Bollinger Co. to get new face for public administrator

Thursday, July 29, 2004

"Experience" is a term and qualification that frequents debate among political candidates. But in the case of the upcoming Aug. 3 primary elections for Bollinger County public administrator, actual job experience among candidates would seem to be a moot point.

That's because no one other than Winford C. Brown has held that position for the past 25 years, and this year he has decided not to run for re-election. That leaves the office open for candidates Larry Welker, Donna Fonda, Robert Fulton, Michael Lutes and John Slinkard to make their case for the position.

"Anybody that gets the job will be new," said Lutes, Democratic candidate from Marble Hill.

The duties of the job include taking into charge estates of deceased persons within the county who don't already have a representative. It also entails care estates of those disabled or incapacitated persons who have no legal guardian or conservator.

Sheriff

According to Democratic candidate Andy Wiesner, accessibility is a big issue in the race for the county's chief law enforcement officer. Wiesner is running against Michael Lee Sims and Mark Sitzes on the Democratic ticket.

Wiesner said that the current county sheriff's department can be hard to get a hold of in times of emergency.

Incumbent sheriff Terry Wiseman said that simply isn't the case.

"My number's still in the book," Wiseman said. "I'm available sevens days a week, 24 hours a day."

He is running on the Republican side of the ballot against Scott Shaffer. Elected as Bollinger County sheriff in 2000, Wiseman said that his experience at the position is what sets him apart.

His primary opponent, Shaffer, also has experience. Shaffer has seven years as deputy sheriff in Bollinger and Cape Girardeau counties under his belt.

Coroner

Incumbent Charles Hutchings is running unopposed on the Republican ballot for county coroner. He can look ahead to November, when he will face Democrat Fred Ritter, who is running unopposed on that ticket.

1st District Commissioner

Efficiency seems to be the key word in the Democratic primary election for county commissioner of the first district. Both candidates Gary Beal and Wyatt Bollinger believe they can do a better job allocating county funds and resources.

"I know how to maintain machinery and equipment," Beal said. "I also know how to manage and get along with people. I can get more accomplished in the county and make it more efficient."

Wyatt Bollinger has worked on the county road and bridge crews and claims to have a good knowledge of the county's assets.

"The county isn't using the public's money to fix the problems it was intended for," Bollinger said.

Current first district commissioner Larry Vangennip is running unopposed on the Republican ballot.

2nd District Commissioner

The incumbent commissioner of Bollinger County's second district, Wayne Whitener, said he's satisfied with the efforts the county is making to keep a balanced budget. He will be running against Chuck Stratton in the Republican primary.

Ralph Macke is running unopposed on the Democratic side of the ballot.

Assessor

The next Bollinger County assessor is the one position that may be ultimately decided on Tuesday. Since there are no Democratic candidates, the Republican primary between Jim Bollinger and Richard Vangennip may be the ballgame.

trehagen@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

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