The race for Pettis County Eastern Commissioner is the only county race that will see opposition on the Nov. 8 general election ballot, as it is the only race with both Republican and Democratic candidates.
Republican incumbent Brent Hampy, of Smithton, will face fellow Republican Darrell Slaughter, of Marshall, in the Aug. 2 primary election. Democrat Charles McCormack, of Sedalia, is unopposed on the Aug. 2 ballot. The winner between Hampy and Slaughter will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot with McCormack.
Hampy is seeking re-election after his first four-year term in office. Hampy, who has a background in commercial excavation, said he decided to run again because he thinks the current Commission is “making good progress” and he’d like to continue to serve.
He noted several top issues facing Pettis County that need to be addressed soon.
“One would be Road and Bridge issues because we have some bridges that are in some state of needing replacement and those are going to be expensive because we have so many bridges in that category,” Hampy said. “We have programmed seven bridges since I’ve been here. … Second to that is we do have gravel roads that are in need of improvement. … Three is going to be reclaiming the asphalt roads we have. An asphalt road lasts about 15 years and after that it’s in need of either a topical treatment or completely regrinding, which we prefer not to do if we can make them last longer …
“Outside of road and bridge there’s several things we’ll be looking at and one is continued economic growth of Sedalia/Pettis County,” he added. “I serve on the Sedalia-Pettis County Economic Development board and have been active in trying to recruit prospects. Our economy is thriving and growing but we would like to continue our base that helps Pettis County grow and thrive, which is our manufacturing base. We’re looking at several things in an effort to do that.”
The County Commission has plenty of Road and Bridge projects, but funding can be tight. Hampy offered a few ways to stay within the means of the budget. One example is Base One, a new product the Road and Bridge Department is using to harden the base of a road that they are hoping will allow them to build a road with a chip-and-seal top rather than asphalt.
“We have to prioritize our bridges, look at traffic counts and the necessity of which bridges need to be replaced,” he said. “… Normally you have to use asphalt to build your top and then use a chip-and-seal to preserve the asphalt. We’re trying to see if we can harden the base enough to use a chip-and-seal only. If we can successfully do that, that may eliminate quite a bit of cost out of blacktop road. There are other options, like using a thin layer of asphalt. Those are things we’re going to investigate.”
Hampy said goals for the Road and Bridge Department would be expanding hard-surface roads, especially if the Base One and chip-and-seal treatment proves successful.
Hampy said a goal for office if re-elected is continuing the Commission’s work with economic development and continuing to help “move Pettis County forward” through his work as Chairman of the Pioneer Trails Regional Planning Commission.
“I think we’ve been very successful the last four years in improving the road and bridge efforts,” Hampy said of why citizens should vote for him. “In addition to that I’ve provided leadership in bringing Federal dollars to our community by replacing the Katy Trail Bridge, which is a win-win-win for the people that are driving on Highway 50 and the people walking on the Katy Trail because of the multiple safety aspects of the improvement. I think that indicates my work ethic to do the job for Pettis County citizens.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.