Regarding public apathy concerning local, county, state and national governments,
My wife, Deborah, saved a small public notice article listing the time and place for a hearing to address salaries for county officials. Once I read it, I decided to attend the meeting.
I was the only citizen present who does not receive a salary from taxpayer money. Sadly enough, I was not surprised to find that to be the case since some citizens do not even bother to vote.
The meeting was conducted on time and in an orderly manner. I was favorably impressed that our officials were concerned about doing their parts well and were not overly concerned about their salaries. Two or three of them voiced concerns about voting pay raises for themselves as being an uncomfortable thing to do, but all unanimously agreed to vote for a 5 percent increase (as much as state laws allowed without voter approval).
Several voiced concerns about our sheriff having the lowest salary of the 14th first class counties in Missouri. No one voiced concerns about other Christian County officials who were also paid less than their counterparts in other first class counties. Others with comparably low salaries were the assessor, associate commissioner, auditor, county clerk, public administrator and treasurer.
The most concern voiced was for the sheriff. Among all these officials, Sheriff Brad Cole is probably the most likely to be hired by another county. Highly qualified and motivated law enforcement individuals are most likely of all these officials to be offered higher salary elsewhere. Surely, Christian County can find a way to pay our sheriff more than the 5 percent all these officials seem likely to receive.
Robert L. Adams