Clay County Citizen Speaks Out On Clay County Constitution Vote

Posted: November 4, 2013 in 2013 Elections, Clay County Commission
Tags: , , , , , ,

I received this from Jim Murray a little bit ago. Please make sure you get out and vote tomorrow.

Many people in Clay County have come to know me through politics, I am not a politician nor do I have any intentions of becoming one.

I am a business operator in Clay County, I am a private investigator and therefore naturally curious when things do not make sense,

Constitution Government is a hot topic and tomorrow we can all have our voices heard.

I have a number of concerns regarding our current County Commissioners and the form of government hat we have now, I believe that we have to take the steps necessary to reshape the government in Clay County,

As an investigator I have learned quite a lot about how we are currently governed.

We have a Commission made up of three people, Presiding Commissioner Pam Mason, Luanne Ridgeway and Gene Owen.

Any two votes are enough to pass resolutions.

I have learned that these three Commissioners take full advantage of this by rewarding their supporters with jobs and contracts, here are a few cases in point that I have documentation in my possession to back up what I say:

Luanne Ridgeway brought a young lady named Nicole Brown from Cole County to Clay County and installed her as the Community Relations Coordinator for Clay County and put her on the payroll at $45,000.00 per year. Did we have one of these before?

Miss Brown just happens to be the daughter of a State Representative friend of Luanne’s and she was also the campaign manager for former Missouri Speaker Rod Jetton. He is no longer in office after pleading guilty to assaulting a lady (the charges were reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.)

Gene Owen  has a friend who owns a company named Garry and Associates, This friend was awarded a county contract that pays them $95,000.00 per year to do the same exact job that was previously being done for $ 38,500.00 per year.

Pam Mason has a friend and campaign donor named Julie Welch, when the Commissioners decided to accept bids for an outside auditor they accepted five bids. The lowest bid was submitted by Cochran, Head, Vick and Company for $ 59,750.00 however the contract was awarded to Meara, Welch, Browne to the tune of $95,000.00

I don’t want to put it all on the Commissioners. I also learned that County Collector Lydia McEvoy took three people to Alaska to look at some software and spent over ten thousand taxpayer dollars to do it. When I am looking at software the vendor comes to me.

I also came into possession of an email when Mrs. McEvoy requested that a ten thousand dollar check be prepared to the firm of Husch Blackwell with regards to challenging the proposed Clay County Constitution (her words). She went so far as to request that the recipient of the email Barbara O’reilly correspond with her through her gmail account to prevent this information from being subject to the Sunshine Law.

The Commissioners and their supporters have spent tens of thousands of our dollars trying to stop this Constitution. They say your vote won’t count. No Marriage License Can Be Issued. County Employees won’t be paid. Schools will close. Jails will close. The sky will fall. They are afraid of losing their jobs, salaries, and most importantly, power.

They seek revenge against those of us who stand up to them, They wanted our former Sheriff re-elected and when that didn’t happen they retaliated by cutting the Sheriff’s Department budget to the tune of $450,000.00, placing the safety and well being of all of us at risk.

I could go on forever but you get the idea, the very corruption that they say will take place if the Constitution passes has been going on for at least the last eleven months. I didn’t make any of this up. I have it in black and white.

Tomorrow, November 5th, please join me in starting a new beginning in Clay County  government by voting Yes for the constitutional government.


Jim Murray

Private Investigator

Star Investigations LLC

License Number 2010017202

KS License D-5256




  1. J Brown says:

    Much of what I see and hear are the same fear tactics deployed by our current president during his election: spread enough falsities and try to hit the hot buttons ( senior citizens, disabled kids, etc ) and people will vote against whatever it is…a candidate or constitution, in this case.

    It is really time for two things:

    1. Term limits to Public Services (otherwise referred to as Power Grabbing)…

    2. Individual responsibility for self and family. There is not enough money for 1/2 the working age country to support the other half of the working age country….

    Vote yes for a positive change to a truly representative form of county government. As it stands now, our representatives don’t represent you or I ( I have tried calling with no response from Mason or Ridgeway )…they represent themselves.

    You can and should change this tomorrow, Nov 5th.

    • Anonymous says:

      This present constitution proposal will not fix any of the problems it will establish less accountability to the people by negating our vote which can rid us of bad bureaucracy

  2. John Sanderford says:

    Good job! A yes vote will begin to move us away from the cesspool that has become Clay County government.

  3. Lydia says:

    After MS Govern spent hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars to respond to an open RFP for software services, after their entire team spent a week in KC demonstrating a product custom built for Clay County, and after officeholders, taxing jurisdictions, and taxpayers alike all decided–in agreement with the current chair of the Republican Central Committee–that it was high time for joint software in Clay County, the County invested taxpayer dollars in essential due diligence. We could not buy a product we hadn’t actually seen in use in a county. The lessons we learned in Alaska will save the County far more money than was spent on that trip.

    Legal counsel for the Collector’s office, who limited their representation specifically to advising regarding the impact of the constitution on current levies, city collection contracts, and the legal authority of the Collector’s office, again saved the county more than they cost. Despite the fact that the vote occurred the exact week tax bills were scheduled to go out, the 2013 tax season was able to stay on track, and the people’s money will get in the door and back out to the people quickly despite the legal uncertainty of the past few months.

    Certainly, no good deed goes unpunished in Clay County politics, but I know my bedrock guiding principle every day in office is to do the job I was elected to do with integrity, skill, and care. Anyone that ever wants a direct answer about an expenditure of my office can pick up the phone or stop by and ask me directly. Speculation on a blog without all the facts doesn’t do anything to help Clay County voters make good decisions.

  4. OK Mrs. McEvoy do care to explain why you would direct a subordinate to circumvent the sunshine law or pay an Attorney ten thousand dollars of tax payers money when he only asked for one thousand? Exactly what did we get for our money, Maybe

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