Regardless of the outcome on April 8, there will be a change in leadership coming for the city of Farmington.
Will it be sitting Councilman Charles Rorex, or maybe businesswoman Jeannie Roberts? The voters will decide who will serve the next two years — the remaining unexpired term of former mayor Kevin Engler. The post was vacated last fall when Engler was elected to serve as state representative for the 106th district. Scott Semar stepped in to serve in the interim until the upcoming election.
Jeannie Roberts says she’d like to serve as mayor out of a willingness to maintain good hometown values. She also says her reason to choose to run now is based on the request of many friends urging her to do so — friends who share the same hopes and desires for the community.
Roberts owns and operates Botaniques on the Square, located downtown. She’s married to Clinton Roberts, and chose several years ago to raise her family in the town where she grew up.
As for what she can bring to the table, Roberts says she has experience with budgets from running her own business and sitting on the board of several organizations and groups over the years. She’d like to see a new firehouse, a new addition to the public library, and see the improvements move beyond infrastructure and services to also include a prosperity and strong future for the city — a future that includes a “small town quality of life.”
With a business background, Roberts says revitalizing the downtown business district, improving sidewalks and street safety and expanding and nurturing existing businesses throughout the city would also be a priority. She says she wants Farmington to be “a town to come home to” for generations to come, just as it was to her.
Dr. Charles Rorex
Dr. Charles Rorex currently serves Ward 2 as its council representation. During his time on the council he’s served on and chaired nearly all committees. He’s also served in recent years as a member of the board of trustees at Mineral Area Regional Medical Center, and previously worked as superintendent of the Farmington R-7 School District.
“I have the energy and time to devote to the position of mayor of Farmington,” Rorex says. Now retired, he once worked as a teacher, then public school superintendent, then as a dean of Central Methodist College at Mineral Area College. During his career he also served as assistant director of school finance for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and vice-president of Human Resources at Iron Mountain Forge.
Two things Rorex is especially proud to have accomplished is the dropping of taxes both in the school district, and more recently in the city. Taxes in the Farmington R-7 district dropped from a rate of $4.15 to $2.98 during his tenure. More recently, the tax rate in the city was 57 cents (per $1,000 assessed valuation) when he was first voted to the council in 2000. The current municipal property tax rate is 48 cents.
Rorex sees Farmington as “a great place to live,” and believes he can continue to build on an already strong foundation if elected.
A side note to the election for mayor is the fact that current Mayor Semar will relinquish the position and is seeking reelection to his former council seat in Ward 1 for the remainder of the current term.