By Ethan Colbert
After the resignation of incoming Pike County Clerk Michelle Hunter Jaeger last week, the Pike County Commission on Thursday announced that Susie Oberdahlhoff, 74, of rural Bowling Green, has been selected to serve as interim Pike County Clerk.
Oberdahlhoff will serve until Missouri Governor Mike Parson names his appointee. A date for Oberdalhoff’s swearing in has not yet been set, according to county officials.
Per state statute, Missouri’s top elected official has 60 days from January 1 to name his appointee, who will serve until the next General Election can be held.
The next election is scheduled for 2020. The winner of that election will serve the remaining two years of the term, before another election is held in 2022.
According to Pike County Presiding Commissioner Chris Gamm, Oberdahlhoff was selected by the county commission from a field of undisclosed possible candidates.
“For me personally, I think she is a highly respected individual throughout this county and the state with people on both sides of the political aisle,” Gamm said. “She is a very stable individual as far as decision making and working with everybody. That is basically it without going through her entire resume.”
Phone calls seeking comment from Oberdahlhoff were not returned as of press time.
According to Western District Commissioner Bill Allen, Oberdahlhoff is among those that the Republican Party’s Central Committee has interviewed as she is vying for the local central committee’s recommendation to the Governor.
“We would not be naming her without her interest in the appointment,” Allen said. In the county commission meeting, Allen said that Oberdahlhoff is qualified for the office, which the county’s payroll, payment of the county government’s bills, processing and handling all Missouri Sunshine Law requests, supervises, manages, and certifies elections, and maintains voter registration.
Specifically, the county clerk is the budget officer, which means that the clerk is responsible for certifying and enforcing the budget.
The county clerk is also responsible for certifying the tax rate for the county government and all taxing entities within the county, such as school districts, hospital board, and fire departments.
In addition, the county clerk is responsible for preserving records of the Pike County Commission and documentation related to their meetings.
“She has some of the qualifications that she needs,” Allen said. “Of course, she doesn’t have them all. Not anybody else would be having them all, other than Melissa (Kempke) right now.”
Melissa Kempke is the current Pike County Clerk. She ran unsuccessfully for re-election, losing by 202 votes to Hunter Jaeger in the November General Election.
Kempke is a Demcorat.
Hunter Jaeger ran as a Republican. Oberdahlhoff is a longtime supporter of the Republican Party both on the state and local level.
She was one of the earliest supporters of former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens in the Pike County and has served as the campaign treasurer and campaign volunteer for current state representative Jim Hansen (R-Frankford).
According to Pike County Presiding Commissioner Chris Gamm, Oberdahlhoff previously worked in the Pike County Clerk’s office.
The Times has filed a Missouri Sunshine Law request with the Pike County Clerk for dates of employment for Oberdahlhoff.
According to officials with the county, current employee files date back to 1976 and no employee file for Oberdahlhoff has been located.
According to Eastern District Commissioner Justin Sheppard, who attended Thursday’s meeting by telephone.
“I believe she will do a tremendous job until the Governor makes his appointment for the 2020 election,” Sheppard said.
This story will be updated to include comments from Oberdalhoff, once she returns the Times calls.