Kenneth Kunze is a people person who's done significant work keeping the community running.
As Moniteau County Presiding Commissioner for 16 years, Kunze has several things to look back on as he retires Dec. 31.
"I'm gonna hate to leave I like it well, but I think it's time for me to go and let someone else have it for a while," Kunze said.
After four years as county energy manager director, Kunze said he was "talked into" running for presiding commissioner. He has been re-elected three times and said getting to work with the other elected officials has been his favorite part.
"It's been a rewarding job working with the other elected officials and getting things done," Kunze said.
Along with the two roads and bridges commissioners, Kunze takes care of the budget, equipment and manages property for seven official buildings. He said the size of the county can create challenges, but officials are often willing to work with them to manage the budget.
"The budget is our biggest challenge; we're a small county and the budget is one of the biggest things I'm really concerned about," Kunze said.
With offices in the Moniteau County Courthouse, the commissioners also take care of the buildings maintenance, along with the Moniteau County Jail, old jail office, homeland security office, prosecuting attorney's office and their maintenance buildings.
A continuous project throughout his time as commissioner has been physical improvements to the courthouse. New doors, windows, steps and updates to the dome have increased the look of the historic structure. To Kunze, these were just projects that needed to be done.
Before working in California, Kunze worked for the Missouri National Guard as a technician for 40 years. He transitioned from truck mechanic to aircraft and helicopter mechanic from 1961-68 in Warrensburg.
Everyday is different as commissioner and that's something Kunze likes. He said people interested in this field should get along well with others and want to get the job done.
Mac Finley won in the Republican primary election in August and was officially elected in the midterms yesterday. He will begin duties Jan. 1, 2019.
"The man that's taking my place I know he's going to be good and I'll be here to help him, if he needs me," Kunze said.
Kunze said he plans to fill his time with farming or other part-time work.