Three candidates are running for a position on the November ballot to elect Moniteau County's next District 2 Associate County Commissioner.
The winner of the Republican Primary on Aug. 4 will run unopposed in November for a four-year term. The Democrat gave all three candidates the opportunity to respond to a series of questions about their experience, why they chose to run, and their goals while in office.
For my leadership experience, I owned a successful construction company that specialized in the installation of gutters, siding, soffit and facia. I was a school board member and a member of the Moniteau County Senate Bill 40 Board when Moniteau County was in the planning phase of building a residential home. While employed at Tipton Correctional Center, I was a member of the excellence committee charged with making recommendations to administration on procedural changes and grievance issues. I have employed and supervised employees and managed many work projects to satisfaction.
I am running because I believe Moniteau County needs to move forward in a positive direction with common sense values and positive leadership. We must listen to our citizens and all county departments and consider all needs when making decisions. I believe I can improve the maintenance of our roads.
I believe that what separates me from other candidates is that I have lived in rural Moniteau County most of my life, traveling our gravel roads daily. I have worked Moniteau County road construction and maintenance for more than 10 years, with experience operating all of the equipment. I have experience extending concrete water crossings, installing culvert pipes, and repairing bridges. I have worked closely with customers to meet their needs. I am a landowner and farmer and know the impact and challenges of driving large farm related equipment on our county roads. As mentioned in my response to the leadership question, I have experience participating on committees and boards. I was a deputy sheriff for a few years working for former Moniteau County Sheriff Kenny Jones. I trained in the maintenance of heavy equipment while in the Missouri National Guard. I have followed state and federal purchasing guidelines.
There are a few issues that are important to me in running for this position. For road and bridge: we need more gravel and culvert pipes; we need to fix problems the first time; we need to develop a plan for improving the roads and then implement it; and, we need to address equipment by fixing or replacing failing equipment and eliminating underutilized equipment. Building operations, especially cleaning, are important at any time but due to the pandemic, it is very important to clean thoroughly and regularly. Not an issue, but for me as a new commissioner, I will need to learn more about all county departments and funding sources in preparation for the budget process.
As commissioner, I will be available to citizens beyond traditional part-time hours and will work hard to provide quality services to the citizens. I am open minded and will listen to anyone that approaches me. I take pride in our county and want it to be a place where people want to live. Thank you to all that have visited with me — I appreciate your honesty, encouragement and support.
Incumbent District 2 Associate County Commissioner Greg Robinson is running for re-election on the Republican ticket in the Aug. 4 primary election.
Robinson has resided in Moniteau County for 41 years. He has been married to his high school sweetheart for 48 years. They have two daughters — Melissa Hilsenbeck, of Sedalia, and Sally Martin, of Clarksburg — and five grandchildren.
Robinson was drafted into the US Army in 1970 and served two years. He is a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in California. Robinson and his wife owned California Lanes for 27 years. After selling the business, Robinson worked for Moniteau County Road and Bridge for eight years, and then for three road construction companies, which helped him to better understand road conditions.
Statute 49.9 states Robinson is responsible for Building-Health-Emergency Management, Budget and Road and Bridge. Robinson said his priority is to follow the National Association of Counties (NACO) code of ethics.
"NACO is a valuable guide for all those in whom the public has placed its trust and for a lot of decisions made by the county," Robinson said.
The BRO Bridge on Gamble Road was replaced in late May after a long three-year process. The Road and Bridge crew have replaced numerous culverts and work diligently to maintain and improve roads with an always-limiting budget.
"My goals are to serve the residents of Moniteau County to the best of my ability using my experience and knowledge I've gained in the past four years, and to help our county through challenging economic times, bridging the gap one step at a time," Robinson said.
Robinson said he is available to his constituents at any time and will continue to work to improve roads and waterways in Moniteau County, saying it is a continual work in progress to do so.
Robinson said he would appreciate voters' support and vote on Aug. 4.
Wesley Kirchner has lived in Moniteau County for 15 years. Kirchner has been married for more than 20 years and has two sons.
Kirchner spent five years as a foreman for Hentges Tree Service and was a lead carpenter for A-APAC for seven years. For the past three years, Kirchner has been employed with Moniteau County Road and Bridge on the north side of the county.
Kirchner said he is running for this position to work with the community and get the roads in the shape they need to be to handle the amount of traffic using them, as well as so they can handle the larger equipment and heavier trucks that travel them.
Kirchner said he believes his 15 years of road and bridge construction and 10 years of tree experience through Hentges, as well as his current employment, set him apart from other candidates.