VOTERS GUIDE: Candidates for Boone County public administrator

Friday, August 3, 2012 | 4:52 p.m. CDT

WHAT'S THE JOB? The Boone County public administrator manages the estates of deceased people, minors and those who are either incapacitated or have disabilities when there is no legal guardian or other person who could perform those duties. When ordered by the court to do so, the public administrator provides for the proper care of the person and protects the assets of an estate against injury, waste, theft or loss. Public administrators are elected to four-year terms. The job's salary is $83,657.

There are four candidates for public administrator on Tuesday's ballot. Democrats and Republicans will each choose nominees who will face one another in the November general election.

Cathy Richards (D)

Personal: Age 59. Married to Michael Richards. They have four children together.

Education: Associate's degree in fine arts, Columbia College; bachelor's degree in business management with an emphasis in human resources, William Woods University, 2006; master's degree in counseling, Stephens College, 2012.

Occupation: Incumbent Boone County public administrator, former office manager for the Boone County Commission.

Background: Vice president of the Missouri Association of Public Administrators, which represents all 114 Missouri counties; volunteer for the 2008 United Way Allocation Panel; public information officer trained through Public Safety Joint Communications; member of the Women's Network, part of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, and Harrisburg Christian Church.

Campaign website: 

Priorities if elected:

  • Make the office more publicly visible.
  • Establish a mental health advisory board.
  • Hire more workers to manage caseload.
  • Seek the hiring of employees in the social work field..

Connie Bell Hendren (D), Rocheport

Personal: Age 62. Married to Jim Hendren. They have three children and two grandchildren.

Education: Bachelor's degree in business and accounting, MU, 1976; received certified public accountant licensing in 1978.

Occupation: Worked as certified public accountant for Wade, Stables, Schanbacher and Walker, worked as tax manager at Williams-Keepers; served as commissioner on the Missouri Public Service Commission; served as Boone County public administrator for 16 years until retiring in 2008.

Background: Previously registered guardian with the National Association of Public Administrators; previously held positions in the Missouri Association of Public Administrators; named Guardian of the Year by the Missouri Association of Public Administrators in 2007; attends Memorial Baptist Church and serves as chair of its finance committee; previously served as chair of accounting finance committee for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Campaign website: 

Priorities if elected:

  • Focus on availability to the clients.
  • Emphasize the importance of personal connections.
  • Cut down on court time and office spending.
  • Rebuild strong relationships with the court and other agencies.

Norman Lampton (R), Columbia

Personal: Age 68. He has two daughters from a previous marriage and three grandchildren.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in political science and economics, Benedictine College, 1965; law degree, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 1971; advanced training in insurance business, MU, 1976; advanced training in divinity, University of the South, 1992; advanced work in management, General Electric seminar program, 1996.

Occupation: Attorney at Lampton Law Firm, LCC. His area of practice is principally creditor in bankruptcy. He previously specialized in complex federal litigation.

Background: Held two national and several state offices in Jaycees; former president of the Southside Optimist Club in Columbia; active in the Missouri Bar; lector at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church; member of the Knights of Columbus; coach for Father Tolton Catholic High School mock trial team; served in the supply corps of the U.S. Navy Reserve for eight years and served in Vietnam; previously worked as an assistant prosecutor, an attorney in the state attorney general’s office and an attorney for MFA Insurance, now Shelter insurance.

Priorities if elected:

  • Eliminate the need to hire an attorney.
  • Budget more money into the estates.
  • Pay close attention to the law.

John Sullivan (R), Columbia

Personal: Age 67. Married to Suzanne Sullivan. They have eight children and 15 grandchildren.

Education: Attended seminary for nine years; bachelor’s degree in speech and drama science, Creighton University, 1971; master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in gerontology, University of Nebraska-Omaha, 1975.

Occupation: Independent insurance agent for Sullivan and Associates.

Background: Former congressional aide for a U.S. congressmen’s office in Omaha, Neb.; former apartment manager for 60-unit low-income housing complex; former city administrator in Valley, Neb.; former city manager in Aurora; former nursing home administrator for two nursing home facilities; attends Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, where he is active in parish councils; member of the Knights of Columbus.

Campaign website: 

Priorities if elected:

  • Incorporate community involvement and support.
  • Make office more visible through public service announcements.
  • Work more aggressively with agencies to maintain clients' independence.
  • Create office atmosphere of courtesy and respect.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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