E-911 Board to welcome new members

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Barry County E-911 Emergency Services Board will welcome three new members at its next quarterly meeting in December.

In the Nov. 6 election, Barry County voters tapped Leslie Smith, of Butterfield, as one of two new northern district representatives. The other northern district representative seat will be held by Monett Fire Chief Tom Jones, who was elected by write-in votes.

Steve Gash, chief of the Eagle Rock-Golden-Mano Fire Protection District, will also be joining the E-911 Board as a southern district representative. Incumbent David Dalton will return to the board as the second representative from the southern district. Because only two candidates filed for two open seats in the southern district, no election was held.

Smith is a 1994 graduate of Cassville High School. She also earned a bachelor's degree in speech communication with a minor in vocal music from Missouri Southern State University in Joplin in 1998.

Smith's professional background is in sales. In 2006, she founded All Points Recycling with her mother, Brenda Fletcher. Smith serves as vice president of the Cassville-based company.

Smith has served on the Cassville Planning and Zoning Commission, is a member of Southwest Missouri Solid Waste District N and has been active in the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce and her church, Cassville United Methodist.

"I decided to run for a seat on the 911 Board as a way of doing my part in the community," said Smith. "I believe it takes the service of each of us to make a community successful."

Jones is a 1976 graduate of Neosho High School. He also studied small engine repair through a vocational technology program.

Prior to joining the Monett Fire Department, Jones worked in service stations and grocery stores throughout southwest Missouri. He joined the Monett Rural Fire Department in 1980.

"I became full time with the city department on Jan. 1, 1983," said Jones. "Then, I became chief in 1998."

In addition to serving the Monett Fire Department, Jones has been active in the United Way and served as vice chairman of the Barry-Lawrence Local Emergency Planning District. He currently serves as chairman of the district.

"I'm a member of the 911 Board in Monett," said Jones. "I decided to get out a little and become a member of the county board too. I'm hoping that I can help the county board also."

Gash graduated from high school in Olathe, Kan., in 1975. He also attended general studies classes at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan., for two years.

Prior to moving to the Eagle Rock area, Gash lived in Kansas City where he worked in the remodeling industry. He has worked as a full-time firefighter at the Eagle Rock Fire Station for four years and served as fire chief for two years.

"The 911 Board impacts fire service in our area," said Gash. "I saw serving on the board as an interesting way to help the community and ensure services run smoothly for area fire departments too."

Smith and Jones will replace Richard Asbill and Harold Schelin, who did not file for re-election to the County E-911 Board. Gash will take the seat formerly held by Purdy Fire Chief Mike Redshaw, who has indicated that he plans to move out of the area.

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