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Cape County officials sworn into office

Seven county officials were sworn in during the Cape Girardeau County Commission meeting on Dec. 31, 2020.

Coroner Wavis Jordan was the only official beginning his first term, while County Commissioners Paul Koeper and Charlie Herbst, Sheriff Ruth Ann Dickerson, Assessor Bob Adams, Treasurer Roger Hudson and Public Administrator Lisa Reitzel were reelected during the general election in November.

All county officials were unopposed during the general election, although Koeper, Dickerson and Jordan each won opposed races in the Republican primary in August.

Jordan asked those in attendance to pray for him as he starts his new role as coroner. “This is new, and I’ve got a lot to learn, and I’ll admit that,” he said, adding that other coroners in the area have been a big help to him in preparing for the job.

“I’m going to ask you all to be patient with me,” Jordan said. “I promise you I won’t disappoint you, and I will definitely be there for the person who passed away and their families. I’ll just ask you to keep me in your prayers.”

Dickerson is starting her first full four-year term as sheriff, having won a special election in 2018 to finish Former Sheriff John Jordan’s term. She thanked her family, the voters, her staff and the other county officials who have partnered with her to help improve her department.

“I’ve been in the Sheriff’s Office for almost 40 years now, so I’ve seen a lot of changes,” Dickerson said. “This last year has really seen a lot of changes, and get ready because 2021 – here we come. We are going to see a lot more changes.”

Adams, who is beginning his third term as county assessor, also was grateful for the changes made in his office over his last term. “We have made a lot of changes in our office in the last few years, and the most significant part is how we interact with the public,” he said. “We just continue to try to improve that and make it more fluid. It not only helps us internally, it also helps the public in general.”

Herbst, who is starting his third term, and Koeper, who is starting his fourth term, both thanked those in attendance for their support and said they were excited to continue to make improvements in the county.

“Like I’ve told people before that have gotten on the city council or different things, it takes you one term to get going and get things figured out,” Herbst said. “Then that second term is when you kind of get rolling. We’ve gotten a lot done. We’ve got a great team of folks. We all agree or disagree sometimes, but that’s all part of progress and moving forward.”

Koeper added that the county has been a great place to work and that all of the county officials have come together to help the county. “I think we, as the county elected officials, try to do a lot of things to improve what goes on in the county,” he said.

Reitzel, who is starting her third term as public administrator, said she never truly knew the meaning of the word “blessed” until she took on the job eight years ago.

“I was in healthcare for almost 20 years before I became public administrator, Reitzel said. “Within a year, I was already saying this was the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. Every day it is something new.”

Hudson was the longest serving elected official sworn in, starting his fifth term as Cape Girardeau County’s treasurer. “I just want to thank the voters and the citizens of Cape County for giving me a job for 16 years – 20 at the end of this [term],” he said. “It’s been a pleasure. It’s helped me get my kids to college, and I appreciate it.”

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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