John Sam Williamson’s family came to Missouri from Virginia in 1827, making him the sixth generation of Williamsons to live on and work on his family farm. He said this background — including owning the property where the famous Big Bur Oak is located — gives him “a rural perspective” that is important for the Boone County Presiding Commissioner to possess.
“The folks that live outside the city limits depend on county government for their basic services,” he said.
PERSONAL: Age 61. Married to Susan. Three children, Sarah, Julie and John Kyle.
PARTY AFFILIATION: Democratic
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in agriculture and master’s degree in animal science, both from MU
BACKGROUND: President of McBaine Levee District, treasurer of the Boone County Fire Protection District, former airman in U.S. Air Force, former board member of the Boone County Farm Bureau, the Boone County Fair and the Missouri Soybean Association
He also says living in a more rural area means understanding first-hand the importance of the county in providing quality services.
“I depend on the Boone County government," he said.
Williamson says he is the best candidate because he has more experience regarding county issues. He says the top issue is the county budget.
“The biggest challenge we’re going to have is our budget,” he said. “We’re going to have to be very careful in balancing our budget.”
Other issues include increasing revenue by attracting businesses to the county and improving cooperation between city and county managements. He says raising taxes is a last resort because “people are being taxed as much as they can stand right now.”
Williamson says his life experiences running his farm and dealing with the 1993 flood make him more uniquely qualified for the job.
“I think I’ve earned at least an honorary Ph.D from the school of hard knocks,” he said.