Southern Commissioner Questionnaire: Wade Hermansen
Current Occupation: Own and Operates Dry Gulch Manufacturing in Exeter
Past Experience: Past President Cassville Chamber or Commerce, current Cassville School Board member. Ozarks Regional YMCA Board Member, 25 year small business owner
Education: Cassville High School ’88; Bachelors of Science, Business/Economics ’93, University of Missouri
Political Party: Republican
1. Why do you want to be southern commissioner?
Gov. Mike Parsons gave a speech at an event I attended 3 years ago. He spoke of the challenges that rural communities, schools and young people will face in the future. Gov. Parsons stressed the importance of local governments being active participants and partners in setting firm foundations for future economies and industries. I agreed with the importance of Gov. Parsons message, it was then I began considering Southern Commissioner.
2. What makes you more qualified than your opponents?
My 25 years of business experience has taught me to always look forward. I have learned to always expand the economic frame. To understand the overall business environment, and seek and create opportunities and advantages that may exist for the future.
3. What is the biggest problem facing Barry County and what moves do you plan to make toward solving it?
Barry County has become vulnerable to our economic situation. We hope that gas prices stay low and sales tax revenues remain steady so that county budgets do not become stressed. We should be looking for public and private investment into the counties economy and infrastructure that will produce future opportunities.
4. What specific goals do you plan to accomplish in your next/first term?
The first task would be to begin the economic improvement conversation with our various community leaders. We would then plan for the calculated and consistent work needed to accomplish the goal of economic improvement in the various areas of the county.
5. Are you happy with how the commission distributes funds and budgets? If so, why? If not, what would you like to see change?
As a resident, I am currently satisfied on how available funds are distributed. I feel we must do the work to strengthen economic activity to expand the amount of available funds so elected county officials can perform their jobs at a high level.
6. Do you believe the county road districts need to be consolidated? If not, why not? If so, how would you facilitate change?
Road district consolidation isn’t necessarily the answer to stressed road district budgets. The trade off to consolidation would be a decline in timely road maintenance after seasonal storms. There are many resources involved when maintaining a road (equipment, personnel, etc). I would like to see a system discussed that shares capital resources between neighboring districts to relieve some of the cost of road maintenance. Our county’s longtime road commissioners would be a very knowledgeable resource concerning issues of a capital sharing program. Well maintained roads and bridges are a very important component to our county’s economic future and its residents.
7. Is the county jail as adequate for the long term? If so, why? If not, how would you change it?
The county jail building was upgraded in 2009. When a capital improvements upgrade is done to a building you can usually assume a 15-20 year useful lifespan under normal circumstances. It is important to continue to be disciplined with the taxpayer money and keep building the Capital Improvements Fund.
8. How do you feel the county has handled the COVID-19 pandemic? Would you have done anything differently?
No one knows or has any experience managing a pandemic in a modern integrated economy. The lessons of what was done right or wrong will be identified later. The one major issue I would address, is the way the commission communicates decisions and information in times of public uncertainty. It needs to adopt a digital platform for communication that it can use in public emergencies. Many elected county officials have adopted a digital platform to help communicate information efficiently.