Southern Commissioner Questionnaire: Wayne Hendrix
Current Occupation: Barry County Southern Commissioner and Convenience Store Owner
Past Experience: Southern Commissioner for almost 12 years, Solid Waste Management Executive Board, Cassville Golf Board, Cassville School Board and Business Owner for 30 years
Education: Graduate of Southwest R-5 School, Washburn
Political Party: Democrat
1. Why do you want to be southern commissioner?
Barry County is my home and always will be. There is no better place to live, raise a family and retire. I want Barry County to be the best it can be now and for future generations. Serving as Southern Commissioner gives me the opportunity to be part of keeping and making Barry County the best it can be.
2. What makes you more qualified than your opponents?
Having the opportunity to serve Barry County as Southern Commissioner for the past 12 years has provided me with a great amount of experience in the business of county government. While serving as southern commissioner, I have gained experience and been involved with building bridges, taking care of building and grounds, and overseeing the county budget. I believe the Barry County Commission has spent taxpayer’s money wisely and conservatively, building a reserve, while maintaining bridges and buildings and taking care of employees.
3. What is the biggest problem facing Barry County and what moves do you plan to make toward solving it?
Drugs continue to be a problem in Barry County and a majority of arrest are drug related offenses. While serving as Southern Commissioner, I along with the other commissioners implemented the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), in an effort to combat the opioid crisis. The commission is actively working with law enforcement to improve this situation. If re-elected, I will continue to work with the county commission along with local law enforcement to do everything possible to improve this issue.
4. What specific goals do you plan to accomplish in your next/first term?
My goal is to continue to work alongside the county commission and residents looking for ways to improve Barry County for taxpayers and for future generations. I believe it is important to be accessible to residents who have concerns or questions – help people find answers and solutions. This is an essential part of being a public servant.
5. Are you happy with how the commission distributes funds and budgets? If so, why? If not, what would you like to see change?
Every January the commission approves a balanced budget. Each office holder submits his or her proposed budget to the commission. We meet with each office holder and go through his or her proposal. If we feel something needs cut, we discuss it at that time. Each office holder is directly involved in their budget. So yes, I am happy with how the money is distributed.
6. Do you believe the county road districts need to be consolidated? If not, why not? If so, how would you facilitate change?
Barry County has 25 special road districts and one common district with a total of 1,062 miles of road. Each road district has three road commissioners elected by the people in their district. Road district funds come from a half-cent sales tax and CART money. The formula used to distribute the money is split 60% total miles of road and 40% assessed evaluation. The road districts with higher assessed evaluation get more money to spend on roads. The Barry County Commission has no authority to tell the road districts how to spend their money or how to maintain their roads. It would take a vote of the people to consolidate the road districts.
7. Is the county jail as adequate for the long term? If so, why? If not, how would you change it?
The commission is in the early stages of design to replace the original portion of the jail. With state mandates and audits, the current facility is not sufficient for this day and time.
8. How do you feel the county has handled the COVID-19 pandemic? Would you have done anything differently?
I think Barry County has handled COVID-19 well. The commission has met with the Barry County Health Department and Emergency Management on a weekly basis from the beginning and followed the guidelines from the Missouri Governor’s office. The Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees along with Roger Brock and David Compton have put in many extra hours to keep Barry County as safe as possible and I appreciate their effort.