Editorial

Four local officials named to statewide leadership positions

Friday, December 28, 2018

Four local civic leaders have found themselves in top leadership positions in the state of Missouri.

Cape Girardeau County Presiding Commissioner is the incoming president of the Missouri Association of Counties. Associate Commissioner Charlie Herbst was installed as president of the County Commissioners Association of Missouri. Auditor Pete Frazier was elected earlier this year to lead the Auditors Association of Missouri. And Cape Girardeau police chief Wes Blair was named president of the Missouri Police Chief's Association.

In these positions, the local leaders will work to influence changes and improvements on a larger scale.

For example, Tracy told reporter Marybeth Niederkorn that the Missouri Association of Counties hopes to advocate for how counties will handle 911 funding after legislators passed a law earlier this year allowing counties to collect sales tax on cell phones to pay for the system.

Blair said possible collaboration between the state association and Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri to start a statewide police academy could help with recruitment -- particularly among minorities.

Locally, most police recruits are coming from the Law Enforcement Academy at Southeast Missouri State. Blair added that it is difficult to recruit the right candidates for the jobs available. And you don't want to lower your standards.

Herbst said he sees his position is simply an extension of his job as commissioner.

"We adopt some resolutions we hope our legislators can rally around," Herbst said, hoping to influence "legislation that will affect us here in Cape County."

These positions aren't just handed out. They're usually part of an upward progression after being on the boards for several years. That Cape Girardeau and Cape Girardeau County have four such individuals in key positions of these state associations says something about the quality of leadership we have here.

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