By Debby Woodin
PINEVILLE, Mo. —
McDonald County voters here Nov. 6 will decide races for sheriff and Western District County Commission.
In the sheriff’s race, Democrat incumbent Robert Evenson is being challenged by Republican Michael Hall.
Evenson is asking for a third term as sheriff. He has worked in law enforcement 23 years, first as a deputy marshal in Noel.
He graduated from the Missouri Southern State University Police Academy in 1988. He obtained a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice administration and an associate degree in law enforcement from MSSU in 1991. He also holds a firefighter certificate from Crowder College.
Evenson cites his experience for the job. He worked as an investigator for 11 years, working on cases involving homicide, child abuse, sex crimes and other offenses. He said he is certified as an investigator for major case squads, homicides and crime scenes, and that he updates his training every year on topics involving not only law enforcement but sheriff’s department operations.
He is on the boards of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force and McDonald County 911 system, and is a member of the law enforcement advisory committee for the U.S. Attorney of Western Missouri and the Homeland Security Advisory Council for U.S. Rep. Billy Long.
Hall is a private security officer at the McDonald County School District and teaches Drug Awareness and Resistance Education in the schools. He was employed by the sheriff’s department at the rank of lieutenant until he filed for election.
Hall has been in law enforcement since 1997 when he graduated from the Missouri Southern State University Police Academy. He joined the sheriff’s office in 2006 as a jailer. He has worked since as road deputy, school resource officer, corporal, sergeant and lieutenant, and handled operations of the department and the jail.
He filed for the office, he said, because “I thought that I could do a little better job as administrator and manager over the office. I want to implement some things that have been taken away, one being the school resource officer.”
Hall said he regularly updates his training and teaches classes as well on topics such as first-line supervisor and instructor school in addition to basic law enforcement. He is an instructor for active shooters and is a site coordinator for Missouri Sheriffs Academies held there since 2005.
Since 2006, he has accrued more than 600 hours of training and taught over 500 hours to other officers, he said.
Democrat David Holloway and Republican Nadine Sexson are vying for the post held by incumbent Ronald Walker, who was defeated in the primary.
Holloway worked for the Missouri Department of Transportation for 16 years and previously was a mechanic for the McDonald County School District for eight years. He attended Crowder College.
Voters in the county will be asked whether to terminate the County Planning Commission. Commissioners who supported the planning work have not been re-elected.
Holloway said he supported the development of a comprehensive plan but does not support subdivision regulations or zoning.
“I did not like the plan presented by the planning committee to the commission in reference to subdivisions,” he said. “However, I agree with the initial idea of a comprehensive plan to address four main areas: Where we are now, where are we going, where do we want to be, and how do we get there. This is part of basic planning and provides direction for the commission.
Sexson worked at Casey’s General Store for five years and the Big W, now the RedNeck, for five years. She formerly worked for New Visions, taking care of patients.
She said she also does not support further regulations by a planning commission.
“I do not think the people will like a zoning law for McDonald County,” she said. “We have too many laws already. People moved to the country to get away from all the zoning laws. We would not have moved to the country if we knew we were going to be zoned. I think you will have trouble with the zoning in the country as people do not like to be zoned.”