, and older brother, John, live on the farm. I have a sister, Debbie Moore, in Purdy, and a deceased brother, Kenny, who was from Monett.
* Why are you running for county office? I believe I can help the county continue to grow and prosper. I have always been involved with public issues and organizations, such as my time on the Monett School Board. You can look back at the county finances and see the difference that good and poor management can make. I have used my experience in both the private and public sectors to provide the leadership the county needs to continue traveling in a positive direction.
* What do you hope to accomplish? The issues most often brought up, during my discussions with Barry County residents, are economic development, road issues and drug issues. I will address these issues, but I want to make clear the item that I think is most important for this job. I am a listener and a solver. My job, for almost all my career, has been to listen to issues, develop solutions to those issues and implement those solutions. I expect to have continued success listening to and solving issues as a county commissioner. The most important issue for the economic development of Barry County is development of the Highway 37/60 corridor. County representatives need to stay involved with state and federal authorities to see that funding is provided for this project. I have been part of the state Transportation Advisory Board so that I can stay informed and provide input on the priorities in southwest Missouri. Quality of county roads is another serious issue. This last year has been especially trying for county roads and bridges with the serious amount of damage caused by flooding. We have been working with FEMA and other state agencies trying to maximize the amount of reimbursements from those agencies. Finally, there is the ongoing problem of illegal drug use in the county and the effect it has on the families and children of Barry County. I believe there has been some progress made in this area but we should continue to provide support for law enforcement in this area. I have spent a significant part of the last 30 years listening to issues and creating and implementing solutions to those issues. I have the kind of dedication and resolve that Barry County wants in a public servant. I expect continued success in being open to the concerns of county residents and solving issues as county commissioner.
* Background and brief biography: I have eight years of experience in local government. I have received a certificate for 100 hours of credit through Missouri State University and accreditation from Missouri Rural Water Association as an "office professional." I have also been trained in emergency management and currently hold a position with a local government as the Emergency Management Director. I also have experience and education through Missouri Association for Court Administration. I think I have a well-rounded knowledge for all aspects of local government. I have prepared eight years of successful annual budgets and had 10 successful audits during this time. The city that I currently work for received the 2007 Best Managed Water System for the State of Missouri in 2007. I am the financial director and manager for all departments for that city so I take great pride in that accomplishment.
* Why are you running for county office? I would like to see the people represented in a better way. I do not feel the current administration takes the public interest into consideration before making decisions. They have held office for 12 years now and are unfettered by public opinion. They do not hold meetings during a time that working people can attend. They are big supporters of business at the cost of the little man. They also do not consider the long term consequences of current policy. Barry County is one of the largest concentrations of poultry-producing operations. While I am for business, I am not for business that infringes on the rights of citizens or the potential economic development benefits of tourism. I think recent events have given us all cause for concern regarding this issue. There is also the long term issue of water to consider. Anyone who has lived or operated a business in Barry County understands that water issues will play a huge role in the future. Recent estimates state that the current aquifer that we are all using will be gone in 20 years (conservatively). This is the biggest issue that we face. We can plan now to try to figure out what to do or we can plan to figure out what to do once it is too late. I would like to plan NOW for the issues this county will face in the future.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? My top priority will be the focus on what can be done regarding homeowners rights against the CAFOs. I would also like to focus on the long-term water situation as stated above. I understand that local municipalities and water districts will be primarily responsible for this issue, but I think it will require the cooperation and planning on all local government officials to handle such a large issue, particularly if surface water for the region is obtained from local lakes as is currently being proposed. I would also focus on the road conditions for the county. Currently, the county is dissected by various road districts. This makes for a very inefficient bargaining process. I would like to see the various road districts work together, not so much as completely separate entities, to bring home a better cost benefit for the entire county. I would also like to address the issue of making the county commission meetings more accessible to the working man. Currently, they are absolutely not. We all work during the day (including me), Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon. If every other government organization can accommodate for this, I think the county can too. I would also like to investigate where unnecessary spending can be cut. While I am a Democrat, which is associated with larger spending (unjustified I believe), I am a huge conservative when it comes to spending of the taxpayers dollars. I am a proud taxpayer and don't mind if my hard-earned dollars are going for a prudent useful cause. I think we have to find the most conservative policies when it comes to spending practices. This includes planning for the future so it doesn't present itself as a surprise, streamlining what is already done (this is my specialty) and mostly looking out for the hardworking citizens of Barry County. I feel like the people of Barry County have not been represented well. They are the most important thing. They are Barry County, contrary to what big business would say. After all it is their money that we are using to provide services. I will always be very mindful of the taxpayers' dollars. I think the jail expansion could have been funded better through inmate dollars and not taxpayer dollars if the situation was managed better (speaking as a court clerk). There is not a budget that does not have some waste that can be trimmed, especially when viewed with new eyes.
* Background and brief biography: I was raised in Iowa, where I graduated from Iowa Western College. I moved with my wife, Becky, to Shell Knob in 1973. We have two sons - Jake, who is married to Tonya, and Josh, who has two children, Alexia and Jeremiah. Josh, Tonya and Jake are quite active in Western and Gospel music. I have worked the past 33 years as manager of Barton's Lumber Co., earning "top store" the past seven years. I have experience in working with a large number of personnel and a big budget. I am also serving on boards for Cox Hospital and Arvest Bank. I have been very active in the Shell Knob Lions Club. I was very honored recently when I received their Humanitarian of the Year Award. I belong to the Masonic Lodge, and our family is active in the Lohmer Full Gospel Church. Becky, Josh, Jake, and I are all First Responders. I'm a long-time volunteer with the fire department.
* Why are you running for county office? I know it sounds trite to say I want to give something back to Barry County, but it is true. I have lived most of my life here, raised kids here, and I want to do my part. I've had a good three and a half years on the Commission. We have made great strides, and I want to keep working toward the goals we have set.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? I've learned a lot about the budgeting issues as costs and fuel have gone up. And I've gained a great respect for our officers and office holders here; they do a terrific job. I'm sorry we couldn't give them a raise this year, but we did pay for the increases in healthcare, which helped. I'm a strong supporter of law enforcement. I support the fight against crime, and especially against illegal drugs here. I'm proud of the 46-bed addition to the jail, and by buying the Hutchens property, we were able to give the Sheriff and his officers enough room to do their jobs. I want to work with the Sheriff's Office to plan, budget and improve what we can. A top priority is to keep Barry County fiscally sound. I am pleased that we were able to build 11 bridges. We need good roads and bridges here. I will continue to be available and publish my phone number, so people can call on me anytime. It has been a privilege and honor to work for the people of Barry County.
* Background and Biography: I am a Barry County native and honors graduate of Southwest High in Washburn. Forty-one years ago I married Mary Jane Mitchell, of Seligman. We are both retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and live on our farm outside of Cassville. We are proud to be Barry County residents by birth and by choice. While employed as a fingerprint examiner with the FBI, I was awarded the J. Edgar Hoover Scholarship and used it to graduate (cum laude) with a bachelor's degree in business administration. I then was appointed a special agent with the FBI, and for the next 23 years served my country as an FBI agent in Knoxville, Tenn., New York City, Houston, Texas, El Paso, Texas, and at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. During this time I investigated the attempted assassination of President Reagan, the Oklahoma City bombing, major bank failures, major drug trafficking organizations, conducted numerous classified operations, planned security for the 40th Anniversary of the United Nations, planned counterterrorism measures for the Rededication of the Statue of Liberty and managed portions of the 9-11 investigation. At FBI Headquarters, I developed and managed multi-million dollar budgets and conducted audits of field and headquarters divisions to ensure that they were efficient and effective and in compliance with all laws, regulations, FBI rules and financial policies and procedures. During the course of my career, I interviewed and/or prepared documents for and briefed foreign government officials, members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries and White House personnel. In addition, I have briefed multiple law enforcement agencies, members of the intelligence community and congressional, civic and business leaders across the U.S. on the issue of violence associated with drug trafficking. In addition to my degree, I have received training in Equal Employment Opportunity for managers, interrogation and interviewing, interpersonal communication, creating world class organizations, business area analysis and management training for supervisors. I am an FBI-certified police instructor and a graduate of the FBI Executive Development Institute.
* Why are you running for county office? My ancestors, who served Barry County as prosecuting attorney, state representative and county judge (forerunner of the current county commissioner position), fostered a belief passed down to me by my father and grandfather that citizens should give back to their community. My return to Barry County to spend the rest of my days has provided me with the opportunity to give back. I will be a full-time representative of the people and try to make government responsive to their needs. I want to know what the people of Barry County want. I have a strong belief that the wants and concerns of all Barry County residents are of equal importance and government must listen to these wants and concerns, study all of the pros and cons, then make a decision that is financially responsible and best serves the long-term needs of the majority of the citizens of Barry County. My experience in managing multi-million dollar budgets, coupled with my ability and experience in working with citizens and government agencies during my FBI career, has uniquely prepared me for the position of southern commissioner.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county office holder? What issues will you focus on? As a full-time commissioner, I hope to make the Commissioners' Office one where the citizens can bring issues of concern to them and these issues will be heard. Their questions will be answered. The answer may not always be the one the citizen wants to hear, but they will get an answer. As I have previously said, the commissioners must study all of the pros and cons of an issue, and then make a decision that is financially responsible and best serves the long-term needs of the majority of the citizens of Barry County. My number one issue is to make sure that the citizens of Barry County are getting what they pay for with their tax money. Barry County residents pay millions in taxes each year, and as your elected representative, I need to be frugal with these funds. I want to make sure that every tax dollar you pay is being spent as you voted to spend it. I plan to use my FBI inspection training to look at the operations of the county and make sure that all aspects of county government are run in the most efficient, effective and economical manner possible. My second focus issue is the safety and security of the citizens of Barry County. I believe my experience with the FBI will enable me to work closely with law enforcement, other public officials and the people of Barry County to improve public safety.
* Background and brief biography: 48 years old; graduated from Southwest High School in 1978; married to Jackie (Beattie) Hendrix; two children, Johnie Hendrix and Jessica Hendrix; two grandchildren, Bailey and Brylee Hendrix; co-owned and operated Barry County Plumbing from 1990 to 1994; currently own and operated Sportsman's Corner since 1994; served on the Cassville School Board and the Cassville Golf Board.
* Why are you running for county office? For quite sometime, I've had an interest in serving the people of Barry County. I will be honest, fair and use common sense in decision making. As a business owner and having served on the school and golf boards, I have experience in budgeting and decision making.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? I will focus on the issues that come before the commission and make decisions with the betterment of Barry County in mind. I would like to be part of making our county even better than it already is. I believe that I can relate to the people of Barry County and will listen and respond to each and everyone. I will be a full-time commissioner.
* Background and brief biography: I am a lifelong resident of Barry County in Shell Knob. As a child, I was raised on a family farm. I graduated from Cassville High School in 1973. I have been married to my wonderful wife, Anna, for 32 years and we have two children, Amanda and Aaron. I have two grandchildren, McKenzie and Braiden. I attended Missouri Southern State University Law Enforcement Academy in 1989 and then went to work for Barry County as a deputy sheriff for the next eight years. In 1996, I was elected sheriff in Barry County, and I have served in that capacity for the last 11 and a half years. I am a member of the Church of Christ. I am a board member of the Children's Center in Monett. I am the chairman of the Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force. I am also a 911 Board member and a member of the Central Crossing Fire Department for the past 30 years. I am also a board member for the Missouri Sheriffs Association Zone 14 and board member on the Missouri Southern Crime Lab.
* Why are you running for county office? With the experience I have, I feel that my record shows that I am more than capable of doing this job. I have always waged the war on drugs, taking the big-time drug dealers off the streets, keeping these harmful drugs away from our schools and our children and our grandchildren. I believe Barry County is a safe place to live and raise a family. I want to make sure we keep it that way.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? I hope to continue to work well with other police agencies, to make sure DARE stays in our schools, to arrest violent offenders and to place inmates on a work program. As you know, I will continue to focus on methamphetamine and other drug-related programs such as the abuse of prescription drugs. I will focus on grants that are available to the county. I will also focus on using county money wisely as I have done in the past.
* Background and brief biography: I have lived in Barry County for all of my 39 years, being the fifth generation of my family to do so. I believe Barry County has been a great place to raise a family for my family in the past and continues to be for my own daughter. I graduated from Monett High School and have received secondary education from Missouri State University and Missouri Southern State University. While growing up here, I was involved in family business and farming operations, gaining great insight in working with the public and working with budgetary constraints. I am also an active member of First Free Will Baptist Church in Monett, having served in various positions and on church boards there. I completed a 500-hour police academy at MSSU, receiving certification as a law enforcement officer in the State of Missouri. I have also completed hundreds of hours of continued education including and in addition to that which is required by Missouri's Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). Shortly after completing the police academy, I was commissioned with the Barry County Sheriff's Department. I served here for nearly seven and a half years. While with Barry County, I served as a reserve officer, jailer/transport officer, patrol deputy and over five years as an investigator. I made a lateral move to Lawrence County Sheriff's Department where I have served as an investigator since November of 2005. This diversity has allowed me to observe and be a part of varied administrative and policing strategies.
* Why are you running for county office? I am running for the office of sheriff due to my desire to serve the citizens of Barry County. I would also consider it a privilege to promote and provide a law enforcement agency that is conducive to providing professional, ethical and efficient service to all citizens in the county.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? As your sheriff, I hope to be more available to the public and provide an open channel of communication to the citizenry. During this campaign, I have had concerns voiced to me about what is important to the public, and I hope to do my part to act on those concerns. I also hope to provide training and leadership to deputies, jail personnel and staff that is more focused on the needs and trends that are present in Barry County. Issues that I will focus on are many. With the concerns that have been voiced to me while campaigning, I would have to say my biggest focus will be on providing more efficient responses to victims and complainants. There are many facets to making this a reality. Among those facets are having policies in place to assure accountability, following up with the complainants after a report has been taken and reducing response time and distance, just to name a few. I have already been working on accommodations for substations at various locations in the county at limited or no extra cost to taxpayers. This would prevent deputies having to travel all the way back to Cassville to type reports when they are in Shell Knob, Eagle Rock, Wheaton or Monett for instance. This would not only conserve time but also fuel on unnecessary trips back and forth to Cassville when assigned to patrol another area. This plan would also allow for better patrol saturation in areas where citizens feel they are being neglected at this time. I would also like to focus on deputies being more community oriented in their policing approach, interacting with citizens and learning about their concerns. Another goal I have is to develop a work program for inmates, as funding and personnel are available. I also have an open door policy that would extend past the election if elected when it comes to the public.
* Background and brief biography: I graduated from Exeter High School in 1972. My wife, Diane, and I have been lifelong residents of Barry County. We were married 36 years ago and raised three daughters. My daughters, their husbands and seven grandchildren all reside in Barry County. I began my law enforcement career in 1984 and worked as a dispatcher for Sheriff Jimmy Hopkins while going to Missouri Southern State University where I obtained my Missouri State Law Enforcement Certification. In 1989, I went to work for Sheriff Ralph Hendrix as chief deputy/undersheriff and worked in that position for two years. In 1994, I took the position of Chief of Police for the City of Exeter under the direction of Sheriff Hendrix and established the Exeter Community Police Program, which was one of the first two Community Police Programs in the state of Missouri. This was a joint effort with the City of Exeter and the Barry County Sheriff's Department. I returned to the Barry County Sheriff's Department as an investigator in 1997 under Sheriff Mick Epperly and was promoted to chief deputy/undersheriff in 2005 and held that position until filing for the office of Barry County Sheriff. I am currently the Chief of Police for the City of Exeter. I am one of the few people that have proudly worked for the past three Barry County sheriffs and I believe that what I have learned from the previous sheriffs will help me serve you as the next Barry County Sheriff.
* Why are you running for county office? I made my decision to run for the Office of Sheriff four years ago and made my intentions public at that time. I have made my career in Barry County as a law enforcement officer and believe that have the experience, knowledge, willingness and the ambition to take on the duties as the next Barry County Sheriff. It has been my lifelong intention to complete my law enforcement career as Barry County Sheriff.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? Now that Barry County as the 911 Center up and running, I would like to take advantage of this and take it one step further by putting a tracking system in the patrol cars, which will improve response time, save on fuel consumption and document officer accountability. It is also my goal to expand the DARE program to educate the high school students as well as the grade school. These young people going out into the real world need to know what they are getting into.
* Background and brief biography: I was raised in Barry and McDonald counties. After graduating from McDonald County High School in 1982, I moved to Oklahoma and worked in the oil fields. I later returned to Barry County to work for Mitchell's sawmill and Hills Ranch. One of my greatest accomplishments other than my children has been serving our country as a United States Marine from 1988 to 1996. I was stationed at Cherry Point, N.C. I was primary marksmanship instructor (rifle range). I also received numerous medals and awards: Expert Rifle Badge, 1st Class physical fitness test (yearly), National Defense Medal, Sea Service Ribbon, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, and while serving in Operation Desert Storm, I received a Certificate of Commendation for professional and dedication to duty while serving in a combat environment. I also received a Good Conduct Medal and honorable discharge.
* Why are you running for county office? I feel that I am a natural born leader and it takes a leader to be a sheriff. I defended our country as a U.S. Marine, and now I would like the opportunity and would consider it an honor to defend and protect the law-abiding citizens of Barry County as sheriff. I want people to feel safe to raise their children in Barry County and make the criminals feel unsafe and not want to be in this county, especially the Barry County Jail.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? It is important to earn the confidence and trust of the citizens of Barry County and I plan on doing this by: 1. Establishing an open door policy, where folks can voice their problems and see that the Sheriff's Department can work as a team to resolve these issues to the best of our ability; 2. Promote the Neighborhood Watch program by informing the public of the crime statistics of our county and how the individual can be a part of making their neighborhood a safer place to live; and 3. Where possible I would like to see more prisoner work programs put into place, of course safety and all legalities would be taken into consideration.
* Background and brief biography: My name is Randall Munday. I was born and raised in Barry County. I'm a graduate of Cassville High School, and while in high school, at the age of 16, became a certified locksmith. After high school, I attended Crowder College. That's where I met my wife. I graduated from the Missouri Southern State University Police Academy in 1995 and was a commissioned officer with the Barry County Sheriff's Department for five years then McDonald County the following two years. During this time, I continued my law enforcement education. I have been married to my wife, Jean, for 29 years and have two children and three grandchildren.
* Why are you running for county office? I myself have been a victim of crime and so have my wife, son and daughter, so I know personally how it feels. I want to serve the people of Barry County and keep them from becoming victims, and if something should happen, be there for them.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? I want the citizens of Barry County to hear "Sheriff's Department" and think honesty, caring and hard working. As sheriff, it's my duty to serve the people, not run the county. I'm here to help them. Their input is very important to me. I hope to accomplish solving some of the unsolved cases. Fresh eyes can sometimes see something that was missed. I plan to continue working on drug crime. I want to work more closely with the young people to help them believe we care about them and aren't out there just to harass them, and by doing this, I hope it might prevent more young offenders. Locksmithing has been my job, but law enforcement is my passion.
* Background and brief biography: Barry County native; Cassville High School graduate in 1982 with honors; daughter of the late Jerry D. Smith and June Smith; proud mother of two children, Brandon Reynolds and Deneal Reynolds; granddaughter of the late Grover Smith and Edith (Smith) Ash and the late M.E. and Oma Robinson.
* Why are you running for county office? I am running for the Barry County Assessor, because I have enjoyed working in the Assessor's Office for the last 21 years. I love serving Barry County and meeting new people. I also am confident because of my 21 years of experience that I am the best candidate to perform the duties and obligations of assessor. I have attended Missouri State Assessor Association training sessions and Missouri State Tax Commission training sessions on various procedures and I work daily with Camavision, the current taxing appraisal system. It is in the best interest of Barry County and taxpayers to keep experience and knowledge as the leader of the Assessor's Office.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? I will continue to run the office as I have been taught for the last 21 years. We will continue to listen to you, the taxpayer, and your concerns, and work efficiently to best serve Barry County needs. We recently, along with the County Commission, accepted a bid for a new GIS mapping system, which will be complete sometime in the spring of 2009. This will be a much needed asset to Barry County and to the Assessor's Office. I am looking forward to continuing to work with that program until it's functioning up to 100 percent of its potential. I will pledge fair, honest and courteous service to each taxpayer. I will listen to you, the voter and taxpayer, along with your concerns.
* Background and brief biography: After graduating from Cassville High School and business college, I was first employed by FASCO Industries in several office positions and served as process standards technician. I worked as the production scheduler for Centrilift Hughes in Oklahoma before leaving the corporate workforce to devote more time to my children. For the next 20 years, I operated two successful businesses in Barry County: Hickory Hill Smokehouse and Rub A Dub Doggy. I was recruited to assist with the restructuring of the Cassville Rural Fire Department and at the same time assisted in the office at the Cassville Chamber of Commerce. Following those tasks, I took a position with Vollenweider Metal Works before accepting a key role in forming the new Cassville Fire Protection District. At present, I am employed at the Barry County Museum as the financial officer.
* Why are you running for county office? In reality I am not a politician. When the retiring assessor approached me with the thought of filling the position when she retired, I had a lengthy visit with her in which I became acquainted with the duties and obligations of the office. I did feel it would be a challenging position, but one that I could carry out quite skillfully. Also during the meeting I was made aware that several changes are going to be made in the assessor's office. I believe that my proven record of stepping in and implementing changes would be an asset. Often change is easier to accomplish when you don't have preconceived ideas of how things have always been done.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? I feel that each and every Barry County resident who has a concern or question should be heard and that his or her concern should be addressed with courtesy, fairness and honesty. I am not na*ve enough to think every single individual will leave the office fully satisfied with the answers he or she has been given, but I do feel each taxpayer is owed an explanation and personal service. As assessor, I vow to provide fair and thorough treatment to the citizens of Barry County.
* Background and brief biography: Elected by the citizens of Barry County for the last 16 years; graduate of St. Louis University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Medilogical Death Investigation Training; graduate MSSU Police Academy; Post Certified; attends training for coroners and medical examiners annually; graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Chicago, Ill.; licensed funeral director in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
* Why are you running for county office? For the last 16 years, I have devoted my career, education and personal life for the citizens of Barry County to have a qualified, professional, ethical, stable and reliable office holder to represent the deceased with dignity and compassion.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county office holder? What issues will you focus on? For the last 16 years, I believe I have increased public awareness to others from the accidents I have seen. My team and I care about the community and are devoted to safety awareness ads to help prevent fatalities. I personally have funded ads on teenage drinking and drug use, illegal prescription drug use, fire safety, tornado safety, mothers sleeping with their babies, helmet safety, cellular phone use while driving and child abuse and neglect. I am responsible with taxpayer's money and have been underbudget all 16 years and will continue to do so. I will continue to represent and treat each individual with care and compassion no matter their political affiliation, religious belief or income level. I will continue to represent and be an advocate for the deceased. I will continue to never pressure families into choosing a funeral home I am associated with. I will continue to let the family make the best decision for their family. Coroner's office is a 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year job. I have built a reliable team to insure that every part of our county has qualified representation and responds to calls in a timely manner. My staff and I have helped crime victim dependents and families receive compensation and financial assistance through crime victim's compensation program. I have fought and will continue to help families receive insurance money they are entitled to. In my 16 years I have never let one insurance company take advantage of any death I have investigated.
* Background and brief biography: I was born and raised in Lebanon. I graduated from Lebanon High School, attended Missouri State University and Moberly Junior College and Mortuary School in Cincinnati, Ohio. I worked in a funeral home in Camdenton from 1970 to 1977 and then purchased my first funeral home in Kirksville in 1977. While in Kirksville, I served as Adair County Coroner. I sold my business in Kirksville in 1990 and purchased the Axley-Culver Funeral Home in Cassville, and then in 1995, we purchased the Williamson and McQueen Funeral Homes in Cassville and Shell Knob. We are presently the owners of three Fohn Funeral Homes in Barry County. At the death of Doyle Williamson in 1993, I was appointed by the governor to fulfill his term as coroner in Barry County. I have been married to my wife and business partner, Janice, for 39 years and we are the parents of Justin and Lindsay Fohn and the proud grandparents of one grandson, Richard. Justin and Lindsay both graduated from Cassville High School. Justin is married to Abby (Miles), and he assists me in my funeral home and farming operations. Lindsay is currently enrolled at MSU in Springfield. I am a member of the United Methodist Church in Cassville, Masonic Lodge, York and Scottish Rite and Abou Ben Adhem Shriners Club. Being in the funeral home business is the only job that I have had since 1964.
* Why are you running for county office? To give the public the respect and understanding they deserve from the coroner's office.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? My accomplishments would be to serve the Barry County residents with dignity and professional service. The issues that I will focus on will be to be fair and honest with the people of Barry County.
* Background and brief biography: I was born and raised in north central Missouri on our family farm and moved to southwest Missouri in 1972. My professional career began in 1973 at an independent bank in Pleasant Hope. I worked at the bank for the next 26 years. I married Jerry White of Purdy in 1995 and moved to the area. In 2000, I ran for my current office and have been successful for the last eight years. I have one son that lives in Desert Palm, Calif., three step-daughters who live locally and seven grandchildren.
* Why are you running for county office? To be able to help people that cannot help themselves. I hope that I can provide a better life for some of my wards.
* What do you hope to accomplish as a county officeholder? What issues will you focus on? My primary accomplishment is to make a better life for my wards. The issues I face each day are number one. We do not have enough facilities in southwest Missouri that provide the type of care needed, for example, residential care facilities and mental health institutions, which include the availability of hospitalization.