Seven county officeholders took the oath of office at the Cape Girardeau County Commission meeting Thursday.
All seven had previously held their offices and were reelected when they ran unopposed in the Nov. 7 general election. They were: Associate Commissioner Paul Koeper (District 1), Associate Commissioner Charles Herbst (District 2), Sheriff John Jordan, Assessor Bob Adams, Treasurer Roger Hudson, Public Administrator Lisa Reitzel and Coroner John Clifton.
Koeper thanked those who supported him and added, “There is a lot to do in the next four years.” He was referencing the planning for the new courthouse.
“I know a lot more than I did four years ago,” commented Herbst, who is completing his first term as commissioner.
“I’m very thankful for the commissioners we have,” added Clifton. “I’ve heard horror stories from other counties.”
“After 22 years, I’m a bigger man than I was before,” jested Jordan, who made fun of his weight gain while in office. Getting serious, he added, “It’s an honor and a privilege to be reelected and to serve.” Speaking to others in attendance from his office, he said, “You’re the ones who make me look good.”
“Twelve years ago, I felt like I was a young guy,” reflected Hudson. “I sure am glad Bob and John are still around, or I’d be the oldest guy here, election-wise.”
“It’s such an honor and privilege to be the public administrator for Cape Girardeau County,” said Reitzel. “It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I’m very thankful for the people I work with.”
Adams mentioned the contrast of good and bad feelings in the assessor’s office at this time of year. Christmas gives everyone a sense of hope but it is also tax time, which can be depressing. He praised the county commissioners. “The Commission has been great to work with,” he said. He added that he has enjoyed his office. “It’s probably the most fun I’ve had in the last few years.”
“Four years goes by quickly doesn’t it?” Clark asked the office holders, “especially when you’re working hard and having fun.”
Deputy Cody Windbigler, who provided security for the meeting, chose to speak up as a citizen of the county. He was born in California but has lived here the past 17 years. His mother works for the County of San Bernardino, so he has been “involved in politics” since he was a child, he said. When he moved to this area, he wondered how this smaller county would operate. “Your professionalism, experience and knowledge are really impressive,” he told the officeholders. “I hope our citizens recognize that. We, as citizens, appreciate you.”
In other action:
• Pole building: The Commission approved advertising for bids on pole building materials. The materials will be put together by county employees. “We bought four trailers to use for elections. Now we need a building [in which] to store them,” said Koeper.
• New generator: The Commission approved advertising for bids on a new emergency generator for the kitchen at the county jail. The old 25 kw generator has had some problems. It will be upgraded to a new 60 kw generator which will allow the kitchen to “run everything,” Koeper said.
In addition to running all kitchen equipment during a power outage, it will allow the kitchen to be heated in the cold months. It will not, however, run air conditioning in the summer.
• Truck replacement: The Commissioners approved the purchase of a new Ford 250 4WD pickup to replace one that was damaged in an accident. The vehicle was purchased at the state contract price of $26,069 from Joe Machens Capital City Ford in Jefferson City.
• Patrol vehicle: The offer of $9,860 was accepted from the insurance company for a sheriff’s office patrol vehicle that was totaled.
• Blumenberg reappointed: David Blumenberg was reappointed to the Road and Bridge Advisory Board for a three-year term.
• Juvenile detention: Cape County currently sends juveniles to the Juvenile Detention Center in Mississippi County, because Cape has no juvenile detention center of its own. The Commission agreed to use Stoddard County’s Juvenile Detention Center for a backup at the rate of $45 a day.
• Extension: A time extension was granted to finish road work on County Roads 465 and 468. Workers now have until April 30, 2017 to complete widening and paving.
• Funds transfer: The Commission approved transferring earned interest from the emergency fund to the capital projects fund.