Three in the running for hospital trustee slots

Thursday, January 17, 2008 | 7:57 p.m. CST; updated 12:51 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

COLUMBIA — Two incumbents and former Boone County Presiding Commissioner Keith Schnarre have filed for two seats on the Boone Hospital Center Board of Trustees that will be filled in the April 8 municipal election.

Schnarre will challenge incumbent trustee Fred Parry for a five-year seat on the board, while incumbent Brian Neuner will run for a one-year term. Neuner, community bank president for UMB Bank, was appointed to the board by the Boone County Commission after Llona Weiss resigned from the position in 2007.

Neuner said he intended to run for election when he initially applied for the position.

“I feel like I have an obligation since that is what I said in my original interview for appointment with county commissioners and trustees,” Neuner said. “But it is not only an obligation, as I really want to do this.”

Neuner said he wants to focus on paying down hospital debt and growing the hospital’s comprehensive services for Boone County citizens.

If he wins, it would be Neuner’s second one-year term. He would be able to run for a full five-year term in 2009 if he chose to do so.

Schnarre, a farmer who lives in the Centralia area, was Boone County presiding commissioner from 2002 to 2006. Throughout that time, he represented the commission in a non-voting position on the board of trustees. He said that participation on the board gives him a great understanding of hospital operations and sparked his interest in running for a trustee’s position.

“I have a strong interest in operations of the hospital,” Schnarre said. “I want to represent the citizens of Boone County, not just in Columbia, to make sure their needs are met.”

Schnarre noted that more than half the patients at the county-owned hospital are from outside Boone County.

“The friends and relatives of patients who come down here bring a lot of money to the economy,” Schnarre said.

Parry is publisher of Inside Columbia magazine and a radio personality on KFRU 1400-AM. Several attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

The filing deadline to run for a seat on the board of trustees is Tuesday. To file, a person must go to the Boone County Clerk’s office at the Roger B. Wilson Boone County Government Center, present identification, then fill out an application and a form stating that they have no unpaid taxes for the previous year. The clerk’s office will be closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

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