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Columbia Missourian

Former Boone County commissioner to join fire protection district board

By Matt Smith
March 17, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Former Boone County Commissioner Keith Schnarre is already attending meetings as he prepares to join the board of the Boone County Fire Protection District in April.

Schnarre, 64, filed unopposed for a seat on the board. He will take the seat of former board chairman John Gordon Sr., who opted not to seek re-election. Board member Dave Griggs is now board chairman.

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Although Schnarre has not officially joined the board, he has attended several meetings already to get familiar with fire district issues.

"There's a lot to know about the fire protection district," said Phyllis Fugit,  a member of the board. She said attending the meetings will help him learn it.

“He’s picked up reams of information,” Griggs said. “He’s a good numbers guy, which should make him a great asset to the board.”

Schnarre served as Boone County presiding commissioner for four years and serves on the Boone Electric Cooperative board.

"His past experience will help the board oversee spending taxpayers' money because he's dealt with government funds before," Gordon said.

Schnarre did not identify specific issues he thought were important for the board to take up but emphasized that he will concentrate on “making sure (the fire district) is run in a sound business manner."

Schnarre lives in the northern part of Boone County, where he runs a farm with his family. He said he plans to represent the concerns of the people who live in that area on the board.

"We've never had a board representative from that far north, so it will be good for them," Gordon said.

Gordon was unsure of how Schnarre would change the dynamic of the board.

"Whenever you change the makeup of the board, there will be changes to how the board is run, but I can't predict that at this time," he said.

Board members Shelly Dometrorch and Fugit both said they didn't know Schnarre that well. Dometrorch said an election would have revealed more about Schnarre.

"Any time there isn't an election process, you don't get to know a candidate as well," she said."So we'll get to know him as we go along."