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Allen has extensive experience as a guardian and a conservator

July 26, 2016 at 9:10 a.m. | Updated July 27, 2016 at 6:21 a.m.

Race: Callaway County Public Administrator
Candidate: Karen Digh Allen
I have been a Callaway County resident since 1975. I grew up living on or near Army bases in the U.S. and Germany. I am a graduate of Fulton High School, William Woods College and Washburn University School of Law. I'm married to Eugene Allen; have three sons and one daughter, three grandchildren and two daughters-in-law.
I've been the Callaway County Public Administrator since 1997. I have nine years as legal counsel for state of Missouri agencies dealing with nursing home licensure, social services, and corrections. I am a National Certified Guardian; attorney at law; have served as guardian/conservator for more than 500 individuals.
What makes you the best candidate?
I have served Callaway County as the public administrator since 1997 and I am a national certified guardian and I'm also an attorney with a background in guardianship and conservatorship. I have more than 19 years experience. I'm one of only 11 certified guardians in Missouri and I have extensive experience in making behavioral, medical, psychiatric, financial and end-of-life decisions.
Why did you decide to run?
I am very committed to my job and I'm very committed to the client. Some of the people I take care of I've known for two decades. You build a relationship with their families. This is a job where you learn in layers, it takes many years to learn how to be a guardian and conservator and build relationships with clients and I'd like to serve those clients and citizens of Callaway County.
What is your campaign message?
I am responsible, qualified and devoted.
How would you assess the
current operation of the Callaway County Public Administrator Office?
I think we've done a great job, we've spent the past 20 years evolving with changes. When I started, most of my clients were institutionalized at the nearby state hospital and there's been major changes in the world of Guardianship. Our case loads are very large for a small county because we have a state hospital. Because of that, we strive very hard to be a good local resource and help Callaway citizens utilize resources if they need a guardian or conservator for their family.
What changes would you implement?
I'm very proud of our legislative projects involving guardianship. The last major change to our probate code was 30 years ago and code has not kept up with the changes, especially with the mentally ill and disabled. I've been able to work with Mo Wings, which is a guardianship reform task force, for several years we looked at Chapter 475 and rewrote that chapter, which will be submitted to the legislature in the next session. My goals would to implement legislative change that accurately reflects the current status of people in today's world.
What do you think people don't understand about the office, but should?
Most people don't understand what a public administrator is, or what a public administrator does. My explanation is that we're a professional parent and make decisions about a persons' life, like whether or not they can give blood, or the most serious decisions, and the most weighing decisions, which are the end-of-life decisions that we make.


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