Friday, Oct. 05, 2012
By Bethany Bashioum
Democrat candidate Phil Duncan, 68, Belton, is running for District 2 (North) Commissioner.
Duncan previously served the Belton community as an alderman for two years before becoming mayor in 1997, an office he held until 2001.
A native of Gardner, Kan., Duncan has lived and raised his family in the county throughout the last 36 years.
“The county deserves a qualified official that is willing to be a fulltime commissioner and who will serve the residents of the is county with commitment to earning their benefits,” Duncan said. “I am running for District 2 Commissioner because I want to bring back credibility and accountability of the commission to the tax payers, and bring back Cass County to a first class county as it used to be.”
Duncan is a retired lineman from IBEW No. 1464 and Local No. 53, as well as a retired First Sergeant with the Missouri National Guard.
“The county has not had a good comprehensive plan,” Duncan said. “There has been no direction or follow through of job creation or economic development. As commissioner, I would set priorities in the county through a detailed comprehensive plan and economic development.”
If elected, Duncan said his other priorities would include setting priorities for the completion of the Broadband project, working with MoDOT for further economic development, continue to support the trifecta agreement with Metropolitan Community College, assisting the county’s 9,000 veteran residents receive available benefits, as well as hosting a government day for county high school students to shadow Cass County office holders.
Belton Mayor Jimmy Odom, 57, is the Republican nominee for the District 2 (North) Commissioner seat being open by departing Commissioner Brian Baker, a fellow Republican who has opted out of seeking re-election.
Odom grew up in Kansas City, graduating from Northeast High School in 1973.
As an adult, Odom moved to Belton about 30 years ago to start his own pest control business, Odom’s Bugs-B-Gone. His son took over the family business about 10 years ago.
Odom is in his seventh year as mayor. He previously served as an alderman for two years, and is a past president of the Bel-Ray Lion’s Club.
“Looking at all the turmoil and turnover that was going on (in the county), I felt like I needed to move up and bring my expertise in to hopefully straighten out the problems going on down there,” Odom said. “I am very heavily involved with economic development, and I feel like with all my contacts that I have here in Belton, I can bring that to Cass County.”
Odom also serves on the Interstate 49 board, and believes strongly in the opportunities that it will bring to the county.
“That is going to bring a lot opportunities for us as a county, and I think I can bring jobs to the and help grow the economy,” Odom said.
Odom also stated that procedures and better structure need to be apart of the County Commission meetings, including involving the county attorney more on the decisions being made.