As Barry County approaches the August 2 Primary Election, the Barry County Advertiser distributed questionnaires to the Sheriff and Public Administrator candidates.
The responses from the candidates are printed in this week’s issue with only spelling and basic grammatical changes made by staff.
All candidates were given the opportunity to answer each question in 75 words or less, and some candidates chose to utilize all of the questions, while others did not.
The Meet the Candidates questionnaire was designed to allow the candidates to speak for themselves about pressing issues.
Candidates’ responses have been printed in the order candidates filed for office.
The Barry County Primary Election will be on Tuesday, August 2.
Public Administrator candidates:
Andy Reavis-R, Rodney Hughes-R and Keith Daniels-R.
Why did you decide to run for Public Administrator?
Throughout my 25 year career in healthcare, I’ve been blessed to be able to help people from all walks of life. Some were very poor and really did not know how they were going to afford their healthcare. I was often able to assist them with payment options or financial hardship applications. Being able to help these truly needy people was what made me feel good about my job. I would very much like to be able to continue to help people who are in great need. If I am elected the next Barry County Public Administrator, it would give me the opportunity to positively impact the lives of many of Barry County’s most vulnerable citizens.
What qualifications do you have that make you the best candidate for the Public Administrator position?
I have worked in healthcare finance and administration for the previous 25 years. Nearly my entire career has been spent working in small rural hospitals which have very limited resources. This has taught me the importance of prudent financial management and the need to utilize staff in the most efficient manner.
I have also been able to obtain an education which is very well suited for the Public Administrator position. I have an Associate’s Degree from Crowder College in Business Administration, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Missouri Southern State University and a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Missouri State University.
What do you feel is the biggest concern you’ll be facing in the position if elected?
I feel the biggest concern is how to best provide services for the approximately 160 people this office currently serves with a very limited amount of resources. Meeting the mission of the office will require a very detailed analysis of the office workload and the costs associated with running the office. As I’ve already stated, this office serves approximately 160 people which is more than any of our adjoining counties of Stone, McDonald and Lawrence counties. The Barry County Public Administrator’s office daily has to make crucial decisions pertaining to client’s healthcare and well-being. This office is responsible to their clients on a 24/7 basis with a staff of two people which includes the Public Administrator and an administrative assistant who is budgeted for 35 hours a week.
What changes do you hope to make if you are elected?
Some changes that I think would be very beneficial for the Public Administrator’s office include:
• A review of the current office Policies and Procedures needs to be completed. Often, in a very hectic environment with a small staff, this is one of the issues that are not addressed. This can sometimes lead to inconsistency in how certain job duties are completed and can sometimes lead to unnecessary errors.
• I believe a detailed Code of Ethics is needed for this office. While State of Missouri regulations address ethics in state and county government, it is none the less still very important there be a Code of Ethics which is tailored to fit the needs of this office so as to avoid possible conflicts of interest or even the appearance of impropriety.
What makes you a better candidate over your competitors?
It’s my belief that my blend of professional work experience, education and caring attitude make me uniquely qualified to become the next Barry County Public Administrator. Many of the skills I developed in my career such as budget preparation, customer service supervision, and meeting with and counseling patients are skills which are directly related to duties the Public Administrator currently performs. Many of the people I met with were very confused and fearful for their future. This experience has helped me become a more compassionate person who truly cares for people. I am a Deacon at Victory Baptist Church in Cassville and my personal relationship with Jesus Christ guides me in everything I do.
Use this last question as an opportunity to address any issues that you did not address in the previous questions.
My wife, Gayle, and I were married in 1977. During the next 8 years, we were blessed with 4 children. In 1985, after working at some of the area factories such as Fasco and Wells Aluminum for 8 years, we jointly made the decision it was time for me to enroll in college. Over the next 5 years, I first drove to Neosho and later to Joplin to earn my Associate and Bachelor degrees. During this time, I either worked nights and attended classes in the daytime or worked in the daytime and took night classes. This five year period was the toughest five years of my life. I think this should give an indication of the level of my perseverance and the work ethic that was instilled in me by my parents. If elected, I will put to use this same perseverance and work ethic for the citizens of Barry County.