Janice Varner hanging up collector hat June 30

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Governor to appoint new county collector

For nearly 17 years, Janice Varner has been the head of the Barry County Collector’s Office, and at the end of this month, she will hang her hat and retire.

Varner, who was elected to her fifth term in November 2018 said she has mixed feelings about the change, but her family needs her.

“I am retiring on June 30 because my daughter has ovarian cancer,” she said. “We didn’t know about it until October 2018, and by that time, the election was basically over.

“I just don’t want to be in a position where my body is here in the office but my mind is with my daughter. I’m leaving with mixed feelings. I’m really going to miss it.”

Varner said there will be no special election, but instead, Gov. Mike Parson will appoint a new collector. She said the Governor aims to have an appointment made by June 15. Interested persons may contact their party committee chairs for consideration — David Cole for the Republican party and Maella Blalock for the Democratic party.

Varner said during her time as collector, 90 percent of the changes have revolved around technology.

“When I came in, the office was in magnificent shape,” she said. “The only big things we’ve changed are technology needs, because technology has drastically changed over the past 17 years.

“Adding online payments is probably our newest and biggest change.”

Varner said she is thankful for the faith the community has put in her as collector.

“I appreciate the people of Barry County for putting that much confidence in me for this long,” she said. “I also could not have done it without the great help I have had.”

Varner said there will be a retirement party, the time and date of which has yet to be determined.

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