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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Breske, Grow seeking GOP nomination for clerk

  • Rosalind Ann Breske and Pamela K. Grow, both of Rolla, are both seeking to be the Republican nominee for the Phelps County clerk in the Tuesday, Aug. 5, primary election.
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  • Rosalind Ann Breske and Pamela K. Grow, both of Rolla, are both seeking to be the Republican nominee for the Phelps County clerk in the Tuesday, Aug. 5, primary election.
    The candidate who wins the August election will then go on to face Paul Long, the only Democratic candidate, running for the office in the November general election. He faces no challengers in the August primary.
    Incumbent County Clerk Carol Bennett is retiring at the end of this year and is not seeking another term.
    The Rolla Daily News submitted questionnaires to the two Republican candidates for county clerk and their responses are below.
    Name: Pamela K. Grow
    Age: 54
    Current and previous employment: Currently full-time homemaker; prior to that, private practice pediatrician, pediatric urgent care, Missouri S&T Student Health physician. I suspended medical practice at the end of 2008 to concentrate on my family.
    Family: Husband of 35 years, David Grow (S&T associate professor of mathematics); two sons, two daughters, a son-in-law, one grandchild.
    Community service/voluntarism: I have helped tutor first-grade readers and middle school math, helped with the high school choir program, sewed costumes for kids in grade school and at Fine Linen Drama; I served six years as secretary/treasurer of our neighborhood homeowner’s association; I began serving on the Phelps County Salvation Army board last fall.
    Previous elected offices (if any): I was elected and re-elected Republican committeewoman for my township, serving since August 2010; I was elected chair of the 120th Legislative District Republican committee in August 2012; I was elected in April 2011 to a two-year term on the Phelps County Emergency Services Board (PCESB).
    Why are you running for the office of county clerk? I am running for Phelps County clerk because I cherish and believe in our system of self-governance. A great deal of this governance happens at the local level, and for this to succeed, the people must have transparent government which they feel is accessible and accountable to them. Honest elections are a critically important part of this. Equally important is following the Constitution and the law; anything else demoralizes the people. I have been very interested in good governance for quite some time, and this is an opportunity for “less talking and more doing.”
    What are your qualifications for the office of county clerk? I meet the criteria laid out in state law (RSMo 51.050): “No person shall be elected or appointed clerk of the county commission unless such person be a citizen of the United States, over the age of 21 years, and shall have resided within the state one whole year, and within the county for which the person is elected one year just prior to such person's election; and every clerk shall after the election continue to reside within the county for which such person is clerk.” I have spent a great deal of time reading relevant state statutes, both on the subject of county government as well as election law and have shared my knowledge on numerous occasions with others in the community. My service on the PCESB board included participating in budget discussions for a $1.2 million annual revenue stream, and writing the draft procedure manual.  I was chair of the party committee tasked with nominating a candidate for the special election to fill the vacancy in our Missouri House district. This required thorough familiarity with, and adherence to, pertinent state statutes.  
    Page 2 of 3 - Why are you a better choice than your opponent for this office? I believe I have shown the initiative and interest necessary for election to this public office.
    What changes, if any, will you make to the office and why? The people—the “governed”—must give their consent to everything government proposes to do. This requires transparency, and I do believe transparency could be improved for those who are not physically able to attend the 9 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday county commission meetings. For this reason I would favor posting agendas and minutes of the meetings on the county clerk’s page online.
    Do you believe that voter ID should include a photo? First, I would remind the reader that the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the photo I.D. requirements in the law in 2006. I have a copy of this court decision, which is over 20 pages long. It is interesting that some of the majority argument rests on a federal law which was later negated by a law passed in Missouri in 2009. Nevertheless, it does not appear that Missouri law currently mandates a photo I.D. to vote. A county clerk certainly does not write the election law. Secondly, having a photo taken for an I.D. has become somewhat more complicated recently, since the photography has come to include digital facial recognition and the photos have been so widely shared across branches of government, indeed, across countries. So this is not really a straightforward question. Lastly, I do believe, in general, that voting should be made very secure, and that local polling place officials should be thoroughly satisfied as to the identity of the person seeking to vote, and that provisional ballots are to be used if they are not.
    What improvements would you recommend to the budget formulation process? Last year, some final decisions were made on the county budget at a meeting that began at 9 a.m. on the day after Christmas. This is not conducive to taxpayer input, and I would favor anything to make budget meetings more accessible to the public. I am in favor of as much transparency as possible; government owes this to the people. Transparency protects everyone, in and out of government, and would do much to allay people’s concerns, I believe. Furthermore, it would enable the commission to benefit from more input from the citizens of Phelps County, who corporately have a great deal of experience and knowledge.  
    What question did we not ask that you would like to ask and answer? I would like to have been asked what I thought of grant money coming from higher branches of government. My belief is that the people should see, annually or more often, an itemized list of grants from federal and state sources secured by the county. This list should also reveal any matching percentage for which the county is responsible, and the requirements for the grant award—both in the application process, and after its award—should be summarized.   
    Page 3 of 3 - Name: Rosalind Ann Breske
    Age: 52
    Current and previous employment:  I have worked at The Family Center in Rolla for the past two years. Prior to that, I worked for an electronic company out of the country and before that, I worked at the U.S. Post Office. I also have worked at three banks over a 10-year period.
    Family: Married with two children.
    Community service/voluntarism: None currently, but I would like to get more involved in the community. I do participate with various community fundraisers.
    Previous elected offices (if any): None. This is the first time I am running for public office.
    Why are you running for the office of county clerk? When I first learned of the job, I didn’t know it was an elected position. I wanted something different. I did secretary work through high school and have worked in many offices. I think this will be another challenge for me.
    What are your qualifications for the office of county clerk? I’ve had various jobs and held many managerial positions. As manager for the post office, I handled training, a budget, audited routes and audited carriers.
    Why are you a better choice than your opponent for this office? I think it’s a fair game. I don’t see one person better than another. It’s an open race. Anyone can apply for it. I thought I’d give it my best shot.
    What changes, if any, will you make to the office and why? If I do get the position, I’ll see what happens. I’ll see what it’s all about and if any changes can be made.
    Do you believe that voter ID should include a photo? I think most people who want to vote, they don’t necessarily cheat and take your card if they want to go to vote. I wouldn’t think you need a photo.
    What improvements would you recommend to the budget formulation process? I’d wait to see how things are run and decide what’s more efficient.
    What question did we not ask that you would like to ask and answer? I hope the voters give me an opportunity. I’m not out there with signs. It’s just me. This would be another job for me. I’d be invested for four years.
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