Wayne Hendrix, D-Cassville: Barry County southern commissioner candidate
Political Party: Democratic
Current Occupation: Convenience Store Owner
Past Experience: Business Owner; Southern Commissioner past 8 years
Education: Graduate of Southwest R-5 School, 1978
1. Why do you return as southern commissioner?
Barry County has always been my home. My position as Southern Commissioner is to make sure each decision made is in the best interest of Barry County residents.
I enjoy 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.
2. What makes you more qualified for office than your opponent?
I have been a business owner for the past 26 years here in Cassville. I was co-owner and operator of Barry County Plumbing from 1990-1994. In 1994, my wife and I purchased Sportsman's Corner and I am still there today.
Over the past 26 years, I have built relationships with the people of Barry County and continued to grow and maintain the repeat business that every small business has to have if it is going to grow and survive.
This is the same stance that I take as a commissioner, build relationships and try to help the people of Barry County in any way I can, and have a good working relationship with the Senator and Representative at the state level.
3. What is the biggest problem facing Barry County? What moves do you plan to make toward solving it in your next term?
Probably the biggest problem Barry County is facing is the drug problem. This is not only here in Barry County, it is everywhere. You can talk to other counties and they say the same thing.
As commissioners, we work with the Sheriff and listen to ideas and programs that might help reduce the drug problem in our county. When it's all said and done, the County Commission makes decisions on funding ideas and programs.
In addition, the economy is always on my mind. Barry County operates on sales tax and fees. Serving as Southern Commissioner, these past eight years, I have been through the thin and the thick.
For the past three years sales tax revenue has been on the incline, which has enabled the county commission to build emergency funds that were almost depleted during the downturn in the economy. The Barry County Commission has been very conservative with the taxpayers' money and has no debt.
4. What specific goals do you plan to accomplish in your next term?
I plan to continue to serve in the same manner I have over the past eight years. Each day is a learning experience which helps me make good decisions down the road.
5. Are you happy with how the commission distributes funds? If so, why? If not, what do you plan to do about it?
Every January the County Commissioners come up with a balanced budget. The process begins with each office holder submitting their budget to the County Commission.
Then, the Commissioners go over each budget and discuss it with the specific office holder. I would have to add that each office holder has been very reasonable to work with at budget time.
6. Do you believe the county road districts need to be consolidated? If not, why not? If so, how would you facilitate the change?
Barry County has 25 special road districts and one common road district. Each special road district has three road commissioners who are elected by the people in that district. (one per year) The money from CART (County Aid Road Trust) and the sales tax (1/2 cent) is distributed to each road district. It is figured on a formula of 60% on miles of road and 40% on assessed valuation. Some of the smaller and more rural road districts don't have the assessed valuation that some of the other road districts have; therefore, they don't receive as much money.
As we all know, the cost of chip and seal and asphalt has increased making it more difficult. I don't think a consolidation will happen because it takes a vote of the people and the majority of people live in areas where they have a higher assessed valuation with better roads.
7. Do you see the county jail as adequate for the long term? If so, why? If not, what do you plan to do about it?
Barry County has an eighty-bed jail and it has been very adequate for the past seven years. If things change then the Commission will cross that bridge at that time. We have in place a Capital Improvements Fund for situations like this.
8. What's your vision for the long-term future of county dispatching?
911 does the dispatching for the sheriff's office. 911 is their own entity and it does not cost Barry County for dispatching. As far as I know they will continue.