The Aug. 7 primary election ballot will feature contested races for three Callaway County offices.
Tim Kendall and Susie Ferguson are seeking the Democratic nomination for presiding county commissioner. The winner of Tuesday's primary election will face presumed Republican nominee and incumbent Presiding Commissioner Gary Jungermann in the November general election.
Republican candidates Ronda Lea Miller and Kathie Ratliff are running for Callaway County clerk. No Democratic candidate filed to run for the office.
Sarah Gladman and Eva Jones are running as Republicans for collector of revenue, and no Democratic candidate filed to run for that office.
Tim Kendall has a wealth of work experience including education, technical writing and government. He worked for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources helping compile the Registry of Confirmed Abandoned or Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites. He has degrees in English and economics, technical writing and drafting, and environmental science technology.
Kendall said concentrated animal feeding operations are the most important local issue that made him want to run for the commissioner position.
"Local residents have been fighting CAFOs for years," he said. "These farm factories create such enormous amounts of animal manure that the land cannot absorb it all. This untreated waste will find its way into our surface and ground waters, threatening our drinking water supplies and fishing just as they have in North Carolina and Iowa. They are incubators for disease organisms that can adversely affect our health. The odors from raw sewage are nauseating and can be detected from miles away."
Kendall believes a countywide ordinance restricting and regulating CAFOs is a necessary solution.
"Current state regulations don't go nearly far enough to protect Missouri, and Callaway County property owners and citizens from the disastrous consequences of farm factories," he said.
Susie Ferguson is a fifth-generation Callaway County resident. After graduating from South Callaway Schools in 1977, she has lived and worked almost exclusively in Callaway County, where she owns a farm
Being part of the Little Dixie Small Animal Auction has shown her the challenges averages citizen face when they are work for themselves, she said, such as red tape and overlapping agencies causing small business owners to quit or consider quitting.
"Our public offices were never meant to be a career," Ferguson said. "It was set up so that the average citizen would take a turn, then go back to their livelihood. If you are looking for a new commissioner who can think for herself and work with the citizens of Callaway County, I will appreciate your vote."
Ronda Miller is a lifelong resident of Callaway County and a 1988 graduate of North Callaway High School. She has worked at Central Bank for 29 years, since the bank was Fulton Savings and Loan.
"I have chosen to run for county clerk to be able to ensure Callaway County residents have polling places more easily accessible for all to attend," she said. "I would like to revisit the possibility of reopening the Carrington voting location. I am aware that since this voting place was closed, many residents from that area have not cast their vote because of the location in which they were moved. I feel everyone deserves to have a polling place that is easy to get to and not cause the voter any hardship."
Miller said she also would like to improve communication between the clerk's office and other offices in the courthouse.
"I will work closely with the county auditor and make sure bills for the county are paid on time, avoiding late fees. I also would like to make the clerk's office more friendly and efficient," she said. "I will work closely with the assessor office, as well as the collector's office to correct assessment errors. I will be very open to audits to ensure funds are being used properly for the county's peace of mind as well as mine."
After working for nearly seven years as chief deputy clerk for Callaway County, Kathie Ratliff is seeking the county clerk seat.
Born in St. Louis, her family returned to Callaway County in 1983. She graduated from North Callaway High School and completed accounting classes at the Davis H. Hart Career Center in 1988.
What started as a part-time position in August 2011 quickly became a full-time job for Ratliff. She has worked in positions including accounts payable deputy and voter registration clerk. She has 17 elections behind her as chief deputy clerk, which includes tasks such as organizing more than 100 judges in 24 polling places, preparing training sessions, verifying machines are in correct working order, and ensuring precincts are ready for the public to vote at 6 a.m. on election day.
"I want to make sure that our elections are constructed for everyone equally. Moving forward, my goal is to build on and strengthen the process and communication with all of our citizens," Ratliff said. "The main reason I filed as county clerk candidate is the conviction I feel in providing our county with fair, accurate, accessible and secure elections."
Collector of revenue
Sarah Gladman graduated from North Callaway High School in 1997 and started working for the collector's office in 1999. In 2005 she was promoted to chief deputy collector and still holds that position.
She said her 19 years of experience have prepared her for the position.
"Since the resignation of the former collector in March, I've been working to get the office up and running along with fellow employees and elected officials. I've worked very closely with the state auditor's office for the past four months. I will promptly implement their suggestions on new procedures for the office," she said. "Currently, I'm meeting with software companies for a completely new software system to improve everyday collections and data transfers from the Callaway County Assessor's office."
Eva Jones has worked seasonally in the county clerk's office and as an election official locally and in St. Louis. She's done Republican campaign work for numerous local and state campaigns and currently is serving as president of the Callaway County Republican Women's Club. She has a degree in radio and television communications and has worked in radio and magazine media as an athletic director for a nonprofit athletic association.
Jones said it's time for a "fresh start" in the collector's office.
"I am astounded at the dollar amounts people contribute to the county for the maintenance and administration of its commitments," she said. "For this, the public deserves to be able to trust that their monetary collections are handled fairly and distributed correctly. I believe that out of all the county offices, the collector's office especially demands absolute trust from the people."