JCGA Local Candidate Forum Recap

30 Sep

This past Thursday, the Jefferson County Growth Association hosted a candidate forum at Jefferson College for candidates for county offices. Video of this event is available online, and was posted quite promptly, to my surprise and utter delight. I have reviewed the footage, as a public service, and here is my recap. Fenton Patch has also summarized the event.

The moderator of the event did not share his name on the video, but I believe it was a guy named Chris Hagen from the JCGA. He is a funny guy. As I go into the speakers, I will provide times on the video at which they appear, so you can search for specific segments if you so desire.

1:40Div 1 Circuit Judge GOP candidate Stan Schnaare – Stan stated that the race comes down to his Republican views vs. his opponent’s Democratic views; this is a contest of philosophies. He contrasted his opponent’s career of government service to his own in private practice by saying “I have no security for [sic] a monthly check” and “unlike government employees, I pay for my own expenses.”

The moderator joked about his family history of getting parking tickets in college.

7:25Div 1 Circuit Judge Democrat candidate (incumbent) Bob Wilkins – Bob started by saying proudly, yes I am a public servant. But he sought to downplay the partisan aspect of the race, saying he doesn’t think judges should run under party labels. He emphasized his pro-life, Catholic, NRA-member credentials (apparently trying to soft-pedal the “D” by his name on the ballot).

The moderator explained that Sheriff Boyer could not attend the meeting due to a prior engagement. He says Boyer proposed that JCGA to move the meeting date. He also sent in a letter to be read, which, for whatever reason, the moderator did not read. I think he should have.

15:30Sheriff GOP candidate Dan Stallman – Dan emphasized the county’s drug problems, saying the people who commit assaults and burglaries are the same people involved in drugs. He wants to bring back the DARE program, which he worked in for 14 years with the sheriff’s office, back to area locals. He also wants to get 35 more officers on the street, noting that Sheriff Boyer always says he’s 35 people short.

The moderator announced that JCGA president Dan Govero will streak across campus if everyone in attendance joins the group; and also that Ken Horton (GOP treasurer candidate) was sick and could not attend.

22:20Treasurer Democrat candidate (incumbent) Linda Nees – Linda outlined the difficulty of the job, and said she will continue to do it (stay the course, I guess). She also talked about how she invests any idle money the county has to grow it.

The moderator introduced JeffCo student Lauren Robinson (Festus grad) to read statewide Proposition A (St. Louis police local control). He then announces that “the other gentleman” in the assessor race “was sick or out of town.” He was referring to GOP candidate Robert Boyer.

29:00Assessor Democrat candidate (incumbent) Terry Roesch – Terry said that, in 23 years, the county’s Residential Assessed Value Ratio has never been over the state-mandated limit. There have been only 20 appeals by homeowners of their assessments in last two years (versus 3,700 in St. Charles Co. and 16,000 in St. Louis Co.); that’s a sign that they are fair, he argued. He wants to allow personal property declarations to be submitted online, not just by mail (this would save $30,000 per year if half of county residents filed this way, he said).

The moderator talked up sponsors and discussed the proposed Mississippi River port.

36:45Public Administrator Democrat candidate (incumbent) Bruce King – Most of the candidates here gave their Jefferson County credentials. Bruce may have topped everyone by boasting that his family has been here for over 100 years. He said that, in all his time in the office, and all the audits he’s been subjected to, he’s never received a citation.

41:30GOP candidate Steve Farmer – Steve claimed to be THE Constitutional conservative candidate in this race (this seems to me to be an odd office for a Tea Party type of guy to want to run for). He said that, upon retiring from the military, he has been getting involved in local politics, attending and speaking at Arnold and JeffCo Council meetings, and serving in the Jefferson County Tea Party (he recently led it for a time). He mentioned that King hasn’t faced a competitive race since 2004 and that it’s time for a new perspective. He plans to practice fiscal responsibility for clients and taxpayers.

Lawyer and event sponsor Bob Kister came up to read statewide Proposition E (to ban establishment of a state health insurance exchange without legislative action). The moderator extolled the campus, and told attendees to go wander around after forum.

51:00County council district 2 GOP candidate (incumbent) Renee Reuter – Renee just came from a council meeting at which they lowered taxes. They were able to do this for several reasons: the establishment of the municipal court is on track to bring in over $800,000 this year, they closely scrutinized bid awards (e.g. a request for $325,000 for safety shoes for some county employees – the council cut this by 90%), they limited county vehicle fuel use which saved over $100,000 dollars this year, they refinanced debt and saved $2 million. In all this, no cuts were made to county services, and 10 more full-time sheriff’s office employees were hired. She stated “some may say that I create controversy, but well-behaved women rarely make history,” and that she represents her district with “passion and vigor.”

56:25District 2 Democrat candidate Cheryl Hermann – Cheryl’s main goals are: a clean environment, an efficient council, adequate housing, jobs, and the port. She said the council needs collaboration, that the current council means well but is not very effective. She states that the members micromanage and put personal agendas first. In the Jab Of The Night (direct video link), she wryly said that “one county council person even walked out of a council meeting because things on the agenda weren’t numbered correctly” (she does not mention, maybe in the spirit of civility, that her opponent was this person). She claimed that the Fox School Board, on which she serves, does collaborate and is effective.

The moderator promoted next week’s state/federal candidate forum (Tuesday, 10/2); they are negotiating to give candidates more speaking time to entice them to appear.

1:03:20County council district 6 GOP candidate Kevin Harned – Kevin has a moustache and has never run for office. He outlined two governing philosophies  – the first is to protect citizens from themselves via restrictions because people make bad choices, and the second is his – lessen restrictions and burdens that limit freedom and economic growth. He states that many people choose to live in rural JeffCo to avoid subdivisions and cities and their rules (editor’s note: HELL YES WE DO).

The moderator said his kid went to prom with the sister of Brittany Borman, the Festus 2012 Olympian in the javelin (humble brag). He tells that she (Breanne) broke a bunch of Brittany’s high school track records, and that we may have another Olympian from our county in four years. I think Brittany would respond “Yeah, me.”

1:10:10District 6 Democrat candidate (incumbent) Cliff Lane – Cliff rounded out the night, and maybe he sensed that the crowd was getting restless or something, because he only spoke for a minute and a half. He says he “can’t do things for you personally, because [he’s] only one of seven votes, but [his] phone is always open to you.”

The moderator closed the night by reminding people that Gravois Bluffs is not in Jefferson County, and that people should shop in the county.

These candidates were not mentioned, but I find it interesting that neither of the participants in the heavyweight race for council district 4 (George Engelbach and Tim Meadows), made an appearance at this event.

Look for a recap of the October 2 statewide office candidate forum in a few days.


4 Responses to “JCGA Local Candidate Forum Recap”

  1. Anonymous October 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Just also as an aside regarding the Engelbach/Meadows lack of appearance at the forum. Meadows was actually out of town on business and would have absolutely attended had it not been for that. Just thought that should be mentioned. Thank you.


    • JC Penknife November 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

      Thanks for the info.



  1. Tidbits from the Leader Voters Guide « Jefferson County Penknife - October 29, 2012

    […] Not in the voter guide, but in an article about campaign expenditures, we find that, as of the end of September, county council candidates George Engelbach (GOP for District 2) and Cliff Lane (Democrat incumbent in District 6) had spend $0 and $50, respectively. Their opponents had each spent about $2,000. Sure, Engelbach recycled his campaign signs from a previous race (see below), but still, not even a printed mailer? I think he’s opened up the wallet this month, though; I believe I saw a newspaper ad. As for Lane, his expenditures seem to match the terse stump speech he gave at the JCGA forum. […]


  2. JCGA Statewide Candidate Forum Recap | Jefferson County Penknife - September 27, 2013

    […] up on their local candidate forum, the Jefferson County Growth Association held a forum for candidates for statewide offices […]


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