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Callaway County Clerk is only contested race on Aug. 5 ballot

Callaway County Clerk is only contested race on Aug. 5 ballot

August 1st, 2014 in News

Voters will see only one contested primary race on the Aug. 5 ballot.

The outcome of the Republican race for county clerk between incumbent Denise Hubbard and longtime Callawegian Kathy Potter will determine who wins the spot as no Democrats have sought the office.

Hubbard said she's enjoyed serving Callaway County and would like to continue to do so. She said she wants to ensure all elections are honest and fair while seeing that "every vote is cast properly."

"I believe that election integrity is very important," Hubbard said.

Hubbard said she's saved county taxpayers $25,000 through auditing the county phone lines, enforcing information technology improvements and reducing the costs of elections.

Increasing government transparency was a goal of Hubbard's when she entered office, she said. She said because of the efforts of her and her staff, Callaway County Commission agendas are posted online as well as audio recordings of commission meetings. Hubbard added that the county clerk's office online presence has improved with a posted county budget, election night reporting and sample ballots.

Election training of a bi-partisan team has also been an initiative, Hubbard said. If re-elected, Hubbard wants to continue the path her office has taken in addition to making electronic copies of historical records.

Potter said her desire to run for county clerk is rooted in two main concerns addressed in Fulton Sun articles from 2011 and 2012.

According to a 2011 Fulton Sun article, Hubbard enacted a policy in her office to allow employees to care for their infants, aging between 6 and 8 months, at work. Potter said she understands the attention babies require and how that conflicts with a work day.

"I know when your child needs you, you drop everything," Potter said.

Another concern for Potter was raised when Carrington lost its polling place in 2012.

"First, (I want to) restore professionalism, order and dignity to that office," Potter said.

Her experience in customer service, she said, will help her do just that. Formerly an admissions representative, Potter is now in charge of a nationwide call center. Increasing the ease and convenience of voting is a goal of Potters, which she hopes will increase voter turnout. She also wants to better public communication on where polling places are located.

Potter added that she would like to establish an educational program for high school students preparing to vote for the first time in order to "stress the importance of their voice at the local, state and federal levels."

In response to Potter's concerns, Hubbard said the Carrington location was not handicap accessible. She also said the child-care policy allowed her to be in the office while caring for her child instead of being out for 6-8 weeks on maternity leave.

Ballot measures

Voters will also decide on a use tax measure put forward by the Fulton City Council and Callaway County Commission.

If passed, the Callaway County local use tax measure would "impose a local use tax on out-of-state purchases" at a one percent rate, the same rate as the local sales tax rate.

Callaway County Presiding Commissioner previously told the Fulton Sun that, based on information from the Missouri Department of Revenue, the county would lose $110,000-$120,000 per year.

If the measure passes for Fulton, the local use tax rate would match the local sales tax rate at two percent.

City Administrator previously told the Fulton Sun that the city could lose $30,000-$40,000 annually if the measure does not pass.

As Callaway County moves toward becoming a Class 2 county, residents can determine if the prosecuting attorney's position - which is specified as part-time for Class 2 counties - will remain full-time or change to part-time.

Felony cases in Callaway County have increased from 400 in 2002 to 600 in 2013, according to Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Wilson. He added that the prosecuting attorney's office handled 3,600 misdemeanor cases in 2013, compared to 1,600 in 2002.