State of the County Address by Presiding Commissioner Mark Shahan

                                    State of the County

(The following is a transcript of Mark Shahan’s State of the County given on June 4th in the County Annex at 9am)

          Thanks to the Chamber for Hosting and planning this event. We are   very pleased to see all that came here today either to present or to listen.

       The County of Adair is presenting the 2024 Proposed Budget which has been prepared by the County Commission and the Clerk of said Commission. The budget process factored in the current economy and objectives of the Elected Officials. Adair County General Revenue Fund increased $136,787.66 or 9.13%, the Road and Bridge Fund decreased $155,090.71 or 15.2%, and the Law Enforcement General Fund decreased $37,380.51 or 7.4%. This included a transfer of funds ($1,253,063.99) from the Law Enforcement Services Fund into the Law Enforcement General Fund to cover 2023 expenses.

       The 2024 budget includes all the necessary funding for the county departments to provide quality customer service to the public. It also includes federal and state grant funds for multiple services. Also included in the 2024 Road and Bridge budget is 800K to address FEMA Disaster 4741. This is damage from summer storms starting on July 29th, 2023, through August 14th, 2023. This work is ongoing and will be completed Late summer of 2024.

         During 2024, the County Commission has budgeted to expense the remainder of the ARPA funds: budgeted a 3% COLA for all full-time employees. To comply with the 2023 Salary Commission, the Elected Officials will also receive the 3% COLA. The County continues to fully fund the LAGERS pension plan, half of the CERF pension plan, and the Prosecuting Attorney's retirement plan. In addition, Adair County offers a health insurance plan at a cost of $25.00 per month to all eligible full-time employees and eligible Elected Officials.     Beginning in 2024, Air evac Household memberships will also be added as a fringe benefit to all employees eligible for health insurance coverage.

         Adair County continues to collect a ¼ cent sales tax passed by the voters in April 2021 to finance restoration to the Adair County Courthouse. The Commission executed the Final Delivery and Acceptance Certificate of work performed on the Adair County Courthouse on September 27, 2023. The balance of the outstanding loan is $6,754,433.56. The loan is scheduled to be paid in full on or before September 1, 2032.

In the fall of 2023 AES began construction on a 1000-acre 300 Mega Watt DC Output Solar Field located south Kirksville. The commission had negotiated a road use agreement with the Project developers before any construction began. Construction and should be complete Q-1  2025.

          On Saturday July 15th, 2023, Adair County Commission Hosted a Ribbon Cutting and Rededication of the Historic Restored Courthouse. The event was well attended by the Community and was a great historic event. The event also included a relaying and rededication of the Cornerstone by the Missouri Grand Lodge of Free and accepted Masons.

          On April 23rd of 2024 the Commission traveled to the Capitol to receive a Historic Preservation Award for the work that was completed on the Courthouse. It was held in the Rotunda of the Capitol followed by a Reception located at the Millbottom Event Center. This was the only Courthouse in the State of Missouri to receive such and award.

        On April 16th, 2024, the Adair County Commission Hosted the Spring Northeast Region Commission/Clerk meeting with 17 counties in attendance. This event takes place every 8 years for each County in the Northeast Region. These events are progressed in alphabetical order starting with Adair the Number one county in the state. We also received a very nice Letter from Senator Josh Hawley for the success of the event.

          During the Holidays of 2023 the Kirksville Lights partnered with the city of Kirksville Parks and organized a Holiday Celebration centered around the square and the Courthouse. Several thousand were in attendance for the Parade which Featured Rhonda Vincent as the Grand Marshall. Attractions included lighting of trees and the Courthouse, Ice Skating Rink in the Courthouse parking lot, Horse drawn carriage rides, Santas sleigh for photo opportunities and lots of hot chocolate. We are looking forward to next season to having an even greater Holiday event.

During the courthouse renovation the Summer on the square and all normal events were scheduled elsewhere. But with the completion of the restoration summer on the square returned to the courthouse lawn and was never better.    

The Adair County Commission is optimistic for continued growth throughout the area and is looking forward to the 2024 year.

Thank you all again for attending today.                                                                                 

Commission Districts-Population
Commission-Districts In Detail

Adair County Commission

The County Commission is an elected three-member governing body. The commission includes a Presiding Commissioner, a First District Commissioner, and a Second District Commissioner. The Commission is responsible for county administrative tasks which includes:

  • Maintenance and repair of approximately 700 miles the roadway and bridges
  • Establishes County policy
  • Approves and adopts the annual budget for all County operations
  • Approves actual expenditures for each department
  • Ensures County-wide compliance with numerous statutory requirements
  • Acts as liaison with county boards, commissions, and other governmental entities

In addition, the County Commission must represent the county on the following regional councils which may encompass Adair County:

  • Division of Workforce Development
  • Regional Planning Committee
  • Solid Waste Management
  • University of Missouri extension
  • Commissions and councils relating to health, education or welfare of the citizens as established by executive or legislative action of the government of the United States or of the state
  • Other councils and organizations relating to operations of counties as from time to time may be created

History of the Adair County Commission

Prior to 1877, Adair County had a variety of district, associate, or township judges (commissioners). The terms of office were sometimes two years, four years, and for one period six years.

That all changed in 1877 when the Missouri Legislature provided for a court (office) of three judges (commissioners). One person was to be the Presiding Judge (Commissioner) who was elected on a county-wide basis for a four year term and two District Judges (Commissioners) elected by their individual districts for a term of four years.

For more than fifty years, the districts in Adair County were (1) Benton and Nineveh Townships, and (2) the other eight townships. Due to population density, this became an unequal division. The first district had 83% of the population and the larger 2nd District had only 17% of the population.

In 1974, a new division was created. District 1 would consist of the entire city of Kirksville east of the Norfolk & Western Railroad while District 2 would encompass the remainder of the county. This new division made for a more equal distribution of the county between the two districts.

Purple Heart

Past and Present Adair County Judges (Commissioners)

Name Dates Party
Mark Shahan2019-CurrentRepublican
Stanley Pickens2011-2017Republican
Gary Jones1999-2010Democrat
Bill Novinger1991-1998Democrat
Alvin Henderson1987-1990Republican
Gail Novinger1985-1986Republican
Jack Shelton1975-1984Republican
Stanley Ambrosia1971-1975Republican
Walter Hoffman1963-1971Republican
Waldo Shokey1959-1963Democrat
Grover H. Belfield1951-1959Republican
Arlie Fast1949-1951Democrat
Bert Elsea1943-1949Republican
Joe E. Johnson1939-1943Republican
Ray Bennett1931-1939Democrat
Amos Propst1927-1931Republican
George W. Newton1925-1919Republican
Leander L. Mikel1923-1927Republican
C.B. McClanahan1919-1923Democrat
Aaron P. Hopson1907-1915Democrat
George W. Newton1903-1907Republican
Joseph S. Hickman1899-1903Republican
J.A. Bragg1895-1899Republican
J.J. Keim1891-1895Republican
W.P Linder1887-1891Republican
J.L. Hawkins1883-1887Republican
M.G. Clem1879-1883Republican
Noah Stukey1877-1879Republican
Name Dates Party
William King2017-CurrentRepublican
Carson Adams2009-2016Democrat
Gene Schneider2005-2008Republican
Ray Klinginsmith2001-2004Republican
Herman Truitt1993-2000Republican
Bobby Leavitt1991-1992Democrat
Jack Shelton1989-1990Republican
Bobby Leavitt1987-1988Democrat
Stanley Ambrosia1979-1986Republican
Leon G. Coy1977-1978Democrat
Alva Bowes1971-1976Republican
Stanley Ambrosia1963-1971Republican
Walter Huffman1951-1963Republican
Dewey Conner1949-1951Democrat
Harry Balch1945-1949Republican
H.B. Umbarger1943-1945Republican
Bert Elsea1939-1943Republican
Pearl E. Arnold1937-1939Democrat
Fred Miller1933-1937Democrat
W.M. Willis1931-1933Democrat
F.L. Rogers1927-1931Republican
Amos Propst1925-1927Republican
F.L. Rogers1923-1925Republican
Leander L. Mikel1919-1923Republican
Andrew J. Houston1917-1919Republican
Samuel F. Shoop1915-1917Republican
Jacob H. Shoop1911-1915Democrat
Z.T. Hagans (resigned)
Thomas W. Fickel (appointed)
1909-1911Republican
C.E. Markey1905-1909Republican
W.C. Ditmars1901-1905Republican
R.N. Toler1899-1901Republican
Joseph Hickman1895-1899Republican
Adam Shoop1889-1895Republican
A.N. Toler1887-1889Republican
J.H. Novinger1885-1887Republican
G.W. Novinger1883-1885Republican
S.F. Stahl1881-1883Republican
P.D. Shoop1879-1881Republican
Name Dates Party
Mark Thompson2009-CurrentRepublican
Sid Osborn2001-2008Democrat
Bob Brawner1991-2000Democrat
Myrl Ferguson1987-1990Republican
Jack Ward1985-1986Democrat
Dale Miller1981-1984Republican
Larry Smith1979-1980Democrat
Wilson Stribling1971-1978Republican
Earl D. Platz1969-1971Republican
Homer Johnson1967-1969Republican
Ray Pierce1965-1967Democrat
Raymond Rummerfield1959-1965Republican
Oliver Stribling1951-1959Republican
A.D. Waddill1947-1951Republican
Oliver Stribling1943-1947Republican
Grover H. Belfield1941-1943Republican
Reuel W. Roberts1939-1941Republican
Charles C. Martin1935-1939Republican
J.P. Sleeth1933-1935Democrat
Sampson Boyland1931-1933Democrat
Joe E. Johnson1927-1931Republican
Ray Bennett1925-1927Democrat
W.H. Wilkins1923-1925Republican
Amos Probst1919-1923Republican
Ray Bennett1917-1919Democrat
Robert McClanahan1915-1917Democrat
Seymour J. Reed1911-1915Republican
R.W. Hart1907-1911Republican
Baxter R. Hawkins1903-1907Republican
George W. Newton1897-1903Republican
Daniel Tuttle1893-1897Republican
J.J. Keim1891-1893Republican
William Hart1889-1891Republican
George R. Huston1885-1889Republican
J.T. Johnson1881-1885Republican
John H. Rainer1879-1881Republican