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Race for presiding commissioner: Democratic candidate Wissman concerned about waste

Friday, July 23, 2010

(Photo)
Pat Wissman
A desire to make the Cape Girardeau County Commission for the people and by the people provides the motivation for Democrat Pat Wissman's campaign for presiding commissioner.

The retired over-the-road truck driver said he is concerned with the way the commission is currently operating.

"I love how it can be used to help people, and seeing what is going on now and how it is being abused and misused to me is wrong," he said. He said he would like the commission to consider the best interests of county citizens and refrain from self-promotion.

Wissman said he was concerned with some of the waste within the commission and thinks technology is the answer.

"There are several trips they make out of town for a one-day meeting that you waste gas on and a hotel room that can be done with video conferencing," he said. "It's done quite a bit. A lot of companies are using it. You can sit there, and you can see them and they can see you. You are as much a part of it as if you were sitting there."

Wissman said one of his top priorities would be to make health and dental care more affordable and accessible. However, he was not willing to disclose specifics on how to achieve that goal.

"I would love to tell you, but I have found in the past before a primary if you announce this, everybody jumps on it. It's there. If they know how to look for it, they can find it just like I did," Wissman said.

He said he is talking to businesses about the benefits of locating in the county. While the strengths of the community include a good work ethic, a good tax base and strong schools and churches, he said not enough is done to promote the county.

"We have great assets in this area, but they're not exploited," Wissman said.

One way Wissman did say he would create jobs is through making the county more environmentally friendly. Again, specifics were not forthcoming.

"Without getting into it, there's another company I'm looking at that I would like to get here that would have products for making the county green. Very eco-friendly. It's hard to go into that in a primary because what's going to happen is people will pick up the ideas. Been there, done that," he said.

Another area he would like to improve is accessibility. He said as presiding commissioner he would make it easy for constituents to meet with him. He said he would be a full-time commissioner and have regular office hours. He said he would also make evening appointments with residents unable to attend commission meetings during work hours.

"In today's economy, you can't afford to take off work. Some people are working two and three jobs, that's both husband and wife, just to make ends meet. That's tough. Why not help them out? It's not going to hurt you, that's your job," he said.

He said he realizes that his campaign faces challenges because of his party affiliation. However, he said voters should look past his party and give his ideas consideration.

"This has always been a Republican county," Wissman said. "They need to stop looking at Republican, Democrat, independent, whatever, and start looking at the person that can actually get the job done and treat the people fairly and with respect. It's tough, but that about sums it up. They need to stop looking at the end of the nose on their face and go beyond it and see the scope of what a Democrat can do in the future to make the county a better place."

Wissman said that unlike other candidates, he is not afraid to admit that he will have some on-the-job learning to do and said Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones, who is not running for re-election, is the one to teach him.

"I do know going in that I will need to summon the expertise of the commissioner that is leaving the office. I believe I could work with him," he said. He also feels he can work with commissioners Jay Purcell and Paul Koeper.

While Wissman has no experience as an elected official, he has run for a variety of offices and that persistence has impressed Cape Girardeau County Democratic Central Committee chairman Mark Baker. He said Wissman's intentions are pure.

"I think Pat is a lifelong Democrat and seems to understand the community," he said. "He takes input very well before assuming too much. He is a good listener. People are always smarter when they listen twice as much as they speak."

Baker said Wissman has a genuine desire to improve the county.

The primary election is Aug. 3.

cbartholomew@semissourian.com

243-8600


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Cape County has not always been Republican.

-- Posted by Red Devil on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 2:11 AM

Cape city used to vote Democrat which made it tough for a Republican to win a county wide office back in the 60's through the early 80's.

John Crites, Marvin Proffer, Rusby Crites, Charles Hutson, Bob Gribler, Al Spradling Jr.,....help me out, name more long time Democrat office holders.

-- Posted by Red Devil on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 2:22 AM

I forgot about Bill Burlison US Representative 1969-1981

-- Posted by Red Devil on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 3:28 AM

This guy wont announce his plans ahead of time because he is far left, he is as much of a socialist as Obama, Reid, & Pelosi

-- Posted by Skeptic1 on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 6:40 AM

Ummmm . . . . .NO!

-- Posted by witchyone on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 7:36 AM

Hey folks - I don't understand why you would not vote for some one who can give this county (and maybe the country) affordable health insurance. I know it is his own secret plan - but where is your level of trust?

-- Posted by ParkerDaws on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 8:00 AM

Woody Seabaugh, Bill Rose

-- Posted by howdydoody on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 8:13 AM

We've always been conservative...not republican.

-- Posted by clkv on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 8:16 AM

Mr. Wissman is at least a little more entertaining than the other candidates. He has secret plans probably given to him by aliens or from the back pages of grocery store magazines. He might make a good board member of a large nonpaid board, but he is not a public administrator of millions of dollars of tax payer dollars by any means.

When is the petition for charter organization of this "ship of fools" going to make it's rounds?

-- Posted by rodgerdodger on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 8:47 AM

Sounds like a refreshing change of pace from the "business as usual" leadership the county has had for the last several years. Just one question, do we vote for an affiliate of the party of Reid and Pelosi, or do we vote for an affiliate of the party of Jones and Purcell?

-- Posted by whitey11 on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 8:51 AM

Pat is a great guy, and wants nothing but the best for the county. He is always thinking, always involved.

I would like to know what the deal was with Purcells Navy stint.

-- Posted by Hawker on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 8:59 AM

Whitey: What in the hell do Reid and Pelosi have to do with local county politics? That is plumb idiotic.

-- Posted by howdydoody on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 9:23 AM

you've got to be kidding!!!!!!

-- Posted by B_O_B on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 9:56 AM

Howdy, plumb idiotic? I am just comparing party affiliations and if you're a democrat you are affiliated party wise with democrats, etc. I didn't say they had anything to do with local county politics, except a lot of the congressional decisions on the national level in the past two years are greatly affecting this county. I must have struck a nerve or something there.

On the other hand, Pat is a good guy and should be worthy of consideration.

-- Posted by whitey11 on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 10:18 AM

If he's on disability but is capable of holding a "full time" job as presiding commissioner, isn't that proof enough that he is capable of finding a paying job or at the very least becoming eligible for some goverment paid retraining so he can get off the system?? Hmmmm . . . . . Interesting!

-- Posted by witchyone on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 10:51 AM

Somebody tell me what is the duty and responsibilities of the county commission. This might answer a lot of questions I and other people have. I honestly would like to see someone post these duties.

-- Posted by howdydoody on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 11:19 AM

After observing Gerald Jones for all these years, howdydoody, no one really knows what the job consists of.

-- Posted by Red Devil on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 12:30 PM

It is true that he has disability license plates on his auto, so if he is disabled I do not know how he can be unning for a fulltime position.

I have heard him bragging that if you know your way through "the system" you can get the govenment to pay for everything, including free attorneys.

-- Posted by Skeptic1 on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 1:13 PM

What a worthless loser. no way!

-- Posted by GIJoe on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 2:14 PM

adidas; Where did you hear him say this? And, was he referring to himself, or the system in general. Please be specific. Thanks.

-- Posted by howdydoody on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 4:01 PM

At a public event, and himself. He helped his daughter get free legal aid for a divorce and he was telling another couple how to get free legal aid, and made the comment that if you know the system you can live off of the govenment.

-- Posted by Skeptic1 on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 4:10 PM

Thanks!

-- Posted by howdydoody on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 5:10 PM

Spaniard- from the free legal services of Southeast MO website:

"Legal Services Corporation private, non-profit corporation established by Congress in 1974 to assure equal access to justice under the law for all Americans."

and then from LSC website: "Senate Appropriations Committee Approves $430 Million for LSC"

sounds to me like it is paid for by the govenment, our taxes

-- Posted by Skeptic1 on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 7:03 PM

No, Cape Girardeau has not always been Republican. It became fashionable in this town during the Reagan administration to "be republican." Many of the Missouri swing voters and so called Reagan Democrats helped him get elected. They have had so much crap put in their heads by Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and O'Riley that they won't even think for themselves anymore.

-- Posted by jpclippard on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 8:02 PM

Disabled and retired are not the same thing. If he's retired on "dissability" payments he should not be able to "work" as an elected official.

-- Posted by interesting on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 8:16 PM


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