By Jack Hackley
As a hobby, I have been involved in politics and elections all my life, and have found elected officials are easy to contact when they are running for office, but once they are elected the picture changes.
I have known the McCaskill family ever since Claire’s dad was State Insurance Commissioner in the Hearnes administration. Although I see Claire frequently and have had lunch with her in the Senate dining room, there is no way I can call her in Washington. She is always unavailable.
I had a political rally and supported Jay Nixon when he ran for U.S. Senate the first time in 1988. I have supported him ever since. We are now friends and on a first-name basis. However, when I call the Governor’s office, he is always unavailable.
I have come to the conclusion the most accessible group of elected officials in the state of Missouri are the county commissioners. Their home phone numbers are always listed in the phone book. They have normally lived in the county their entire lives. Virtually everyone in the county knows them.
One of my favorite commissioners was Jim Strodtman who was Lafayette County’s Presiding Commissioner for 20 years. He retired at the end of his last term in 2011.
I always introduce him as my favorite Republican. He told me the other day that he didn’t miss the hundreds of calls he received in those 20 years.
Lafayette County has a Johnson grass eradication tax. One woman who called Jim said she didn’t like paying taxes for Johnson County to cut their grass. Another woman called and said she wanted him to move the deer crossing sign on her road a couple hundred feet because it would be a better place for the deer to cross.
If you are a commissioner and have had an interesting call, let me know.
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.jackremembers.com