Public administrator to retire this year
After 12 years in office, Barbara White, public administrator, will retire this year. White's term will expire on Dec. 31, and she does not plan to re-file for office.
"I am proud that I had the opportunity to help people," said White. "I have really enjoyed seeing the smiles on their faces. I've been able to help them budget their money so that they can have the things they want."
White, who has a bachelor's degree in business from Missouri State University, served in the banking industry for 26 years prior to being elected to the public administrator position.
"I worked at Pleasant Hope Bank, which was eventually bought out by Empire Bank," said White. "I started filing checks and worked my way up. I served as bank president for four years."
After marrying her husband, Jerry, White commuted from the couple's home in Purdy to her job near Springfield for four and a half years. In July of 1999, she retired from the bank.
"Cherry Warren (Barry County presiding commissioner) said this position was opening and thought it would be a good fit for me, so I ran," said White.
As public administrator, the main focus of her job has been caring for people both physically and financially, said White.
"My clients range in age from the very elderly to the very young," said White. "I don't have any below the age of 21. I do help several developmentally disabled people."
White's caseload has increased dramatically over the last 12 years. When she was first elected she served around 50 individuals. Today, the numbers have increased to over 140 cases.
"I have become very humble," said White. "These people become very dear to you. There are happy times and there are sad times in this office.
"I have learned that all people basically want the same things," said White. "Love, friendship and compassion."
White said she will miss her clients when she retires from the public administrator office in order to spend more time with her husband.
"Jerry is retired already, so we hope to travel," said White. "We would like to go to Ireland, Scotland and Switzerland, and we want to visit Australia."
White said she is also looking forward to spending more time at home working on her yard.