The Missouri Association of Counties (MAC) will see new leadership in 2022 when Scotland County Clerk Batina Dodge takes over as its next president.
Dodge, who is serving her third term as clerk, was selected for the position during MAC’s 50th Annual Conference last month. She has served as the association’s 2nd vice president this year and will assume her new position on Jan. 1.
“This year we celebrate 50 years of our association, and I want to remind our members that MAC was created to ensure all county-elected officials had a voice on the issues that were being discussed at the local, state, and national level,” Dodge said. “As president, I hope to embrace that vision and continue to strengthen our voice as we look to increase member engagement with our steering committees and expand on the services that MAC offers.”
Dodge will be the first president to take the position under a new executive director in more than 20 years; Steve Hobbs took on the role in September following former Executive Director Dick Burke’s retirement after 22 years at the helm.
The association also awarded U.S. Senator Roy Blunt the Juanita Donehue Lifetime Achievement Award during the conference. Blunt, who began his public service career as Greene County clerk, was the first person to receive the reward.
“County officials have a unique understanding of the needs and challenges facing local communities — from infrastructure, to broadband, to health care, education, and economic opportunity,” Blunt said. “I’ve always appreciated having that perspective as we’ve looked at how the federal government could most effectively work with counties to address the needs of families and local communities. I look forward to continuing to have that advice and getting a lot done over the next year.”
The association also adopted its legislative priorities for the upcoming session. The association voted to support full funding of state requirements for county services, incarceration of state prisoners, and salary increases for elected county officials. It also encouraged lawmakers to formalize data collection processes for broadband coverage maps, expand counties’ options to publish financial statements, and eliminate the state’s prevailing wage law.
MAC is a nonprofit organization advocating with the legislature for the state’s 114 counties. It was founded in 1972.
Cameron Gerber studied journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, he earned an associate’s degree from State Fair Community College. Cameron is a native of Eldon, Missouri.
Contact Cameron at email@example.com.