[SeMissourian.com] Fair ~ 92°F  
Heat Advisory
Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Candidates for Cape County presiding commissioner discuss charter government, unions

Friday, May 21, 2010

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been changed to correct information about candidate Charles Brawley's background.

A switch to charter government and unionizing county employees were among the issues addressed by Cape Girardeau County Republican presiding commissioner candidates Thursday.

Hosted by the Southeast Missouri Pachyderm Club, the hourlong forum at Dexter Bar-B-Q allowed each candidate to present an opening and closing statement, along with two minutes to answer questions without any candidates who had yet to be questioned present.

Moderator Dave Hitt of Jackson said the forum was conducted in that format to avoid giving an unfair advantage to anyone.

All but one of the six Republican candidates was present at the forum. Doyle Parmer, a town clerk in Dutchtown, said by phone after the meeting that a last-minute family medical emergency prevented him from attending the meeting.

Throughout the forum, candidates tied educational and work experiences into why they felt they were the best for presiding commissioner. The five candidates present at the forum were Charles Brawley, a retired Cape Girardeau Fire Department captain; Jay Purcell, 2nd District commissioner; Clint Tracy, state representative of the 158th District; Stephen Daume, a Daisy farmer; and Chris Hutson, a financial adviser with Edward Jones in Cape Girardeau.

Their reaction was mixed when asked about a switch to a charter form of government.

"We could have a hearing," Tracy said. "We could make sure the pros and cons are laid out."

Brawley pointed out that the majority of other counties with a charter form of government have larger populations than Cape Girardeau County.

Hutson said the issue should be placed on the ballot through a petition if residents feel the switch to charter government is needed.

Daume agreed. "If it happens that way, more people will be required to get informed of charter government because they'll be required to get their name on that dotted line for a petition," he said.

Purcell said he would support placement the issue on the ballot by the commissioners themselves before a public vote on the measure.

When asked about unionization of county employees, Purcell said he is not opposed to the idea of unions.

"It's a divisive issue to say you're anti-union," Purcell said. "What you should be addressing is why somebody wants to go union."

Brawley said he believes the county employees are satisfied enough to not need a union.

Tracy said that in a conservative county like Cape Girardeau County he would be hard-pressed to believe employees would favor a union.

"I would be very skeptical of that," Tracy said. "I don't think that's something the county wants at this time."

Hutson said that while he knows unions try to do a lot for their members, unionizing would not make sense for county workers.

"Right now it seems like the county has great benefits," Hutson said.

Daume gave an example of one time when he, while sales manager at a company, received a written reprimand from the union after his visit to a factory. Because of time constraints, he said, he needed union workers to load the truck but they said they couldn't while they were on break. He then loaded the truck himself.

"I'm honestly not very fond of them," Daume said, receiving applause.



Pertinent address:

236 S. Broadview St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Fact Check
See inaccurate information in this story?

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on semissourian.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

None of these galoots are smart enough to speak intelligently about unionization/human resource issues or about the pros and cons of county charter government. As Mr. Jones once said, being a commissioner is a sweet deal...don't *%*&%*%* it up.

-- Posted by rodgerdodger on Thu, May 20, 2010, at 11:11 PM

Then why aren't you running rodgerdodger?

-- Posted by thekid on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 1:51 AM

I will be posting a video/audio of my portion of the debate in about 30 minutes so there is no question about my answers. Thank You, Jay Purcell

-- Posted by J Purcell on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 2:10 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAVYTvmyL... This is part one, I will post the second part in a little bit. Thank You, Jay Purcell

-- Posted by J Purcell on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 4:13 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DahtPxz4M... Part 2

-- Posted by J Purcell on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 4:56 AM

Just very fond of those people like "thekid" who feel you are not allowed to comment on any one in office unless you are willing run for office yourself. A little bit of study will advise you it is our right, privilege and obligation to question candidates for office. Under your system kid, if you want to comment in a blog, why are you a reporter?

BTW, Mr. Purcell, you are self absorbed and tiresome. Why don't you post a few videos of your vacation and your recent law suit, which cost the county a bundle.

-- Posted by ParkerDaws on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 5:42 AM

I applaud Mr. Purcell's actions! When trying to work with the likes of people like this, you HAVE to record everyting to make sure the facts are communicated to the public. I LEARNED this for myself at the SB 40 meeting! The out and out lies that are passed on have to be rebutted - and what better way than the person's own words?! If I were on the commission, I would be running aorund with a tape recorder strapped to my forehead!!!!

-- Posted by witchyone on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 6:21 AM

ahhhh,,,, the real Jay Purcell has surfaced. Who better to lead the charge for unionization than mr Union himself. Its not often a union organizer/sympathizer is in a position to cram the union down the throat of those who could care less.

Its proven the need for unions has come and gone. Maybe Mr. Purcell needs a lesson from Detroit on the effects of unions in a global economy.

ParkerDaws made a good point. Why doesnt Purcell get his own talk show and stay out of county politics.

-- Posted by 2wheeler on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 6:59 AM

everybody else is a slacker but me. i'm a salesman and really,really important. someone give up their break and load my car! now! did it hurt him? that's what those guys do all day and he did it for a few minutes. big deal. when you are in the doctors office and the drug company rep. walks right in and gets to see the doctor before you,even tho you were there for an hour,do you think there shouldn't be drug cpmpany rep? do you holler then? he had one instance in his short career,and that means he has made an opinion for the rest of his life against unions.

-- Posted by workingdude on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 9:26 AM

Unions play an important role in ensuring the fair treatment of employees. In Detroit they went too far, and management didn't have the backbone it needed to negotiate, but that's the exception. BTW, how much of a rush was Daume in that he couldn't wait 15 minutes for the break to be over?

-- Posted by qzerp on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 10:39 AM

Mr Daume:

Who were those no good union guys who were taking their negotiated break? Please name the company and the union. Unions don't write letters of reprimand to people like you. That's BS. You know it and I know it. Give us some names. If it's true, you won't mind letting us know. If you had time restraints, it was probably your fault you were in that position. Plan your time better and don't expect people (union or non-union) to be at your beckoned call. Poor, poor excuse to be anti-union.

-- Posted by howdydoody on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 1:38 PM

I'm sure Daume did receive applause from the Republicans when he said he wasn't fond of unions. Those republicans are not just anti-union, they are anti-labor period. They want everyone to work at slave wages while they sit back with their $5 cigars and count the cash. Never, never should a blue collar worker ever vote for a republican. They never had and never will do anything positive for working class people, union or non union. Just their opposition to minimum wage laws should be enough to show everyone their colors.

-- Posted by howdydoody on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 1:45 PM

who gives a rip if you're a democrat or republican...i'm just glad gerald jones is not running again, the guy is a j@ck@ss! Just do what's right and represent the people of this county and quit with the political bull#@*%!

-- Posted by libertyforall on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 2:51 PM

Before everyone gets on the union vs non-union bandwagon,,,lets dont forget that it is only one piece of the puzzle.

We have a commissioner who:

1.Has sued the very county he works for. What did that cost the taxpayer-and to no avail.

2.Secretly tapes conversations, whether they be official business or not....how many other covert ideas does he bring to the table? Does he spy on his opponents also?

3.Is advocating unionization of a workforce that already has a pretty good deal going. (by the way do these guys know that when a union comes in that negotiations could very well start at zero and that all benefits are now negotiable?)

4.Has problems paying his own taxes, yet wants to lead the county into fiscal irresponsibility also)

Nothing is ever one dimensional. Voters need to look at the big picture here.

-- Posted by 2wheeler on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 3:00 PM

Great, the last thing we need is for city workers to go on strike because some stupid union rep tells them they're not making enough when their wages are actually pretty competitive.

What's the point of a union if things seem to be going pretty well now? Not that I work for the city, but there doesn't really seem to be any injustices being done.

-- Posted by almighty on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 3:39 PM

One of you idiots want to show me where the laws in Missouri allow public employees to strike?

-- Posted by howdydoody on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 5:38 PM

I was asked if Gary Rust was present when I called him out on a few issues and yes he was present.

-- Posted by J Purcell on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 5:38 PM

My apologies, I for got to sign my name- I was asked if Gary Rust was present when I called him out on a few issues and yes he was present. Thanks, Jay Purcell

-- Posted by J Purcell on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 5:41 PM

I stand corrected howdy, I thought they were but then found information they were in fact unlawful. But, the point still stands that there doesn't really seem to be a need for union representation at this point.

-- Posted by almighty on Fri, May 21, 2010, at 8:14 PM

It is not wise to pick a fight with people that buy printers ink by the tanker truck load.

-- Posted by Yankee Station on Thu, May 27, 2010, at 3:19 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account on seMissourian.com or semoball.com, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.


Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.

Map of pertinent addresses