The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 1, 2012

Jasper County voters to elect new sheriff

By Susan Redden

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Jasper County voters have one more county race to decide when they go to the polls Nov. 6.

The Republican primary voters in August determined the contests of four county races where candidates will face no general election opposition. Voters will have a choice to make in the sheriff’s race between John Karriman, the Libertarian candidate, and Randee Kaiser, the Republican nominee who ousted Sheriff Archie Dunn in the primary.

The primary race was a lively one, with more than $100,000 raised and spent for campaign advertising and other efforts among Kaiser, Dunn and Larry Newman, a former sheriff’s deputy and  a third candidate in the GOP contest.

The run-up to the general election has been far more sedate. Karriman has not mounted an active campaign and filed a reporting exemption with the Missouri Ethics Commission saying any campaign collections or expenditures won’t exceed $500.

Kaiser, who spent nearly $30,000 in the primary, reported having $3,675 in campaign funds left in the bank as of early October.

• Kaiser, 44, of Carthage, currently is assistant chief of the Carthage Police Department, where he has worked for 16 years. He is a graduate of the MSSU police academy and holds a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from Missouri Southern State University. He was born in Barton County, and holds a journalism degree from the University of Missouri.

Kaiser, who has attended most meetings of the County Commission since the primary, has said he will approach the job with “a spirit of cooperation” and work with the commission and auditor on the budget and other issues.

The sheriff and the commission had clashed on budget issues, particularly those involving the Law Enforcement Sales Tax, which Dunn proposed and campaigned for, and was passed by voters in 2006.

Kaiser said the expectations he will set for deputies in the sheriff’s department will be “to let them know they’re expected to work and to treat residents right and to not do things that would put the sheriff’s department in a bad light.”

• Karriman, 54, of Joplin, is a tactical specialist with the state of Missouri who teaches at the police academy at MSSU. He has been a Jasper County resident for more than 30 years, and worked previously for the Joplin Police Department, and Jasper and Newton county sheriff’s departments. He  holds an associate degree from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and also attended MSSU.

Karriman said he would work to ensure cooperation between the sheriff’s department administration and the County Commission. He said he also would work for better cooperation between the sheriff’s office and other law enforcement agencies in the county.

“I would also emphasize training and make sure deputies are respectful  and responsive to the public.,” he said.


In Sarcoxie, voters will determine the fate of a $4 million bond issue for water and wastewater services and a half-cent capital improvements sales tax. The measure does not include an increase in water or sewer rates because the bonds would be repaid by proceeds of the proposed sales tax,  according to Mayor Don Triplett. Officials estimate the tax will generate $50,000 annually.

“The costs should off-set each other; we don’t want to raise water and sewer rates,” he said.

He said the city proposes to spend about $1 million from the bonds to extend water and sewer services  to an area of commercial development south of Interstate 44. He said the city has been contacted by other businesses that they would be interested in building in the area if water and sewer services were available.

“We think there is tremendous potential for growth there that would serve the city and travelers on the interstate,” he said. “Over 55,000 cars pass that location every day.”

He said city officials have been working with the Sarcoxie Chamber of Commerce and on the proposal.

The remaining sewer bonds would be set aside for future system upgrades, Triplett said.

“We’ll have them if there’s a need for emergency repairs, or for if the state requires us to make upgrades that will help us get money from the state’s revolving fund.”