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Two running for county public administrator

Melonie Nevels

Wendy Howe










Voters have two choices on the Republican ballot for Marion County Public Administrator in this Tuesday’s Primary Election.

Melonie Nevels, of Hannibal, is challenging the incumbent, Wendy W. Howe, for the countywide office. The winner will have no opposition in November.

Both candidates filled out a candidate survey submitted to them by the Palmyra Spectator.

The following are their responses.

Melonie Nevels



I was raised in Perry, Mo. and am a graduate of Mark Twain Jr. Sr. High School.   

After graduating high school, I made the big move to Hannibal.   

I have completed 20 years working at Hannibal Regional Hospital and in 2013, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and in 2014 became the executive director of 2 Rivers Industries, Inc., a Missouri sheltered workshop.  

I am married to John, and together we have seven children, a daughter-in-law and a grandson.

Why are you running?

The population that this position serves is one of the most vulnerable populations, and it takes someone with the ability to balance respecting the client’s  wishes while also looking out for their best interest and someone who will treat them as people with feelings and emotions.  

I already do this.

I have the passion to help people, especially those individuals who have difficulty helping themselves. 

I not only know how to effectively communicate with these individuals, I do it, daily.  

I allow them their time to talk and explain where they see themselves in the future while I listen, and then propose ways to help them get to those goals. 

I explain, I work to help them understand the path that needs to be taken,

We discuss the expectations that I have of them and the expectations they have of me.   

We plan, we develop a support team that works for everyone.  We develop a relationship, we develop trust, we develop dignity, meaningfulness and we develop happiness and joy in their lives.  

This is something that I have demonstrated over and over.     In fact, I have demonstrated this to the point that I have been sought out on several occasions by individuals and organizations to be the guardian and payee to their loved ones or clients.

I have the experience; I have the knowledge. I have the desire.   That’s why I want to be public administrator.

What Goals do I have if I am elected?

My primary focus is to put the individuals of Marion County first, including:

• those currently under guardianship,

• individuals seeking guardianship and

• the community as a whole.

For me, putting the clients first would include always ensuring that:

• their medical health needs,

• mental health needs,

• housing, and

• financial needs are all being met.

·Their needs, their dreams. I want them to know what those are and help them work to get them I’m just a resource to help them succeed.

I will listen to each client and help guide them in the direction they wish to go, encouraging them to regain their own guardianship when it’s appropriate for them to do so.

All along the way I will be asking them things like:

• Are they comfortable with all of the members of their Care Team?

• Do they feel that changes need to be made?

• How can I help them feel supported and heard? 

I will always listen and I will always do my best to accommodate my clients needs while ensuring that their safety, dignity and autonomy are respected.

I will consult with all of the members of the Care Team to aide in added support for myself and the client as we navigate decisions related to their care.

It’s important to me that they have a voice, however; I am not afraid to tell my clients “No” or guide them into a direction that myself and their Care Team feel is more appropriate.  

I will always educate them on the reason why the team believes in a certain direction for them.

I have been described as firm but fair.

I don’t always make the decisions that make my clients the happiest at that moment, but all my decisions are always in their best interests. 

After all, I will be court-ordered to be their guardian, to make the best decisions for them to ensure they have the highest quality of life they can achieve. 

Because that is what each of us deserve.

And that. Is what I will do when I am elected.

Are there important issues that need to be addressed?

As stated above, I want to be someone that listens and assists individuals to better themselves. I want to be someone that the clients can rely on and trust.  

Wendy W. Howe

Biographical Background

I grew up in Palmyra and graduated from Palmyra High School. I have lived in Marion County for over 35 years. 

I attended and got my bachelor of science degree in justice systems from Truman University. I have been working in social work ever since. 

My family all live in the area. I have a son, daughter-in-law, and one grandson, who attends Palmyra Elementary.

Why are you running?

I have held the position of public administrator since 2011 and have gotten to know my clients well.

I feel that continuity of care is important for them, and I want to be here to support them.

What goals do you have if elected?

I plan to continue to maintain a good relationship with all our clients. I operate with a team approach to provide the best support possible. 

Through the years, my office has been routinely audited by the Social Security Administration, State of Missouri, and the Veterans Administration. My office has always gotten great reviews from all our audits. 

I will maintain the positive relationships built with those agencies and continue to get excellent reviews from them.

Are there important issues that need to be addressed?

The important issues for my office are our people. Listening to and connecting with them is my priority. 

We identify the services they would benefit from and see that their needs are met. 

We make sure that they are in the least restrictive, but best environment possible. I do my best to see that everyone accesses superb medical services when needed.