Voters in Madison County will be selecting a new presiding commissioner on Tuesday.
Incumbent Robert “Bob” Mooney was defeated in the August primary, so one of two newcomers to Madison County politics will be taking over the position in January.
Republican Jason Green, 26, has lived in Cherokee Pass, south of Fredericktown, for three years. He and his wife Tasha have a 2-year-old daughter named Adah and a boy, Joshua who was just born in October.
Green has worked most of his life at Green’s Flea Market, which his parents opened in 1984.
“I even met my wife at the flea market in 2010 when she came in purse shopping and got more than she bargained for,” Green said.
In 2013 Green earned a bachelor’s degree in international business with a minor in accounting from Southeast Missouri State University.
Green said he believes his business experience will help him if he is elected presiding commissioner.
“My parents, through our family business and personal matters, have instilled in me the importance of budgeting and forward thinking,” he said. “Those are two important traits to have when a large part of a county commissioner’s job involves spending and budgeting money and planning for and investing in the future of the county. Furthermore, working in all aspects of retail, from sourcing product to the end sale and customer relations, has taught me the importance of listening to and meeting the needs of people and putting forth an honest and earnest effort.”
Green also credits his work in church from teaching, mission trips, and being a on the deacon board at the First Assembly of God in Fredericktown with his people skills and ability to work with others. He said the church helps provide direction and accountability in his life.
Green said a good county commissioner should be a good listener, be willing to learn, and have a sense of finances and budgeting.
“A commissioner should also have honesty, patience, self-control, and faithfulness in their personal life, the duties of the county commission, and towards all people of the county without concern to differences such as political party, economic standing, religion, outward appearance,” Green said.
If elected, Green said his top priority would be to maintain county infrastructure within the constraints of the budget.
He said he would also like to focus on economic development and community improvement to help broaden the tax.
“Over the decades, there has been more expected from local government entities, and to keep up with this we need better management of public monies and a broader tax base rather than perpetually attempting to raise taxes,” Green said.
Democrat April Sarakas says she is a dedicated volunteer, community-builder, business owner, wife and mother.
She is a lifelong resident of Madison County, along with her husband, Phil, and three children, Caleb (14), Braelynn (11) and Kaylee (7).
“I am eager for the opportunity to serve as Presiding Commissioner and influence the future well-being of Madison County,” she said.
Sarakas graduated from Fredericktown High School in 1993 and attended Mineral Area College, where she earned a Childcare Certificate. She currently operates a childcare program from her home.
“I am passionate about the education, love and care given to each child,” she said. “I have an immense desire to serve others, and I have been doing so since a very young age. Thanks to the support of my family and friends and a mind that refuses to sit idle for any amount of time, I have been blessed with many opportunities to serve.”
Sarakas said her nine years of experience as a small business owner givers her a strong management background essential to balancing budgets and setting an example of fiscal responsibility.
“I also bring a track record of leadership, community-building and volunteerism as an advocate for charitable organizations and youth sports,” she said.
Sarakas has been president of the Madison County Youth Baseball (three years), event leader for Relay For Life of Madison and Iron Counties (6 years), team captain for Committed To End Cancer’s Relay For Life Team (7 years), and helped host the Relay For Life booth at Feed The Families bake sale. She has also been a youth softball and soccer coach.
“With these numerous opportunities to give back to our community, I have demonstrated leadership skills and have a proven track record of positive results,” Sarakas said. “My successes are illustrated by having played a key role in raising a collective $250,000 for cancer research and initiatives since 2013.”
“Additionally, under my leadership, the financial position of the Madison County Youth Baseball League has improved from just a few hundred dollars in the bank when I became president, to a stabilization of the financial health that will see the organization through for years to come.”
The youth baseball league operations included recruiting and management nearly 300 players, 20-25 teams and 40-55 coaches each summer.
“These accomplishments were not achieved alone, but with a team of diverse people,” Sarakas said. “Like many community-building or volunteer efforts, teamwork is the key to success in local government as well.”
Sarakas said she believes being a lifelong resident of Madison County, has given her a unique perspective, as she has watched the county evolve.
“I recognize the values that have remained important to our residents even as times have changed,” she said. “Being in a leadership role in county government is about bringing our community together to share ideas and working alongside one another to create the best place to work, live and raise our families. It is creating an environment where our business community can thrive and developing strong lines of communication.”
In addition to communication and leadership skills, Sarakas said the presiding commissioner should have a strong understanding and track record of fiscal responsibility paired with a vision rooted in community values.
“Considering my successful outcomes in growing community organizations and events over the past several years paired with personal business endeavors, I have the qualities and characteristics to positively impact Madison County,” she said.
If elected, Sarakas said she would like to share her goal of serving the people by helping the county progress and develop into a community where families want to move to and raise their children.
“I want to help bring industry into our county, to help encourage development throughout the entire area and maintain a solid infrastructure for generations to come – including improvements to roads and bridges,” she said. “Today, citizens depend on county leadership more than ever, which makes it important that qualified, dedicated residents run for the office of county commissioner. My family roots instilled a passion for the place we call home, furthering my desire to obtain a position of leadership to give the people a voice while keeping Madison County’s core values strong.”