Well, as we have learned over the last year in Clay County the political scene is often a strange one. Apparently, I now have an anonymous citizen journalist. I received the below article on 1/1/2011 from an email signed Clay County Minuteman Paul Revere. I have no clue who this is. This post will ruffle some feathers in the Clay County Courthouse, and could potentially make me a target of some of the players involved. I would like to offer to those mentioned in the below post A CHANCE TO RESPOND TO ANY ACCUSATION that has been stated. Feel free to email me at claycomopolitics@gmail.com I’ll post any response you wish to give.

This is not intended to be a personal attack, I don’t know what is true or what is not. I’m simply putting it out there. It has been my experience over the last 6 months that there is cause for concern in Clay County and some of the accusations below could potentially have validity, I would love to be proven wrong.

Wake up Clay County! There’s a new queen in town and you put her there.  Pam Mason was sworn in the last week of December to the office of Clay County Presiding Commissioner in the most political swearing in ceremony in the history of Clay County.  Mason has a reputation of demanding that those around her bow down and kiss her ring.  Her agenda will be driven by revenge and the desire to punish anyone who has ever dared to tell her no.

2011 will start off very interesting for Clay County political junkies.  It will be interesting to watch as Mason and Eastern Commissioner Katee Porter hold their noses long enough to use each other for some things that both of them want.  Porter is the only current Clay County elected official that has nothing to lose and will not be susceptible to  the bullying and manipulating that Mason is so good at.  Commissioner Porter will use Mason while attempting to further her agenda of what she thinks is best for Clay County and Commissioner Mason will use Porter in an attempt to even the score for past perceived wrongs.

Pam Mason lost the elected office of County Clerk four years ago to Tom Brandom, after having held the office for 12 years.  Losing to Brandom devastated Mason since he had sued her personally, along with a few others and Clay County taxpayers a few years earlier in a legal matter.  He was awarded quite a large settlement in 2003.  Mason has a long history with Clay County and current County employees.

Mason’s agenda as Presiding Commissioner will be driven by her “hit list” of Clay County employees who she hopes will soon be searching for jobs.  Topping that list are County Administrator Alexa Barton, Commission Secretary Ruth Bocchino, County Clerk Accounts Payable Clerk Diane Phillips, IT employee Diane Clifton and Parks Director Charlie Barr.  Each of these individuals has at one time stood up to Pam Mason or Mason’s husband.  It won’t stop with County employees.  Chambers of Commerce, Boards and Commissions, outside agencies and members of other governments within Clay County will not be immune.  Beware if Pam Mason ever asked you to do something and you did not comply.

Queen Mason’s royal Court is growing by the day.  The closest members are County Sheriff Bob Boydston and County Assessor Cathy Rinehart who worked hard to get Mason elected, also included are her husband, former County Auditor Vic Hurlbert, and former County Public Administrator Beverly Sue Ryan.  The rest of the Clay County elected officials have circled around in one way or another or will soon, not wanting to rock the boat too much.  It is common knowledge in County politics that Mason and her husband, Hurlbert, are always recruiting individuals they believe can be controlled and manipulated to run for County offices.  If they come across an elected official that cannot easily be bullied, they will sign their recruit up for that office and spend time and money trying to ensure their guy wins.

Many meetings have been occurring and much planning and coercing has been done in preparation of the early months of 2011.  Here is a glimpse into the near future of how Clay County will be run. The second week of November a lunch meeting occurred between newly elected Clay County Recorder of Deeds Jay Lawson and the Chief Deputy of the Recorder of Deeds’ office to discuss matters concerning that office.  Curiously enough, also at that meeting were newly elected Clay County Presiding Commissioner Pam Mason, County Assessor Cathy Rinehart and unsuccessful Democrat primary County Clerk candidate Sherry Duffett.  One of the topics of conversation during that meeting was the Recorder’s Preservation Fund.  This is a fund that is held in the County Treasury, but how the funds are spent are under the sole discretion of the County Recorder of Deeds for use in his office.  A few hundred thousand dollars each year are spent without the approval of the County Commission per state law.  Why would the County’s Presiding Commissioner be so interested in this money, since she has no control over it?  I can only speculate at this time, but it would seem that Mason’s husband, former Clay County Auditor Vic Hurlbert needs a job to be close to his wife in Clay County.  The perfect solution may just be for Recorder Lawson to hire Mr. Hurlbert to work in the Recorder’s office using the money from the Recorder’s Preservation fund to pay him.  Time will soon tell if the speculation is correct.

There are other people that are owed jobs to payback loyalty and political favors to Mason and Hurlbert.  Watch to see which elected officials are used to place these individuals.  Cherie Warren was Hurlbert’s loyal Chief Deputy during his tenure as Clay County Auditor.  She resigned shortly after Sheila Ernzen was appointed by Governor Nixon when Hurlbert resigned to avoid being thrown out of office by a Special Prosecutor.   Warren’s resignation was due to one of her co-workers ratting her out about a county owned laptop that wasn’t reported to the CPA firm that the County Commission hired to do an audit of the office when Hurlbert left.  Warren was a loyal supporter of Hurlbert, going so far as to secretly record conversations with the County Counselor and other County employees for Hurlbert.  She worked hard to run the office in his absence, but her knowledge of real world accounting theory and practice wasn’t enough to be able to prepare the County’s financial statements, prepare the schedules needed for audits or reconcile the County’s general ledger.

When Warren resigned, Hurlbert called his friend and political ally Platte County Auditor, Siobhann Williams.  Williams hired Warren, at first part-time and then when able, Warren was hired full time.  Williams, a CPA, lost her re-election bid to an individual who knows nothing about accounting in November and may need a job come January 3.

You can look for Cherie Warren to arrive to work January 3 to begin work as the chief deputy auditor for newly elected auditor William James Norris.  Maybe she learned enough working in the Platte County Auditor’s office to help Norris limp through the next four years.  Warren will want to be paid for her service to Norris, so look for someone in the County Auditor’s office to be terminated soon.  The plan was to terminate the part-time employee, but that will lead to some hefty lawsuits for Norris and Clay County taxpayers if that is done.  It will be interesting to see how Hurlbert and Mason work around that.  Hurlbert already got a long-time auditor’s office employee of 30 years to retire two years early to open some salary budget dollars for Warren, but Warren wants more.

The next question is will Williams also be hired by Norris.  It’s possible, but more likely that Hurlbert and Mason will talk the County Commission into creating a new Finance Director position or something similar for Williams with the sole duty of financial reporting.  It is definitely needed at this time in light of the lack of experience and knowledge of newly elected Auditor Norris.

There are others that will be given sweet rewards for their loyalty and favors as well and every elected officeholder will be used to help dole out those rewards.  With Mason and Hurlbert the question is never, “What have you done for me?”, the question is rather, “What have you done for me LATELY?”  It’s time for Clay County to wake up and pay attention to who they have elected into their local government, I’m sounding the alarm and it’s up to you whether or not you push the snooze button.

Clay County Minuteman Paul Revere

Wake up Clay County! There’s a new queen in town and you put her there.  Pam Mason was sworn in the last week of December to the office of Clay County Presiding Commissioner in the most political swearing in ceremony in the history of Clay County.  Mason has a reputation of demanding that those around her bow down and kiss her ring.  Her agenda will be driven by revenge and the desire to punish anyone who has ever dared to tell her no.

Pam Mason is a lot of things, but there are two things she is not.  She is not patient, and she is not a team player.  2011 will start off very interesting for Clay County political junkies.  It will be interesting to watch as Mason and Eastern Commissioner Katee Porter hold their noses long enough to use each other for some things that both of them want.  Porter is the only current Clay County elected official that has nothing to lose and will not be susceptible to  the bullying and manipulating that Mason is so good at.  Commissioner Porter will use Mason while attempting to further her agenda of what she thinks is best for Clay County and Commissioner Mason will use Porter in an attempt to even the score for past perceived wrongs.

Pam Mason lost the elected office of County Clerk four years ago to Tom Brandom, after having held the office for 12 years.  Losing to Brandom devastated Mason since he had sued her personally, along with a few others and Clay County taxpayers a few years earlier in a legal matter.  He was awarded quite a large settlement in 2003.  Mason has a long history with Clay County and current County employees.

Mason’s agenda as Presiding Commissioner will be driven by her “hit list” of Clay County employees who she hopes will soon be searching for jobs.  Topping that list are County Administrator Alexa Barton, Commission Secretary Ruth Bocchino, County Clerk Accounts Payable Clerk Diane Phillips, IT employee Diane Clifton and Parks Director Charlie Barr.  Each of these individuals has at one time stood up to Pam Mason or Mason’s husband.  It won’t stop with County employees.  Chambers of Commerce, Boards and Commissions, outside agencies and members of other governments within Clay County will not be immune.  Beware if Pam Mason ever asked you to do something and you did not comply.

Queen Mason’s royal Court is growing by the day.  The closest members are County Sheriff Bob Boydston and County Assessor Cathy Rinehart who worked hard to get Mason elected, also included are her husband, former County Auditor Vic Hurlbert, former County Public Administrator Beverly Sue Ryan, State Representative Ryan Silvey and State Senator Luann Ridgeway.  The rest of the Clay County elected officials have circled around in one way or another or will soon, not wanting to rock the boat too much.  It is common knowledge in County politics that Mason and her husband, Hurlbert, are always recruiting individuals they believe can be controlled and manipulated to run for County offices.  If they come across an elected official that cannot easily be bullied, they will sign their recruit up for that office and spend time and money trying to ensure their guy wins.

Many meetings have been occurring and much planning and coercing has been done in preparation of the early months of 2011.  Here is a glimpse into the near future of how Clay County will be run. The second week of November a lunch meeting occurred between newly elected Clay County Recorder of Deeds Jay Lawson and the Chief Deputy of the Recorder of Deeds’ office to discuss matters concerning that office.  Curiously enough, also at that meeting were newly elected Clay County Presiding Commissioner Pam Mason, County Assessor Cathy Rinehart and unsuccessful Democrat primary County Clerk candidate Sherry Duffett.  One of the topics of conversation during that meeting was the Recorder’s Preservation Fund.  This is a fund that is held in the County Treasury, but how the funds are spent are under the sole discretion of the County Recorder of Deeds for use in his office.  A few hundred thousand dollars each year are spent without the approval of the County Commission per state law.  Why would the County’s Presiding Commissioner be so interested in this money, since she has no control over it?  I can only speculate at this time, but it would seem that Mason’s husband, former Clay County Auditor Vic Hurlbert needs a job to be close to his wife in Clay County.  The perfect solution may just be for Recorder Lawson to hire Mr. Hurlbert to work in the Recorder’s office using the money from the Recorder’s Preservation fund to pay him.  Time will soon tell if the speculation is correct.

There are other people that are owed jobs to payback loyalty and political favors to Mason and Hurlbert.  Watch to see which elected officials are used to place these individuals.  Cherie Warren was Hurlbert’s loyal Chief Deputy during his tenure as Clay County Auditor.  She resigned shortly after Sheila Ernzen was appointed by Governor Nixon when Hurlbert resigned to avoid being thrown out of office by a Special Prosecutor.   Warren’s resignation was due to one of her co-workers ratting her out about a county owned laptop that wasn’t reported to the CPA firm that the County Commission hired to do an audit of the office when Hurlbert left.  Warren was a loyal supporter of Hurlbert, going so far as to secretly record conversations with the County Counselor and other County employees for Hurlbert.  She worked hard to run the office in his absence, but her knowledge of real world accounting theory and practice wasn’t enough to be able to prepare the County’s financial statements, prepare the schedules needed for audits or reconcile the County’s general ledger.

When Warren resigned, Hurlbert called his friend and political ally Platte County Auditor, Siobhann Williams.  Williams hired Warren, at first part-time and then when able, Warren was hired full time.  Williams, a CPA, lost her re-election bid to an individual who knows nothing about accounting in November and may need a job come January 3.

You can look for Cherie Warren to arrive to work January 3 to begin work as the chief deputy auditor for newly elected auditor William James Norris.  Maybe she learned enough working in the Platte County Auditor’s office to help Norris limp through the next four years.  Warren will want to be paid for her service to Norris, so look for someone in the County Auditor’s office to be terminated soon.  The plan was to terminate the part-time employee, but that will lead to some hefty lawsuits for Norris and Clay County taxpayers if that is done.  It will be interesting to see how Hurlbert and Mason work around that.  Hurlbert already got a long-time auditor’s office employee of 30 years to retire two years early to open some salary budget dollars for Warren, but Warren wants more.

The next question is will Williams also be hired by Norris.  It’s possible, but more likely that Hurlbert and Mason will talk the County Commission into creating a new Finance Director position or something similar for Williams with the sole duty of financial reporting.  It is definitely needed at this time in light of the lack of experience and knowledge of newly elected Auditor Norris.

There are others that will be given sweet rewards for their loyalty and favors as well and every elected officeholder will be used to help dole out those rewards.  With Mason and Hurlbert the question is never, “What have you done for me?”, the question is rather, “What have you done for me LATELY?”  It’s time for Clay County to wake up and pay attention to who they have elected into their local government, I’m sounding the alarm and it’s up to you whether or not you push the snooze button.

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Comments
  1. Don Brown says:

    Sounds like a Sheila Ernzen email to me

    ” She worked hard to run the office in his absence, but her knowledge of real world accounting theory and practice wasn’t enough to be able to prepare the County’s financial statements, prepare the schedules needed for audits or reconcile the County’s general ledger”

    Who else would know anything about that? Hell there aren’t even that many people in Clay Co that know the Auditors office does those things.

    • Mike Robinson says:

      I want to thank Clay County Minuteman Paul Revere for their comments. In regarding to who it is, who knows. There are many people who work in the auditors office who have to be able to run the office in the absence of the auditor. I don’t think that Ms. Ernzen, having been so insulted and having her little girl brought into the campaign, PUBLICALLY, would want to get in. I know I wouldn’t if I lost a tough campaign with the supporters of the opponent bashing my family. Then we wonder why good people don’t want to run for office, it’s because of people who run campaigns and smear tactics like Pam Mason and supporters of William Norris did. I do wish all of them well for I want to see the county do well, but, it’ll be interesting on the county level for a few years.

      And I would beg to differ on the amount that people know about what goes on in the auditors office. Keep in mind, elected officials have friends, and they aren’t “sworn to secrecy” or have anything that is “Top Secret”. That is something that I’m glad you don’t have to have is a “Top Secret Security Clearance” to be auditor otherwise our current auditor, William James Norris, wouldn’t be able to serve because of his past.

    • Robo says:

      Paul Revere is absolutely right. Clay Co has elected a bunch of miscreants and montebanks and they will be watched carefully.

  2. Allan (Frank) Phillips says:

    The long and short of “Wake up Clay County” is the author is so clearly Tom Brandom, the FORMER PRESIDING COMMISSIONER and FORMER COUNTY CLERK of Clay County.

    His hatred toward Pam Mason and her husband is well documented. Once again, if the author is in fact Tom, he has proven he lacks the forthrightness and courage to plainly state who he is. Something only cowards are capable of doing. Most well informed readers already know it was Tommy boy up to his dirty style of mudslinging and so sad that others who do not know Tommy’s history, simply buy into his misplaced and inaccurate style of reporting without having the background to make an informed decision.

    In the view of so many only a cowardly mudslinger would hide from the light of day and fail to give his name. Many Clay Countians feel the article fits Tommy to a “T”. One day ole Tommy boy will slip up and be exposed for what so many already think, a fraud of the 1st order. For he is not as clever nor as bright as he thinks himself to be. But without question, is, anally retentive.

  3. T.J. says:

    Mason lied. Not only did she not reduce the sales tax but she increased this years budget by a million dollars!!

  4. Ann says:

    So, it’s January 25, 2013, and yes, Pam Mason got rid of Ruth Bocchino. Another person to mark off of her hit list. And you should find out how they got rid of Ms. Bocchino. I’ve never seen anyone treated with such disrespect and hatefulness. And for LuAnn Ridgeway to come into office and to bring in the daughter of a fellow congresswoman in Jeff City. While LuAnn purports to want to get rid of cronyism. Ha. What a joke. And to hire a little 27 year old daughter and to pay this little girl $12,000 more a year than the current salary? How does that happen? Not how, I know how these folks like to give themselves raises that Clay County doesn’t have. But why? Why do we as citizens not care enough to watch these people. I do hope that Charter Government passes this time. And the lawsuit against Pam Mason and Vic Hurlburt regarding the wall. My understanding it’s been dismissed. And LuAnn Ridgeway voted to dismiss it. She should have recused herself from the vote as she campaigned for Hurlburt when he ran for office. And she probably campaigned for Pam Mason as well. How much are these people going to cost the citizens of Clay County?

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