Cape Girardeau County Commission, District 2 -- Jay Purcell

Sunday, November 2, 2008
Jay Purcell

Name: Jay Purcell

Party: Republican

Birth: Nov. 26, 1967, Cape Girardeau

Spouse, children: Kelly; Austin, 14, Miranda, 13, Dayton, 11, Reece, 6

Occupation: County commissioner

Employer: People of Cape Girardeau County

Businesses owned by candidate or spouse, all or in part: Investment properties, commercial and residential. Lincoln House Bed and Breakfast.

Public offices held: Cape Girardeau City Council; Cape Girardeau County commissioner.

Past political campaigns and offices sought: Ward 3 city council seat; District 2 commissioner.

Question 1: What is the most important issue facing the Cape Girardeau County Commission?

Answer: Trust. We must accomplish my stated goals of creating fair, open, transparent government. To achieve this I have proposed broadcasting and recording county commission meetings, stronger agendas, financial disclosure forms, Sunshine Law training, and more citizen involvement through different meeting times and citizen advisory boards. Improved accountability and transparency in our county government is the way that we will regain the public's trust and allow this county to grow and prosper.

Question 2: What in your background or education makes you qualified for this office?

Answer: I believe my life experiences as a family man raising four children, a working man who has worked in a factory, and a businessman who has owned and operated a small business all contribute to a well-rounded understanding of the needs of our community.

Question 3: Why are you better qualified than your opponent?

Answer: I can only state why I think I am qualified and let the citizens decide. I have proven through my actions that I am independent and answer only to the citizens. How else could I have exposed Morley Swingle selling his books on the county website, your park land being sold without public input and county business being conducted in closed-door backroom meetings? Ultimately the citizens want a public servant who answers to them. I believe I have done that.

Question 4: What steps should be taken to make the commission more responsive to the public?

Answer: I support night meetings, webcasting and office hours. I plan on proposing the appointment of a task force made up of residents and the media to give the commission recommendations on how to better allow residents access to their county government.

Question 5: Should the county purchase or seek to obtain the use of the old federal building in Cape Girardeau?

Answer: I support acquiring the old federal building so that we can address the inadequacies of our older facilities, such as failing to meet ADA standards, courtroom security and lack of space. I also believe that we need to address replacing our juvenile detention center. I believe both issues can be addressed without any additional tax impact to the citizens.

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