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Public Administrator: three Republican candidates

By Christy Porter
Managing Editor

The August 4 Primary Election allows the voters to narrow the field between same party candidates to one candidate representing the party prior to the November election; in November, one candidate from the parties represented will be elected to take the office for which they are running.
At the county level, on the election ballot, only one office has multiple candidates affiliated with the same party, the office of Public Administrator.
Following are the main responsibilities and duties for the office of Public Administrator, as well as responses provided to The Licking News by the three candidates.
The main mission of the Public Administrator as guardian and/or conservator is to improve the quality of life for mentally disabled persons, persons with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and as conservator of minor(s) under their care, while protecting their dignity and self-respect. They should also function as the financial planner and manager of care for those under their guardianship. They also may act as the personal representative of deceased estates. The Missouri Circuit Court, Probate Division appoints the Public Administrator to the persons they represent, for their care.
The Public Administrator should always follow the National Guardianship Association’s Code of Ethics when seeking increased participation in decision-making with the client.

Meet the Republican candidates as listed on the Sample Ballot:

Tina Garrett
1) What do you feel qualifies you for the responsibilities of the Public Administrator position?
“Most of all, I have strong work ethics and I face challenges head on with confidence of doing a good job. I have eight years of nursing home experience; during some of that time I was a CNA. I worked eight years for Walmart. I served four years as Lynch Township Clerk. I have worked the past eight years in our business. I work with over 70 businesses in this area. Plus, I applied for, obtained and completed numerous state grants.”       
2) What motivates you to work toward being the guardian/conservator of those unable to act or to fully act on their own behalf?
“I want to help the people needing my help with all aspects of their lives. There are many people with physical and mental conditions with nobody to care for them. I want to be the person that shows these people love, respect and compassion. I want to be their voice in dealing with the different agencies that affect their lives. I have been and am currently a guardian/conservator and I have had to deal with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, lawyers and trust funds.”

Ashley (Mayfield) Applegate
1) What do you feel qualifies you for the responsibilities of the Public Administrator position?
“I have extensive experience in managing people’s finances, personal affairs, and daily operations. This experience has been garnered in both the personal and professional realm. I have been extremely fortunate to have a career path that has provided the experience needed for this position. My past work as an executive level administrator was garnered at a large Springfield law firm and a real estate development company committed to housing for the greater good. The latter role gave me hands-on experience helping homeless veterans, youth aging out of foster care, and families of domestic violence.
“Additionally, I have been responsible for overseeing business and personal responsibilities as the executive assistant to several CEO’s. This included managing multiple bank accounts, budgeting, bill pay, service contracts and scheduling.
“The ability to multitask and respond to all people - from chief executives to affordable housing residents - with empathy and respect prepares me well for the Public Administrator position.
“I welcome the opportunity to serve the County that has served as my home.”
2) What motivates you to work toward being the guardian/conservator of those unable to act or to fully act on their own behalf?
“When I found out the current Public Administrator was retiring, I knew Texas County needed someone to fill those shoes and be an advocate for their community. To me, being a public administrator means working on behalf of the public. The people of Texas County depend on the Public Administrator to serve them.
“The current wards deserve a smooth transition and the steady presence of an administrator who is meeting their needs. There are several continuing cases for the Public Administrator office, and I intend to see those cases through in the best interest of my wards.
“My mission as the Public Administrator will be to work toward improving the quality of life for those under guardianship while protecting their dignity and self-respect. The individuals served include mentally handicapped people, persons with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and those that are deceased with no will and no family to represent them.”

Shalena Purcell
1) What do you feel qualifies you for the responsibilities of the Public Administrator position?
“I am qualified to be the Public Administrator because I have the skill set and experience it will take to do this job successfully. I have worked in the detailed business of insurance at Burch Insurance for nearly four years, all while achieving and maintaining all necessary licenses which include health and life licenses. I understand the policy details and the operations of Medicare, Medicaid, Supplement plans, Rx plans and policies. This is immeasurable knowledge for one who is maintaining guardianship of people with special needs such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, or any physical disabilities. During my time as an attorney’s assistant for Woodward and Joyner, I filed documents with the court daily, as well as maintaining case files for civil court, estate planning and probate…all unbelievably valuable skills for this position. I have the experience of meetings with schools and doctors for children with special needs and medical IEP’s. The knowledge that I have will aid me in providing the best future possible for the people this position serves in this county. I have the needed skill set and the years of experience that it takes to do this position successfully.”
2) What motivates you to work toward being the guardian/conservator of those unable to act or to fully act on their own behalf?
“I have firsthand knowledge of the complications of working with someone who has schizophrenia or dementia. I have experienced and recognize the emotional fatigue of family members that just need someone to help them with their loved ones and to give them a little peace. I have also had to fight in these situations with getting disability and social security set up. I have worked with children and youth throughout my entire adulthood; they are my heart. I have dedicated my time over the years to working with the children and youth of the church as a youth leader, Sunday school teacher, and children’s camp director. I have been given a chance to see the rewards of treating children with respect and kindness. And I will make sure that any child that I have guardianship over will have all the opportunities that are available to them. Whether it is a child or an adult, when I am working with a client, I treat each and every one the same way I would want my mother, child, brother, or grandpa to be treated. And I spend my time helping those who can’t afford an attorney by helping them sort through legal papers and going to court with them as extra support. With my skill set and experience, and love and respect for people, and my strong desire to give everyone a better and fair life, I am the right candidate for the position of the next Public Administrator.”


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