A debate by Barry County politician’s running for elected office filled the community room at the COA July 12 with potential voters. This segment is on the county clerk’s post. Other parts cover the county commission and drain commissioner debates.
Incumbent Pam Palmer and Craig Stolsonburg are running for the clerk’s seat.
Palmer was employed by the Siegel Hudson law firm for 18 years and judicial secretary in Barry County Circuit Court for 19 years. She was appointed to fill out a retiring clerk’s term on Jan. 1, 2015. Being clerk is a huge learning experience and she still learns something every day, she said.
Stolsonburg was on the county board for eight years, chairman for five. A Realtor for 18 years, Stolsonburg said he has been in public service in civic organizations for many years, has wide experience in administrating budgets and people, and the necessary skills to lead by example.
Budgets, with increasing wages, benefits and decreasing income from state and local sources, is a concern for both candidates. Palmer said she got quotes for a new jury system, but could not justify the $60,000 to $72,000 expense for six or seven trials a year, instead, she found a company that would do the task for $1,700 a year.
Stolsonburg said the county board found dozens of ways to cut spending during the recent economic downturn; an example was going to the committee of the whole system and reducing commissioner’s pay from about $20,000 to $12,000. //
Digitizing county records is a goal for both; they agree it must be done one step at a time.
Palmer said with her law background she is a strong candidate for clerk. She likened the debates to a job interview to let people know more about her and she would appreciate their support at the polls.
Stolsonburg said he was “born to serve,” joining the Middleville Rotary in 2005 to give back. He never intended to go into politics but, “my hardworking nature and ability to see all sides to build consensus” makes him a good candidate. He pledged to, “put Barry County people first.”