Southern Commissioner Questionnaire: Gene Robbins

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Age: 55

Current Occupation: Auctioneer, School Bus Driver, Backhoe Operator

Past Experience: Iíve owned and operated my business for over thirty years, so Iím used to working with a budget. In my early twenties I worked for Flat Creek Road District, I know what it takes to keep the county roads maintained. I have experience with parliamentary procedure as I was President and Vice President of rodeo associations covering Missouri and Oklahoma. I severed as Alderman on the Exeter City Council, I understand the challenges elected officials face and Iím ready to take them head on

Education: Cassville School, Missouri Auction School

Political Party: Republican


1. Why do you want to be southern commissioner?

Barry County has been good to my family and I feel it is time to give back.

2. What makes you more qualified than your opponents?

In my business I deal with wealthy people as well as folks on a very tight budget. As the saying goes you should treat the custodian with the same respect as the CEO. I believe our elected county employees should be accessible as well as approachable no matter how small or how great the problems or concerns our Barry County citizens have. Iím not going to say I am more qualified or less qualified than my opponentís but if elected I will do my best to treat everyone with respect and to serve Barry County.

3. What is the biggest problem facing Barry County and what moves do you plan to make toward solving it?

I think our county will be facing several concerns/problems in the near future. I was in a meeting one time and I heard someone describe Barry County as an ďisland with a large mote around ití. We have been very blessed with such a wonderful way of life. Unfortunately, some of the problems and situations we are seeing on the national level are starting to drift across the mote. We need to be prepared.

We need to get more businesses to come to Barry County.

We need more supplemental training for our law enforcement for the challenges they are facing.

We need to make our roads as safe as we possibly can without breaking the bank.

We need to stand together Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike to keep this nonsense we are seeing on tv out of our communities.

4. What specific goals do you plan to accomplish in your next/first term?

I would like to shadow some of our county road workers as well as our deputies. Not to judge their job performance but to become more educated of the challenges they face daily. I will then be able to supply them with the funding and the tools they need to keep themselves safe and to protect the citizens of Barry 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?

Thatís a good question but a tough one to answer, since Iím not one of the commissioners yet and I donít know the reason or the circumstance as why they delegated the money/budget the way they have but Iím sure they did what they felt was best. I will say this if elected I will make sure the money is distributed fairly.

6. Do you believe the county road districts need to be consolidated? If not, why not? If so, how would you facilitate change?

I believe it should be something we should seriously look at; Iíve spoken with some of the smaller road districts and the consensus I received from them is that they would embrace the idea. Some of the larger road districts Iíve spoken with were not as enthusiastic, and it is my understanding that the citizens of the road district would have to vote to consolidate the districts, leaving it entirely up to the people.

7. Is the county jail as adequate for the long term? If so, why? If not, how would you change it?

Personally, I do not believe it adequate for the long term at this time. It is my understanding that they are going to start doing some remodeling/updates in August which should help some. However, I feel that it might be time to look at a more long-term solution depending on the budget.

8. How do you feel the county has handled the COVID-19 pandemic? Would you have done anything differently?

I believe overall the county has done a good job. Remember this is a situation we have not had to deal with before, so we are learning as we go.

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