Interview with Evelyn Taylor – Candidate for County Clerk

Evelyn Taylor is a Democrat running for Bourbon County Clerk in the upcoming election. Here are a few interview questions with her answers.

1. Please tell readers a little bit about yourself and your background.

My name is Evelyn Taylor and I have lived in Bourbon County for the past 30 years. I have 2 children and 3 grandchildren. My children were born in Fort Scott and attended the public schools here, and attended FSCC as well. My grandchildren will attend public schools here as well. I have a very strong relationship with my children. I remarried 2 years ago after the death of my husband of 26 years. Cancer took his life. He worked for Bourbon County for approximately 20 years as a Deputy with the Sheriff’s Dept. I started my career in the medical field working at a local nursing home before starting at Mercy hospital. I am a certified nurses aide, as well as an activity director and social service designee. I worked as a ward clerk and then a pharmacy tech. In 1993 I went to work for Newman Young Clinic in the OB/GYN office. In 1997 I left Mercy to work at another nursing home here in town. I obtained experience as receptionist, payroll clerk, and employee benefits and accounts payable. I advanced to office manager where my duties included Medicare, Medicaid, co-insurance billing, accounts receiveable, trust accounts, bank deposits, petty cash, order of supplies, maintain resident financial records, posting payments and helped with the budget. I have some experience with marketing as well. In 2006 I went back to Mercy as a pharmacy tech and then eventually ended up working in the Mercy Clinic where I presently work. I have always worked with the public.

 2. Why are you running for office?

For the past 15 years or so I have had an interest in working for the county. I have wanted to know how things work, and as a tax payer, where my money is spent and what is it being spent on. I knew that any office job with the county would be very interesting and challenging. I feel that with the experience I have obtained over the years that I would be an asset to the county.

 3. What do you feel is the single most important issue facing the county?

 I feel the most important issue we are facing is the economy.

 4. Why do you think you are a better choice for the voters than the incumbent?

I feel that there needs to be a change. I have good background in office experience. I am willing and able to learn every aspect of the clerk’s office. I deal very well with the public and feel that I am very capable of doing the job.

 5. What is the single most important skill you would bring to the office?

 Organizational skills, public relations and professionalism.

 6. If elected, what would your top priority be during your first 90 days?

 Education – learning every aspect of the job.

 7. Health insurance is one of the fastest growing expenses the county is facing. What are some ways you’d recommend the county deal with this issue?

Well, with the past employers I have worked for, the employees have always paid a portion of their insurance and the employer paid their portion and it has always been with a large company where you have the most benefits possible at a reasonable price. I would suggest thoroughly investigating insurance companies and not taking the first one that comes along.

A Candidate Forum will be held on July 31 in the Theater of the Ellis Fine Arts Center on the Campus of Fort Scott Community College.  Forum begins at 6 pm. Doors open at 5:30.  The Public is encouraged to attend.  This event is sponsored by the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce.

Be sure to vote on August 7!

Interview with Rhonda Dunn – Candidate for County Treasurer

Rhonda Dunn is a Republican running for Bourbon County Treasurer in the upcoming election. Here are a few interview questions with her answers.

1. Please tell readers a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am a fourth generation resident of Bourbon County and was born and raised in Fort Scott.  My brothers and I grew up in the Saturday night auction that our Dad, Bill Dunn, had each week.  I attended Fort Scott High School and received my bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pittsburg State.  I completed my master’s degree in business from the University of Tulsa.  I have 17 years experience working for large oil companies in variety of positions.  I lived away from this area for many years and chose to return to my hometown in 2006 to be closer to my family.   For the last 6 years I have worked in my family moving business here in southeast Kansas.

 2. Why are you running for office?

I’ve always had an interest in politics and have been encouraged several times to run for office.  It’s clear the people of Bourbon County are ready for a new Treasurer and that position is an opportunity for me to put my education and experience to work for our area.

3. What do you feel is the single most important issue facing the county?

As a citizen, I think the most important issue is jobs and sustainable businesses that can provide those jobs.  As County Treasurer, the most important issue is collecting as much of the taxes owed to the county as we can.  In the audit done last year, more than $875,000 in property taxes were still outstanding for the 2010 tax year.  I believe we can avoid increases in taxes if we collect the taxes due each year.  In this economy, collection will get even more difficult and we need creative ideas and diligent people to get it done.

 4. Why do you think you are a better choice for voters than the incumbent?

If elected, I will be the honest Treasurer who will run the competent and fair treasurer’s office the residents of Bourbon County expect.  I am the best choice because I will bring a fresh perspective and work very hard to solve the problems that currently plague the Treasurer’s office.

 5. What is the single most important skill you would bring to the office?

My most important skill is my work ethic.  Education and experience only get you so far in any job.  I am a person who works hard and learns fast.  If I don’t know the answer, I figure it out.  I can create a positive work environment so that employees are motivated to do a good job.  I have the integrity to admit mistakes and learn from them.

 6. If elected, what would your top priority be during your first 90 days?

Voters should know that unlike the other offices which transition to the newly elected people in January 2013, the Treasurer does not take over until the 2nd Tuesday in October after the election.  I will have lots of time to plan my first 90 days!  However, the top priority starting my term would be to get the new tax year started and get up to speed as quickly as possible.  I would also focus right away on collecting back taxes in the best way possible.

 7. Health insurance is one of the fastest growing expenses the county is facing. What are some ways you’d recommend the county deal with this issue?

I would create a team to research a benefit package with a goal of reducing the overall cost to the county.   The team should include workers from different county functions so that all groups are involved in the process, creative ideas are generated, and different viewpoints are heard.  A variety of vendors should bid on the business to drive cost down.  I have some experience working with insurance vendors and putting our business insurance out to bid resulted in a 40% reduction in premiums for our small business.  I would enjoy a project like this and would work hard to save the county money on their insurance.

A Candidate Forum will be held on July 31 in the Theater of the Ellis Fine Arts Center on the Campus of Fort Scott Community College.  Forum begins at 6 pm. Doors open at 5:30.  The Public is encouraged to attend.  This event is sponsored by the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce.

Be sure to vote on August 7!

Interview with Susan Quick – Candidate for Bourbon County Treasurer

Susan Quick is a Democrat running for Bourbon County Treasurer in the upcoming election. Here are a few interview questions with her answers.

1. Please tell readers a little bit about yourself and your background.

I have lived in Bourbon Co most of my life and graduated from Uniontown High School. I am married for 44 yrs and we have 2 daughters and two great grandsons. I am a member of the Bethel Community Church.

2. Why are you running for office?

I want to continue working for Bourbon County.

3. What do you feel is the single most important issue facing the county?

Bourbon County needs new businesses & jobs, this would help ease the tax burden on the property owners. Single family property owners cannot solely bear the weight of the increasing taxes.

4. Why do you think you are a better choice for voters than the incumbent? (If you are the incumbent, why do you think you are a better choice than others who are running?)

I have experience of 21 years in this office. I have performed every duty in the Treasurer’s Office.

5. What is the single most important skill you would bring to the office?

Efficiency & constantly work to operate the office within the budget.

6. If elected, what would your top priority be during your first 90 days?

To collect the first half of the 2012 property taxes and work on the January, 2013 distribution, which usually totals more than a million dollars.

7. Health insurance is one of the fastest growing expenses the county is facing. What are some ways you’d recommend the county deal with this issue?

Bourbon County currently has a good health insurance to offer it’s employees. I feel this is a good incentive to keep our good employees.

A Candidate Forum will be held on July 31 in the Theater of the Ellis Fine Arts Center on the Campus of Fort Scott Community College.  Forum begins at 6 pm. Doors open at 5:30.  The Public is encouraged to attend.  This event is sponsored by the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce.

Be sure to vote on August 7!

Interview with Lora Holdridge – Candidate for Register of Deeds

Lora Holdridge is a Republican running for Bourbon County Register of Deeds in the upcoming election. Here are a few interview questions with her answers.

 1. Please tell readers a little bit about yourself and your background.

I was born here and I graduated high school here. My dad’s job moved us around a lot but I settled back here when I was nine. I then followed my husband to South Carolina for about 10 years, but you always come home.

I am married and have one son that is currently finishing up his tour in the Navy, and a beautiful daughter in law.

I am a K-State Certified Register of Deeds.

 2. Why are you running for office?

I started in this office 8 years ago, when I was appointed in April of 2011 I knew that I would run for election. I love what I do!

 3. What do you feel is the single most important issue facing the county?

 Only one! Cost of living!

 4. Why do you think you are a better choice for voters than the incumbent? (If you are the incumbent, why do you think you are a better choice than others who are running?)

I have been here for 8 years, I have done everything in this office. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. You need to have land related training to be the Register.

 5. What is the single most important skill you would bring to the office?

 Experience!

 6. If elected, what would your top priority be during your first 90 days?

Continue with the money saving jobs we have already implemented to digitize our most valued land record books.

 7. Health insurance is one of the fastest growing expenses the county is facing. What are some ways you’d recommend the county deal with this issue?

Not sure this is even available here in Kansas, but in South Carolina everyone(state, federal, city, county, schools) all belonged to Blue Cross Blue Shield State. If we teamed up with the large companies we might be able to get a better rate. Health fairs. The county employees don’t always get any cost of living raises and it helps to know that we have good insurance.

A Candidate Forum will be held on July 31 in the Theater of the Ellis Fine Arts Center on the Campus of Fort Scott Community College.  Forum begins at 6 pm. Doors open at 5:30.  The Public is encouraged to attend.  This event is sponsored by the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce.

Be sure to vote on August 7!

Interview with Kendell Dawn Mason – Candidate for County Clerk

Kendell Dawn Mason is a Republican running for Bourbon County Clerk in the upcoming election. Here are a few interview questions with her answers.

1. Please tell readers a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am Kendell Dawn Mason and I have lived in Bourbon County most of my life. I live with my husband Steve and our daughter Ashton. Our son, Alex just completed his active duty enlistment with the United States Marine Corps. He lives in Bourbon County with his wife Holli. I graduated from Fort Scott High School and graduated from Fort Scott Community College with an Associate of Science Degree. I am a Kansas State licensed Emergency Substitute Teacher, Kansas State licensed Cosmetologist, and a Kansas State licensed C.N.A. I worked at Great West Insurance Company for 8 years and worked at Bourbon County Courthouse in the Clerk’s office for 7 1/2 years. While there I was the Personnel Director. My job duties were…accounts payable, payroll, all employee benefits including Kpers, insurance, sick and vacation benefits, W2’s, 1099’s, State and Federal taxes and reports. I assisted with Homestead and Food Sales tax preparations, assisted with elections, sold Kansas wildlife and parks licenses, I was a notary for the State of Kansas, as well as various other duties as assigned.

2. Why are you running for office?

I know that if elected I can do the job professionally and accurately. And I think it is time we see some positive changes in the Clerk’s office.

3. What do you feel is the single most important issue facing the county?

I think the most important issue facing the county is the same issue that we all face and that is financial burdens.

4. Why do you think you are a better choice for voters than the incumbent?

I am a very conservative spender. I believe that when it comes to the taxpayers money, every measure should be taken to eliminate excess spending which will help prevent escalating taxes in our county. I realize that the taxpayers pay county employees wages and that as a county employee you work for the taxpayers of this county.

5. What is the single most important skill you would bring to the office?

Professionalism

6. If elected, what would your top priority be during your first 90 days?

My top priority in the first 90 days would be to organize the records kept in the county clerk’s office and to learn any of the job duties that I am not already familiar with.

7. Health insurance is one of the fastest growing expenses the county is facing. What are some ways you’d recommend the county deal with this issue?

Most county employees do not have a large salary, but there are excellent benefits including leave time and insurance benefits – I think the benefits help make up for what’s lacking in their salary. I know first hand how important it is to have excellent insurance benefits and I would not want to take that benefit away from the employees.

A Candidate Forum will be held on July 31 in the Theater of the Ellis Fine Arts Center on the Campus of Fort Scott Community College.  Forum begins at 6 pm. Doors open at 5:30.  The Public is encouraged to attend.  This event is sponsored by the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce.

Be sure to vote on August 7!