Posts Tagged ‘Clay County Assessor’

Zero hour approaches… Which means Clay County primary voters will be given the ability to further screw up the county.

Even though I’m a card carrying and dues paying Libertarian, I usually pull a Republican primary ballot because, in theory, they’re the closest ideologically to where I stand on some things. Plus, Libertarians usually only have one candidate per race if we’re lucky, so it’s mostly pointless to pull a Libertarian primary ballot.

Watching the Republicans the last four years has become exceptionally painful. What was once a party of principles (at least I thought) has been consumed by factions, partisanship, and Trump worship. On many days, it’s not much different than the Democrat party of the Obozo years. The Democrat party of 2020 is filled with Marxist psychopaths that scare me half to death. Until more Americans wake up, we’re dealt the hand we’re dealt, and we’ve got to play the cards as they are.

There are two races at the local level that I’m most concerned about. Those races are Clay County Eastern Commissioner (in which I live inside of) and Clay County Assessor. I have no comments on the Western Commissioner race as I quit spending time and energy worrying about races I have no say in.

For the last eight years, we’ve been tortured by the endless chaos, disrespect of the citizens, and fiscal waste brought on by Commissioners LuAnn Ridgeway and Gene Owen. And in 2020, we all get to begin anew because both of these parasites figured out that it’s probably better to end their political careers than attempt to face the voters.

Thanks you two, you won’t be missed. Enjoy your gubmint pension. We all know you worked so hard for it the last 8 years.

I got to somewhat know Megan Thompson through the time when I ran TheNorthlandNews.com. I always found her friendly, polite, and she seemed to have the best interests of the County at heart. Frankly, it pains me a little to write what I’m about to write because I always found her so likable. But, my agenda since I started this blog close to 10 years ago is not to make people like me, it’s always been about what’s best for my community when it comes to politics. Truth has no agenda.

I’ve spent much of my adult life in business and business leadership. What is required after the election is going to be an impressive exercise in personnel management and leadership. I suspect that quite a few people are going to lose their jobs. There’s a high probability tax revenues will be down. Tough decisions are going to have to be made. This is not going to be a task for the timid.

To me, this is a simple decision when you put Doug Ervin and Megan Thompson’s career and life experiences beside one another on paper. There’s just no way a person could justify voting for Megan Thompson in this election when you examine the needs of the task at hand.

I’ve seen some real dumb stuff come off the tips of people’s fingers on the ole’ Facebook groups about Ervin the last couple of weeks.

“Jeff City Politician”, or “career politician” or “outsider”. I’ve also seen the exceptionally brilliant comment that he’s just another Ridgeway.

That’s just idiotic.

The saddest part of American politics, especially local politics, is we like to reduce people to the simplest thing we don’t like when we think we don’t like them. It would do people well to dig a little deeper.

Did Ervin serve in the Missouri State Legislature?

Yep, sure did, and unlike a lot of the people that go down to that absolute Hell hole, he didn’t lose sight of who he was. And I might point out, he didn’t stay down there. A House seat, didn’t turn into a Senate seat, and then turn into a statewide run. Ervin came back home and went back into the private sector. That’s an act of true service.

The county is an absolute mess, and there’s a growing risk it may become a financial mess as we move forward into the 2020s as the affects of Covid are yet to be fully realized.

His education and private sector experience is absolutely best suited for the job. Ervin holds dual degrees in mathematics and business administration. He’s a Senior Director for Cerner. For 22 years he’s managed projects, people, and budgets.

Might I remind everyone that Cerner has revenue in the billions of dollars. The Clerks office deals with revenue in the thousands. Oh, and they file stuff.

Cerner is a company that deals with the health care sector. It is arguably in one of, if not the most, highly regulated sectors of the entire economy. Ervin has led teams inside of this environment successfully.

While Megan Thompson is a good person (seriously, I can’t stress this point enough, none of this is meant as a personal attack), while she’s absolutely taken some slings and arrows from the idiots on the commission, there’s nothing in her professional experience that even remotely says she’s more qualified for the position than Ervin. I don’t know what Ervin’s annual income is, but I assure you, this position pales in comparison to what he makes now. He’s not doing this because he needs to do it. He’s doing it because he wants to serve the people.

You should vote for people that have the qualifications for the job, and are best able to articulate a plan. That’s what real leaders do. Unfortunately, this campaign has largely happened on Facebook, but in the category of who has created a plan, and who has a vision, Ervin has handily proven himself to be ready for the job.

For anyone that’s curious and wants to educate themselves, visit the Ervin for Clay County Commission Facebook Page and read the multiple Notes that the campaign has released. The only thing we’ve seen out of the Thompson campaign is decently polished ads or mailers with one liner platitudes like, “Clean up Clay County Government”, or “I’m a conservative”, or “Megan Backs the Badge.” Good grief… There’s no plan for what she wants to do. Saying you want to “Clean up Clay County” is nice, but we’d kind of expect that if you’re running in this race.

The question is what are you going to DO?

Ervin has clearly answered that, Thompson hasn’t even begun to answer it.

The next race that concerns me is the County Assessor race. Truth be told, this race concerns me more than any others because there’s a real risk that the County could suffer some serious consequences if they make the wrong decision here.

There are three candidates in it: Tracy Baldwin, Chris Lonsdale, and Bill Keefer.

There’s one clear choice in this race, and that’s Tracy Baldwin. Baldwin has worked in the office since 2009 and served as the deputy assessor for the last 3 years.

In other words, he’s the guy with the most experience here.

In 2020, with what is potentially coming economically in this country, yeah, you’re going to want someone that has some clue of what to do. If we go through some sort of foreclosure crisis by year’s end, which is not improbable when you understand that all the forbearances that were granted because of Covid are probably going to have to be dealt with come October, there’s a real risk we see property values significantly affected.

Experience is going to matter.

Chris Lonsdale is reminiscent of the whole William James Norris affair that transpired years ago. Lonsdale is a young guy who has clearly been put up to running for the office because someone else had an axe to grind. He’s in his early 20s, lives at home with his parents, and up until the last week or so, didn’t even own any personal property. Supposedly, he now owns a car that was signed over to him by his parents.

Adulting is apparently really hard.

In addition to being the person who is effectively in charge of all assessment in the County, the assessor is also in charge of a sizable staff. Unless there’s some other evidence, I’m fairly certain that Lonsdale’s first real job of responsibility came just after he recently graduated from college.

Maybe the guy is like the Doogie Howser of property assessment and office management…

(Oh, wait, sorry, Chris, Doogie Howser, MD was a medical drama that ran in the early 90s on ABC. It featured a prodigy teenager who was a doctor. I was worried you wouldn’t get the reference since you weren’t even born yet.)

I doubt he’s the Doogie Howser of property assessment and office management, and this could be a real mess if he was elected.

Finally, Bill Keefer is the third candidate. Unfortunately, there’s no way to find out any in depth information about him. There’s no website and there’s barely a Facebook page. The candidate interview that the Courier did is available HERE. (As an aside, the Courier should have written the candidate interview in crayon as it’s so pathetic. Frankly, all the candidate interviews have been pathetic. Do people seriously subscribe to that newspaper?)

The biggest concern we all should have is that if Baldwin doesn’t win the primary, the Democrat candidate that is opposing him is Bruce Cantwell. Yeah, that guy, the one that ran for Recorder of Deeds who couldn’t pay his bills and taxes. He’s like Covid, he just won’t go away and keeps running for stuff.

(If this is literally all the Democrats in Clay County have to run for an important County wide race, well, you guys are desperately in trouble. There’s not one decent Democrat in all of Clay County more qualified than the guy who can’t pay his damn taxes? You do realize you have a candidate who didn’t pay his taxes and he’s freaking running for the office that assesses property so people can pay their taxes? And where in the Hell is the supposed Democratic saints of Clay County like Lauren Arthur, Mark Ellebracht, and Jon Carpenter? Is it too much to ask of you guys to come out and say something about this?)

There are a few top ballot primaries Republicans will cast votes on.

I can’t stand Governor Parson.

I had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting him several years ago when I attended the State of the State speech when Greitens was still Governor. I spent several minutes with him in his office in a private conversation. I found Parson to be of low intellect and incredibly uninspiring. All the guy wanted to do was tell me how great he was, and he had little interest in what I had to say.

Republican voters have a decent primary challenger with Dr. Jim Neely. Neely is actually a state representative from this area. I also met him in Jeff City at that same speech. He’d easily be better than Parson.

I also respect Neely for his willingness to speak out against the forced Covid lockdowns and the mask mandates (sorry peeps, wear a mask if you want, but my Libertarian hairs on my neck start rising when the government tells me to wear a particular article of clothing or forcibly closes businesses in the name of safety).

I’ll be voting for Neely in the primary, and if Parson wins, I’ll be voting for the Libertarian candidate (Rik Combs) in this race come November.

There is a primary for Lt. Governor. The current Lt. Governor is on the ballot and will likely win. It’s a mostly useless position although we strangely saw a Lt. Governor promoted to Governor because of the whole Greiten’s affair. The odds of that happening again are quite low. I’m not spending any energy on this one. I’ll likely fill the bubble for Kehoe and move on about my life.

Finally, there is one constitutional amendment on the ballot. The forces of darkness, also known as “progressive” Democrats, have successfully managed to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot. You’re voting for your own financial demise as a state if you vote yes on this thing. Missouri is already teetering on the edge of making this state far less desirable for capital. This will be one more thing that just creates more budget problems. We already have a ridiculously high state income tax, and budgetary shortfalls this thing eventually creates will have to be remedied somehow.

Want to know more? Listen to this Podcast from the Show-Me institute that lines out the risks involved in doing this.

Have you ever seen the Cathy Rinehart letter where both Pam Mason and Vic Hurlbert endorsed Cathy Rinehart for Clay County Assessor?

Our conservative hero Vic Hurlbert says “Cathy Rinehart runs the most financially solvent and well managed office in Clay County.” And our conservative hero’s wife says “Cathy is a person of honesty and integrity. She is so thrifty she can squeeze a Buffalo nickel until it cries.” (As a side note, that is quite possibly the dumbest endorsement statement I have ever seen.”

Yes folks, the same Cathy Rinehart who has cost the taxpayers of Clay County $1.2 million dollars to settle four sexual harassment law suits. Of that amount, the county paid $400,000 and the insurance trust paid $800,000. Just imagine how many unauthorized walls the county could have built with that? Oh, wait…

Oh, yeah, and then there is this. A FIFTH law suit filed against Clay County and Cathy Rinehart’s office on July 24th.

The case type?

CC Employmnt Discrmntn 213.111

Financially solvent, integrity, and Buffalo nickels…or something.

Ah, Clay County politics, it is always so entertaining. Thankfully we have an exceptional newspaper like the Liberty Tribune to keep you informed, err….wait…. Anyway, I have some information on the Republican Clay County Assessor’s race.

A Meandering’s tipster tells me that Phil Wilson may be friends with Vic Hurlbert and Pam Mason. As usual Pam and Vic need to have some pawn in the game, so this is probably the case and the reason he is in the race. (Word is Vic thinks he is a Clay County political kingmaker.) Supposedly, Wilson once tried to be appointed to county office as a Democrat. He also has some ties to current Assessor and sexual harassment lawsuit extraordinaire Cathy Rinehart.

Don Jobe is actually Cathy Rinehart’s ex-husband. There is an odd history here, supposedly Rinehart in the recent past hired him as her Chief Appraiser so that he could keep contribute to their son’s college education. At some point the son either left college or graduated, the dad stopped paying child support, and then Ms. Rinehart fired him. In an attempt to prevent a lawsuit he was given a job with the county in the facilities management department. Now as bad as this all sounds, I have been told that Mr. Jobe is a good candidate and is a competent appraiser. My point here is more directed at Ms. Rinehart, not Mr. Jobe. Ms. Rinehart sure is an attorney’s dream!

Finally, the third candidate is Jesse Leimkuehler. I spoke with Mr. Leimkuehler a couple of weeks ago. I was very much impressed with him, and relieved that he appears to be sane and in the race for the right reasons. Here is an email that he sent to me.

My name is Jesse Leimkuehler.  I’m 37 years old and I’m a lifetime resident of the KC metro area.  As you correctly cited, I have filed as a candidate for Clay County Assessor on the Republican side of the ticket.  I would note that I have been a regular follower of your blog and noticed some ‘issues’ with our county office holders.  I see the same names and same issues coming up time and time again in our local media reports and always thought to myself, “There has to be some better options than that.”

I carry two bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Accounting from William Jewell College along with a Masters Degree in Accounting Information Systems.  I worked for Sprint and the US Dept. of Agriculture for 12 years in various IT roles.  Over the past two years, I have turned my attention locally.  I quit my job as a IT professional to turn my attention to assisting my family in what I believe is the most important project that is and will be undertaken in Liberty over the next 10 years.  We have transformed what most Clay County residents know as ‘The Odd Fellows Home’ into Belvoir Winery, a winery and event location that our Liberty and Clay County residents can be proud of as a regional treasure.  We have seen local and regional visitors flock to our site with a sense of pride about their city/county.

We have created two full time positions and several seasonal/part-time positions to boost the local economy when most business are cutting employees and reducing payroll.  I have worked with local and county leaders extensively to not only boost our own business, but also boost local and regional business through networking and references.  We have increased the demand for local industries such as caterers, florist, photographers, and wedding planners along with some secondary retail effects.  We allow not-for-profit groups to use our facilities at no charge on weekdays, allowing them to hold their event at a local facility and maximize their fundraising dollars to boost the local community.  I believe it’s the responsibility of all citizens and businesses to find ways to help others within their community in some way.

I now turn my attention to what I believe is a severely neglected asset in our community: our county government.  There are far too many candidates/incumbents that do not serve the best interests of our county.  They collect the full-time paychecks from the taxpayers while only working part-time hours.  They neglect their leadership responsibilities within their office, which has cost the taxpayers literally millions of dollars in certain cases.  They ride the coat tails of name recognition rather than proving their worth as an officer of the general public.

I’m part of a growing movement within the county to enact real improvement within our local government.  I’m not promising the world, but I am promising that I will provide stable leadership within our county office that our residents can be proud to see.  People ask me why I’d want to involve myself in the cesspool of local politics.  To that, I respond that I’m not involving myself in the cesspool at all.  Rather, I’m looking to clean up that cesspool and bring our local government back to the high level that should be expected.  This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue.  This is about putting someone in the office who can effectively provide leadership in a situation that currently lacks that leadership.