New faces in key places around Cape Girardeau

Monday, August 20, 2018

Our region has said goodbye to three key figures recently: Sheriff John Jordan, Cape Girardeau library director Betty Martin and Cape Girardeau public works director Steve Cook.

All three served the public well and move off to greener pastures. Martin and Cook are retiring, and Jordan moves to a bigger position with the U.S. Marshals Service. So we’ll have new leadership in three key areas of our community: law enforcement, public infrastructure and learning. This gives three new people a chance to bring their own experiences and passions to the table.

Ruth Ann Dickerson will take over as interim sheriff, becoming the first woman to hold the office in the 218-year history of Cape Girardeau County. What a trailblazer. Dickerson has served as Jordan’s captain of business operations since 1995. She has worked behind the scenes to keep the department humming and knows the workings of the department, including the jail. Dickerson hopes to receive the Republican Party’s central committee’s blessing to represent the GOP in the coming special election in November.

Stan Polivick was promoted to take Cook’s place to head the public works department in September. Polivick, originally from Sikeston, Missouri, has worked for Cape Girardeau for the past 10 years. He’s a licensed engineer in three states. He is well-versed in stormwater issues, having held the title of stormwater coordinator in the past. Polivick is a talented and intelligent man, and a good choice to lead the department.

Katie Hill comes to us from Coffeyville, Kansas, to lead the library. She began her duties earlier this month. Hill was chosen by the library’s board of trustees to replace Martin. Hill fell in love with library operations during an internship in Washington, D.C., doing research for the Congressional Research Service. She saw the cutthroat nature of politics, and decided her life and personality was much more suited for libraries. In Coffeyville, Hill said she was able to “do a lot of big-city library stuff in a small-town community,” including loaning out equipment other than books, such as Mi-Fi devices. Hill seems to be a good fit to keep the Cape Girardeau Public Library moving in a positive direction.

We wish these new leaders well, as all have very important roles in our communities.

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