VOTERS GUIDE 2012: Candidates for Boone County public administrator

Monday, September 17, 2012 | 9:01 a.m. CDT; updated 9:55 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Editor's note: This story originally publishedin advance of the August primary. It has been updated to include information about the candidates who will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. This article is part of the Missourian's 2012 general election voters guide.

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.

The Candidates

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..

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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