Posts Tagged ‘Representative T.J. Berry’

Well, Missouri Legislators are back in session. Odds are good this is not a good thing, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed. I received this update from my state representative, T.J. Berry. I thought I would put it up. I especially enjoyed his response to Clay County Assessor Cathy Rinehart’s letter that you should have received with your property tax assessment list. It seems Ms. Rinehart is busy trying to save the folks some money. That’s good when you consider all the money the sexual harassment law suits cost us a few years back. She’s apparently older and wiser this year, she has dumped the proposal to assess vehicles by weight. I guess she’s trying to focus her energies. For the record, I don’t support her idea to allow assessors to choose which assessment guide they use. NADA is the most accurate and well recognized source for automobile values in the country. Furthermore, as Representative Berry states below, we don’t need a different set of standards from one county to the next. It seems to me Ms. Rinehart is trying to look conservative and suck up to the voters. Don’t fall for it, she needs to go.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and I wish you the best in the New Year.


Missouri legislative session begins each year at noon on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January. We will be in session through the second week in May.


The newly drawn redistricting maps were completed in early December. There has been a drastic change across the state. The 35th district has been split by our Appellate Court Judges into the new 12th and 38th House Districts. I now reside in the new 38th District. Redistricting lines will not take effect until the election of 2012. I will continue to represent the 35th District for twelve more months.

The Smithville area of Clay County has been added to the 12th Senatorial District. The district now includes over 183,000 people and all of Ray, Caldwell, Clinton, Andrew, Holt, Atchison, DeKalb, Nodaway, Gentry, Harrison, Worth, and Davies Counties.

Links to the new maps are below; Please take a look to see which of the new districts you live in.

State Senate: New Senate Districts

State House: New House Districts 

Personal Property Tax 

Everyone should have recently received a letter from the Clay county assessor’s office dealing with vehicle property tax assessment. This is the second year the Assessor has requested the ability to use either the Kelly Blue Book or NADA value. It is important to use the same standard across the state’s 114 counties. The Assessor would like to make this decision at the discretion of their office. I have a reluctance to grant politicians the ability to manipulate tax revenues during election cycles. I would welcome your input on this matter.

Bill Information

If you would like to track legislation you may log on to and select “Bill Information” and then select “Bill Tracking”. You may search by topic or bill number. If you want to track the bills that I have either sponsored or co-sponsored, just enter my last name and you will be able to look at each of those also.

Capitol Reports

If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving this Capitol Report, they can click the “Capitol Report Signup” button on my member home page at and enter the appropriate information to receive the Capitol Report. As always if you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact my office at (573) 751 – 2238 or by email at

Until our next update, I am in your service.

Have you seen the new house and district maps yet? If not here they are:

House Apportionment for Clay County

Senate Apportionment for Clay County

We now have six and about one-third house districts in Clay. District 8 comes south and grabs Lawson and stops just shy of Kearney. I’m not going to throw a fit about the reapportionment. The word is the whole process was a mess with many of the Democrats acting like really mature middle school students. So, the process was thrown to the judges and we ended up with this. The odds are good that any legal challenge won’t go anywhere, so we may have to just deal with it. The solution is simple; find good candidates and win.

House Districts:

District 12 (Smithville, and most of Kearney): The word is Smithville Police Chief Ken Wilson will be running for this new district.

District 15 (incl. Oakview, Oakwood Park, Oakwood, Oaks, Gladstone, and a weird dip south into North Kansas City near Briarcliff): Kevin Corlew has declared his candidacy on the Republican side.

District 16 (North of District 15, from the border of Clay/Platte County east to 35 North, almost South to 35/435 interchange, basically most of the northern part of Kansas City): This is my district. The rumor is Vic Hurlbert will be running for the House seat. Yep, that’s what I said. What was I saying about recruiting quality candidates? I wonder if Noel Shull is interested in running again? From what I remember he lives in the district. He ran against T.J. Berry last cycle. He has an excellent business background and would make a great candidate.

District 17 (SE of District 16, Randolph, Birmingham, Claycomo, Glenaire, and Part of Liberty): It appears this will be the district where Rep. Myron Neth will be running.

District 18 (South of Districts 15/16, Avondale and North Kansas City): So far I haven’t heard of anyone that is running.

District 38 (East of Districts 12/16/17, Southern part of Kearney, Excelsior Springs, Mosby, Prathersville, Missouri City, NE tip of Kansas City, and the rest of Liberty): This appears to be where Rep. T.J. Berry will be running.

Senate Districts:

District 17 (Smithville, Liberty, Kansas City (North), North Kansas City, southern border is the Missouri River, western border is Platte County): This is the district that Rep. Ryan Silvey lives in and he has already declared for a Senate seat.

District 12: (This is a monster; includes NE Clay, Ray, Clinton, Caldwell, Daviess, DeKalb, Andrew, Harrison, Gentry, Worth, Nodaway, Atchison, and Holt counties): Bob Nance has expressed interest in running for state Senate, this is where it would happen.

I was forwarded a letter by a member of the Republican Clay County Central Committee. In it the Central Committee asks the members of the Clay County General Assembly to consider looking at the qualifications of the Auditor candidate:

To effectively safeguard and account for county resources in Clay County and
other larger Missouri counties (e.g., populations greater than 200,0008 or,
alternatively, first-class counties), should candidates for county auditor in such
counties be required to meet higher, more objective qualification requirements
than are currently specified in the Missouri statutes?

They also ask them to consider whether or not there should be a more extensive process of screening candidates:

…to consider whether county election boards have adequate and
appropriate authority and tools to verify the accuracy of information supplied by candidates in
their candidacy declarations and election filings.12 The Legislature could consider, for example,
whether background checks should be included in the process to ensure that candidates for public
office do not fail to meet the candidacy requirements on account of past federal or state crimes.

Please click here to read the full PDF of the Letter to Clay County state legislators 11-28-11.

I appreciate what the Central Committee is doing here. The statutory requirements for Auditor need adjustment so nothing like the fiasco that has transpired over the last year can ever happen again.