By MARK EVANS
After nearly a decade on the job, First District Commissioner Randy Bahr and Second District Commissioner Joe Getting were honored at their final meeting last Thursday.
Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson presented each with a plaque and the courthouse staff provided a farewell cake and ice cream.
Gettinger, who took office in January 2013, opted not to run for a third term. He is being replaced by former Ste. Genevieve Alderman Randy Ruzicka, who beat Tony Ritter in the November election. Bahr, who was appointed by Governor Jay Nixon to fill an unexpired term in September 2011, before being elected to two terms, was defeated by Karen Stuppy in November.
When asked about accomplishments, Gettinger had an answer ready: “We paved over 76 miles of road since I’ve been in here; we’ve tore down Riverview; we’ve removed the old Extension building over here and made parking for everybody downtown; we’ve built seven bridges and did changes on Saline Creek Road, that dangerous curve; we’ve done the Community Center sports complex, Challenger ball field, and the River Rapids Waterpark.”
“I’ve been lucky to work with two good guys,” he added. “I think we accomplished a whole lot of good things for the county, to tell you the truth. I’m happy with what we’ve done.”
“Joe pretty well said it all,” Bahr said. “I was glad to have the job, the opportunity to serve everybody. I’m sure, with the two that are taking over, it’s going to keep going that way. I’ve got confidence in everybody. I’m just gad to work with Garry and Joe. I think we did well. We didn’t see eye to eye on everything, but at the end of the day we worked everything out.”
“I think we’re leaving the county better than when we came into office and I’m proud of that,” Gettinger added.
Nelson agreed with their assessments.
“I’ll go along with what Joe said, and Randy, both,” he said. “We got a lot accomplished in the last eight years. Having a fellow construction worker (Gettinger), he sees things from a different angle, then you’ve got Randy’s common sense, which goes a long way. We got a lot done, we worked together. Like Randy said, we don’t agree on everything, but what three people do agree on every single thing? We just worked out what we thought was best for the community and the residents. Some people don’t agree, but we do what we think is best for the overall community.”