How long have you been a part of the Howell County community? To what extent have you been a part of local government in Howell County? I was born and raised in Licking, Texas County, to Wes and Patsy Kissiar. My parents owned and operated Kissiar Equipment Co., the local John Deere store. It was there that I learned work ethic and pride in what you do. I married West Plains native Blake Crow in 1984. We have two sons, Dakota and wife Annah, and Dillon and wife Clair, and three grandchildren.
The Crow family has deep roots in Howell County. Earl Crow, Sr., started Ear’ls Sales and Service in 1938 and Earl, Jr., and Blake continued the Earl’s name by starting Earl’s Dodge Chrysler Jeep and Ram in 1982, which Blake and I owned and operated until 2015.
I have not held a position in our county government; my hope is to be elected so I can be a good public servant to all citizens of Howell County. Our family and businesses have supported with our time and money everything from nonprofit organizations to band, FFA, sports and academics in all our area schools over the last 40 years. I am a lifetime member of Future Farmers of America, the current president of the South Central Cattlemen’s Association, active member and past president of the United Federated Republican Women of Howell County, board member of the Missouri Farmers Association, past president of the Missouri Cattlewomen’s Association, past vice chairman of the Missouri Beef Industry Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation Board member, a member of the Federation of Beef Councils and past chairman of the Boys and Girls Club of the Greater West Plains Area. Our United Federated Republican Women of Howell County supports many efforts such as law enforcement, Salutes, Veterans, CASA and Christos House, just to name a few worthy organizations.
If you are elected, what will be your priorities for the county collector’s office? As collector of Howell County, my number-one priority will be to serve the public by providing them with the customer service that they deserve by running an efficient, ethical and friendly office.
In what ways do you feel your previous experiences have prepared you for this office? I am qualified to do the job of collector by bringing nearly 40 years of accounting experience, management, computer, financial and budget skills from our 30 years of business ownership of Earl’s Dodge Chrysler Jeep and Ram to the office of collector. I also bring a proven history of integrity and honesty from serving the public for 30-plus years.
Regarding your prospective position, what do you consider your greatest strengths? Weaknesses? My greatest strength comes from 40 years experience in customer service and always striving for perfection and a smooth and seamless process. Working in the private sector with corporations, banking and lending institutions and government rules and regulations adds to my knowledge and understanding on how to handle situations that may arise.
My greatest weakness is delegating responsibilities. When owning your own business, you tend to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
What do you consider the biggest challenge of the position you are running for? What areas need improvement and why? I am confident in my abilities to do the job of collector. The biggest challenge started on the day I filed for office when my opponent’s tactics of intimidation, impediment and harassment started to keep me from running against him. My biggest challenge now is to make the public aware that I am a Republican forced to run as an independent because of my opponent’s actions. Again, I am confident that I can do the job as collector, and I will work closely with the staff and the current systems to see if change is needed and what areas need improved upon. When those areas are identified I will make sure that the resources and tools to do the job efficiently are in place.
I will start by renegotiating the contracts between the county and the city of Willow Springs and West Plains. I do not believe an elected official should retain 3% of taxes collected. I will work with city and county policymakers and find a fair and balanced avenue for this revenue for all parties. I understand years ago, when these contracts were penned, that accounting was time-consuming because it was posted by hand. With current-day technology and software, the accounting is quick and easy. I know because I have kept books the old-fashioned way for many years until computers and software became an everyday tool.
What is the most important issue or challenge you anticipate the collector’s office will face this year and in the foreseeable future? I see the biggest issue this year may be the downturn in the economy and the citizens' ability to pay their taxes.
How would you address this challenge or issue if you are elected? When these issues arise, I will work with the staff to find a solution to the problem that falls within all legal statutes.
How do party politics play into your job as county collector? Politics will not play a role in the office of collector. All citizens are equal in every way and will be treated with respect and the professional courtesy they deserve.
What has been your greatest accomplishment in your career? In your personal life? The greatest accomplishment in my professional career would be Blake, myself and our staff at Earl’s Dodge Chrysler Jeep and Ram winning the coveted award of Five Star. A business is only as good as the team that is built. Personally, I was awarded Gold status for 15 years at the management level by Chrysler Corporation, but I really treasure the “Missouri Cattlewoman of the Year” award the most.
On a personal level, my (our) greatest accomplishment will always be raising successful, driven, community-minded sons that continue the legacy of a good work ethic and the values that were bestowed upon them.
What do you believe is the most important quality, talent or experience you will bring to the job if elected county collector? The most important quality that I will bring to the Office of Howell County Collector will be integrity. The ability to do what is right when no one else is watching. Those traits were instilled in me at a very young age by my parents. With integrity and a good work ethic I am confident that I can run a friendly, efficient office for all the citizens of Howell County.
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