Clint Tracy on deck as president-elect
BUFFALO, Mo. – Over 700 people, from county officials, sponsors, and exhibitors, attended the Missouri Association of Counties (MAC) 46th Annual Conference and Expo at Tan-Tar-A, electing officers and board members and establishing legislative priorities for the upcoming session.
Perhaps most notable is the annual leadership transition with 2017 MAC President Wendy Nordwald passing the reins to Dallas County Treasurer Becky Schofield.
As president, Schofield hopes to continue seeing collaboration between county officers.
“As MAC president, I hope to see a continued strength in numbers with all associations working together,” she said. “Commissioners, Clerks, Collectors, Treasurers, Recorders, Sheriffs, Public Administrators, Assessors, and Coroners all rely on the county budget. When we all work together, good things will happen.”
Schofield cited unfunded and underfunded mandates as one of the biggest challenges for counties going into 2018.
For 2018, MAC passed resolutions supporting the General Assembly to upgrade 9-1-1 coverage, fully fund state mandates, address and fun a transportation and infrastructure plan. MAC opposed local authority pre-emption and legislation “that erodes the local tax base.”
Addressing transportation and representing the General Assembly at the MAC conference was Rep. Kevin Corlew, chair of the 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force, and Rep. Jeff Messenger, who chairs the House Policy Development caucus. Rep. Holly Rehder and Daniel Landon, Senior Vice President of government relations for the Missouri Hospital Association, also spoke at the conference touting the need of a strong prescription drug monitoring program.
As for hopes and advantages going into 2018, Schofield named public services.
“The biggest hope I have is having a balanced budget within the county,” Schofield told the Missouri Times. “Law Enforcement needs are never-ending – and rightfully so. Unfortunately, the responsibilities our local law enforcement has never decreased. We need to keep being able to fund law enforcement to keep our citizens safe. With that being said, we still need to fund every other office within the county for our constituents. Voting, taxes, roads, law enforcement, and financial accountability all work hand in hand to be accountable to our constituents.”
One concern of 2017 was delayed county jail reimbursements. Missouri Department of Corrections Director Anne Precythe addressed attendees at the conference, talking about the “Justice Reinvestment Initiative.” In June, Gov. Eric Greitens formed the Justice Reinvestment Task Force by executive order to looks at ways to improve Missouri’s criminal justice system by reducing its prison population, lowering recidivism and finding a solution to the ongoing issues related to county jail reimbursements. Precythe is chair of the task force.
Cape Girardeau County Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy was elected as the president-elect to precede Schofield.
FEATURED PHOTO: Newly elected officials for the Missouri Association of Counties for 2018 include (from left): Past President and Warren County Assessor Wendy Nordwald; 2nd Vice President and Andrew County Collector Phil Rogers; President and Dallas County Treasurer Becky Schofield; Treasurer and Audrain County Presiding Commissioner Steve Hobbs; President-Elect and Cape Girardeau Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy; and 3rd Vice President and Atchison County Clerk Susette Taylor. PHOTO/DAVID OWEN-MAC