Madison County residents will be voting for a District I county commissioner on Tuesday.
Three Republicans, Bill Rice, Tom Stephens and Wade Parsley have filed for the office. No candidates filed as a Democrat so the winner will not have an opponent on Nov. 3.
Bill Rice is a lifelong resident of Madison County and has been married to his wife Nadean, retired Madison County treasurer, for 48 years. They have two sons Dan (Tina) and Joe (Amber) and five granddaughters.
"I have owned and operated my own farm for 40-plus years," Rice said. "This gives many skills, the knowledge of budgeting funds and the ability to make wise decisions, and also to use reasoning and patience when unforeseen problems arise."
Rice said his farming background would be beneficial in the position of commissioner of Madison County.
"I believe one of the most important qualities a commissioner should have is to genuinely listen to people and allow them to express their concerns and try to answer or agree on a solution for their individual situation," Rice said "To respect each resident and help with whatever problem each may have."
Rice said he is willing to work hard with the other commissioners. He said this would be important to be an effective commissioner.
"My priorities as District I Commissioner would be to always be open for possible new development that may show interest in Madison County," Rice said. "To have plans in place in a county disaster occurred, flood etc. and be available to help and serve residents. Also to improve and maintain roads and bridges."
Rice said he would continue to gain insights on all aspects of Madison County issues.
"I have lived in Madison County all of my life," Stephens said. "I graduated from Fredericktown High School and am now a self-employed small business owner."
Stephens is also a second-generation farmer in Madison County.
"I feel that my experience running a farm and small business helps me to be a better commissioner," Stephens said. "The county is a business and needs to be run that way. As commissioner, I have always strived to do what is best for the whole county."
Stephens said he has tried to be available to all residents, listened to their requests and tried to provide solutions whenever possible.
"My goal is keep improving our roads and bridges," Stephens said. "During my current term we have replaced multiple bridges and have worked to improve the conditions are many county roads."
Stephens said COVID-19 has made things difficult for all county employees, and they have made it a goal of the commission to make things as safe and easy for the community and the employees as possible.
"Right now we need to keep our county and our courthouse as open as possible while still working to maintain the health and safety of all employees and residents," Stephens said. "This time has thrown all of us many challenges, but together we will come out stronger in the end."
Wade Parsley moved to Fredericktown when he was 12 and has been a resident for the last 57 years. He worked in the housing trade, as a logger and opened his own business, Madison Foundations.
"I did concrete, basements, flat work, parking lots and bridges for 23 years," Parsley said. "I have experience in excavation and even installed septic systems."
Parsley said he would bring management experience and common sense to the position of Madison County commissioner.
"An effective commissioner should have integrity, honesty and be open minded," Parsley said. "They also need to be able to communicate with people."
Parsley said if elected, a top priority of his would be to look at each department and upgrade as needed, as well as try to improve roads and bridges.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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