Bob Nance

CLAY COUNTY — In a round of state appointments Friday, Aug. 2, Gov. Mike Parson appointed Bob Nance of Kansas City as Clay County treasurer.

The treasurer is responsible for receipting all county revenues, making bank deposits, investing county money, balancing county bank accounts and tracking all county funds. The treasurer’s office is also responsible for writing juror checks and helping people claim unclaimed property.

“I was a (state) representative for eight years. With my background, I’m really humbled and honored the governor has appointed me. My job is to oversee the money for the county, and that’s what I plan on doing to the best interest of the citizens,” Nance told the Courier-Tribune Monday, Aug. 5.

Nance is a former executive director for the Excelsior Springs Chamber of Commerce and Missouri District 36 state representative, representing parts of Ray and Clay counties. Nance also served as chair of the Clay County Board of Election Commissioners and on the Clay County Senior Services Board.

Eastern County Commissioner Luann Ridgeway congratulated Parson on making an “excellent appointment.”

“I’ve known Bob Nance for years and think he has the background, experience and overall qualities to serve well as county treasurer. We will work well together,” she told the Courier-Tribune via text message Monday.

Clay County commissioners appointed Carol McCaslin as interim county treasurer in June to fill the vacancy left by the death of former Treasurer Ted Graves. Graves, who was in his second four-year term, passed away June 24 after a battle with cancer.

McCaslin previously served as county auditor, presiding commissioner and treasurer. She was chosen to serve for up to 60 days per state statute by the commission to allow time for the governor to consider and appoint someone to fill the remainder of the unexpired term that ends in 2020.

After McCaslin’s appointment, the Clay County Republican Central Committee voted on a list of three potential candidates the group would wanted the governor consider for the post. Those on the list were Jesse Leimkuehler, who owns and operates Belvoir Winery in Liberty and received the most committee votes; Melissa Wilson, who works in banking and is a Smithville alderman; and Nance.

Leimkuehler and other county residents have complained on social media about Nance’s appointment, saying a call from Ridgeway to the governor’s office influenced Parson’s decision and that Nance, because he doesn’t have an accounting background like Leimkuehler, is not as qualified to serve as county treasurer.

“I put my name in because I felt it was important to have someone who actually knows how to be a treasurer in the office and would have been thrilled if a more qualified candidate stepped forward,” Leimkuehler wrote on Facebook.

Ridgeway called Nance a qualified candidate and said if anyone wants to know the reasons behind Parson’s choice for the appointment, they should contact his office.

“I know our governor well and served with him for years in the Senate. Mike Parson has a solid record of making sound decisions based on facts,” she said, adding she doesn’t respond to rhetoric of social media groups.

Presiding Clay County Commissioner Jerry Nolte, who is also a member of the Republican Central Committee and who voted to appoint McCaslin as the interim treasurer, defended Nance’s appointment.

“Central committee sent, I thought, three good choices to the governor. I’ve worked with Bob in state legislature for eight years and I’m real anxious to see him and work with him again. He’s a smart guy and good guy who picks things up quickly,” said Nolte. “I think he’s going to do a great job there as treasurer.”

Nolte added while it was important input the central committee provided the governor’s office, ultimately it was Parson’s decision to make.

“At the end of the day, it’s the decision of the governor and it’s his call,” Nolte said.

Nance will now serve until the term expires in 2020.

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at amanda.lubinski@mycouriertribune.com or 903-6001.

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