Western District Commissioner

LAYNE NANCE Personal: I’m a lifetime resident of Ozark County, the son of the late Brandt and Nola Sue Nance. My fiancee is Tammie Loftis. I’m an avid fisherman, and I especially love to get youth involved in fishing. Employment: I’ve been employed for 7 1/2 years as a grader operator with the Ozark County Road and Bridge Department. Previously, I worked at Bryant Plastics for 20 years in trucking, freight and truck maintenance. Education: I’m a graduate of Gainesville High school. Biggest challenges, new ideas: The biggest challenge as commissioner will be keeping the roads in the best shape while staying within the budget and working around the weather. As commissioner, I will work with the Road and Bridge crew and help out during weather-related incidents.  How will you keep roads in good repair and citizens happy? I will be checking trouble spots, determining which roads need focus and attention. I want to be available to the people so I can help come up with solutions for any problems they may encounter. If elected, that is the job I will do. I will work for the people. What distinguishes you from your opponents? My years of experience working with the Road and Bridge Department sets me apart from my opponents, along with my many years’ experience with trucking and trucking equipment. I am experienced in maintaining and purchasing parts for all types of equipment, and I also have experience in managing a small business and budgeting. Goal you hope to accomplish? My goal will be to keep the roads in the best shape possible with the budget we have. I will also work closely with the other departments to help with anything I can do to help the county. I will do my best to always help bring in business for the county and new opportunities for our youth. I will always have the county’s best interests at heart. 

ROBERT MERRIMAN Personal: I’m a lifelong resident of Ozark County. I’ve been married to my wife, Arlene, for 41 years. We have two daughters, Amanda and Bobbi, and six grandchildren. Employment: I’m retired from the Missouri Depart-ment of Transportation, where I worked for 28 years. My duties included many types of surface and drainage maintenance on public roads in and around Ozark County with the primary focus being on the safety of traveling motorists. I operated and maintained all types of equipment necessary to accomplish assignments and goals. My duties also included budget management and recordkeeping. I continue to operate our beef cattle farm, which was established around 1980. I credit our farm’s longevity to a strong work ethic, management skills and common sense.  Education: I am a 1979 graduate of Gainesville High School. Biggest challenges, new ideas: The biggest challenge I see for commissioners is providing quality services to taxpayers with limited funds available. If elected, I will work diligently to secure any other possible sources of revenue that may be available, and I will work closely with other officials to operate Ozark County in the most cost-efficient manner possible. With the support of the taxpayers, we can keep Ozark County great. How will you keep roads in good shape and citizens happy? I will always be available to respond to the concerns of citizens in a timely manner, and I will follow through with any improvements deemed necessary. I will work within the perimeter of our budget to keep the county roads maintained and try to achieve more permanent solutions to problem areas.  What distinguishes you from your opponents? I have no disrespect for my opponents in this campaign. With that being said, I firmly believe I am the most qualified candidate for commissioner. I have spent the past 40 years managing finances, operating equipment, maintaining roads and being connected with the public in many different ways. All of this past experience relates directly to the position of commissioner. If elected, I will commit to using an honest, dependable and straightforward approach while serving our community. Goal you hope to accomplish? One of my goals as commissioner would be trying to attract new or expanding existing businesses in our community. This would stimulate the economy in our county as well as generate more revenue for our limited operating budget. 

SHANE LEDBETTER Personal information: I am a lifelong Ozark County resident. My grandfathers were men who were public servants also: C.I. Holmes was a Gainesville city judge, Hobart Ledbetter was mayor of Theodosia and Earl Holmes was Ozark County presiding commissioner.  I’ve been married to my wife, Kris Ledbetter, for 35 years; she has been a kindergarten teacher at Gainesville for over 20 years.  Our three daughters are Sally Hambelton, a nurse practitioner; Molly Collins, owner of Molly’s Salon and Boutique; and Nicole Terry. The joys of my life are my grandbabies.  My greatest priority in life is my Christianity. I am a member of Mammoth Assembly of God.  Employment: For 20 years I was the owner/operator of Gainesville Motor Parts, working with the public and managing the store’s finances. During that time, I sold automotive, tractor and implement parts to county residents. Currently I work at O’Reilly Automotive, and I am the Ozark County Coroner, having served two four-year terms. This experience gives me the ability to know equipment and to know how to work with people.   Education: I am a Gainesville High School graduate. I attended Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science and became a licensed embalmer and funeral director.  Biggest challenges, new ideas: I feel the biggest challenges will be the monetary ability to take care of our roads and bridges. I plan on working hard to locate possible funds through grants and other resources to help fund our county’s needs. Being out in the community during this campaign, I’ve also come to see that we need better communication. I know follow-through is essential. I will make myself available to all people anytime there is a concern. I’ll do my best to do what I say I’ll do.   How will you keep roads in good shape and citizens happy? I will manage the west side by communicating with the citizens of the county and letting people know their money is being used to keep their roads in the best condition possible.   What distinguishes you from your opponents? I feel what sets me apart is my people skills and my work ethic. Through the Coroner position, I have worked many hours outside of the normal work week. I will always work my hardest to resolve problems. Currently and for many years, I have served on the Gainesville City Council, making decisions to improve and maintain our city. This has given me valuable insights to possible monies and grants that are available.  Goal you hope to accomplish? I will work to maintain Ozark County so it’s a place where people will continue to want to live, raise their families and retire. 

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423