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Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

Huffman challenges Wrenfrow

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

(Photo)
Max Huffman
OREGON COUNTY -- There will be two candidates on the November ballot for Southern District Commissioner in Oregon County. Incumbent John Wrenfrow will face write-in candidate Max Huffman.

Oregon County Clerk Gary Hensley said as a write-in candidate Huffman does not have to declare a party affiliation. Wrenfrow is running as a Democrat.

"A write-in candidate in Missouri has until the second Friday before the election to write-in his intent as a candidate. Huffman did that several months ago," Hensley said.

(Photo)
John Wrenfrow
Huffman and his wife Janie live at Myrtle. They own and operate Janie's Cafe. The couple have four children.

Huffman moved to Myrtle 20 years ago from Dalton, Ark. He has worked on off-shore oil rigs off the coast of Louisiana. He has worked in northern Illinois building roads and bridges. He also worked out of Poplar Bluff for Robinson Construction and since moving to Myrtle, worked for Rich and Pam Morgan on their dairy farm.

"I decided to run for Southern District Commissioner because a lot of people in the area have asked me to. Our roads in this end of the county need repair and they are not getting the attention they need. That is the main reason I decided to seek the position," he said.

Another reason Huffman would like to be Southern District Commissioner is because he feels like the current commissioners are not trying to bring needed revenue into the county. "If they are, no one knows it. This is a part of their job," he said.

"There is a lot of road work in this end of the county that is not being done. They (the commissioners) seem to have given special treatment to friends," he said.

The Mill Creek Bridge that was destroyed by spring floods is also a major issue with Huffman. "There has been a lot of money spent on this bridge. It is breaking-up and coming apart. It is cracking in places. It is not over two-months old," he said.

Huffman says he has found a way to save the county approximately $12,000 a year.

"I would eliminate one Southern District Road Department employee and divide the district into two different sections. Since I can run the equipment, it would take one employee per position. Each employee, including myself, would stay in one section and work only on the roads in their section. Instead of bringing the equipment to the road shed every evening, I would leave the equipment where the employees are working at, or the closest safe place. That would save on fuel and wear and tear on the county equipment," Huffman said.

This is the first time Huffman has run for a political office. "This is my first time in this rodeo. I appreciate what John Wrenfrow has done, but it is time for a change," he said.

He said, when not helping his wife at the cafe, he spends time helping neighbors. "If elected. I will be a full-time commissioner," Huffman said.

Wrenfrow has served as Southern District Commissioner for 14-years. He and his wife Sharon live at Myrtle. They have two grown daughters, Jessica, who teaches alternative classes at Couch School and Jennifer who works in accounting at a company in Houston, Texas.

As Southern District Commissioner, Wrenfrow wears a lot of hats. Each commissioner serves on many different boards across the county and the district.

Wrenfrow has served on the local University Extension Board for 11-years and on the local recycling board for 14-years. "Over 14,000 tires in the county have been recycled through this program as well as 7,000 tons of paper and plastics," he said.

Wrenfrow has spent 10 years on the Region P Solid Waste Executive Board. He belongs to the Missouri Association of Counties. "I have 280 hours of commissioner's training. I volunteer with the Myrtle Volunteer Fire Department and other agencies. I am involved with the Conservation Service, Howell-Oregon Electric, the Rural Water District, MoDOT, DNR, as well as FEMA and SEMA. I work with these agencies and organizations to make life easier for farmers and everyone's life in the county," he said.

A large portion of the commissioner's job has to do with the county budget. "We either approve, disapprove or adjust budgets from other elected offices. We review monthly bills and approve the payroll. As commissioners, we strive to insure the financial security of the courthouse," he said.

All elected commissioners work with other elected officials. He said they take pride in the courthouse and work hard to keep it in good shape so the people of the county can be proud of it.

"It has been a hard year on roads across the county," he said. "We are getting our roads back in shape. Our road crews have done a fine job. It does take time when you have so much damage in such a large area of the county,"

Wrenfrow said.

All damaged roads and bridges in Oregon County have been rebuilt throughout the year. "I have spent countless hours working with FEMA making sure our county has been taken care of properly and that monies spent by the county for repairs are being reimbursed," he said.

Commissioner Wrenfrow has replaced seven bridges, two that were large bridges. "I have also made bids and bought equipment and supplies to run our road machines. We have worked through two large floods, several tornados and one hurricane this year," he said.

Polls will open at 6 a.m. Nov. 4 and will close at 7 p.m.



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