Friday, January 05, 2007

The Lighter Side Of The Saint Joseph News

At around 5:PM Wednesday my Wife had to take me out to the emergency room. My back was giving me trouble again. They ran some test and said my Arthritis is getting worse. They told me that if I still didn't want surgery all they could do was increase my medication. I told them that the idea of back surgery still frightens me so they sent me home this evening. I got behind on the news while I was in the hospital so tonight I'm playing catch up. I don't know, maybe the increase in my medication is the reason one of the headlines in my local paper just jumped out at me,"Cremains of 2 found in county office". Today's article says Buchanan County Missouri's previous public administrator left office in disgrace,"Ms. Lawson resigned in August and faces a state investigation into funds allegedly missing from client accounts". It doesn't mention the fact that the same thing happened to her predecessor, or that he committed suicide to avoid facing the charges. You can call me sick or under the influence if you'd like but right now I'm thinking the only thing that would have made this article any better would have been publishing it on Halloween.

Cremains of 2 found in county office

Marshall White

Finding the cremated remains of two people stuffed away in your office can be disconcerting.

"I had no idea the office was in this bad a shape," said Bill McMurray, Buchanan County's new public administrator.

The first two days in office have been an eye-opener.

The cremated remains of the individuals were found boxed in a file cabinet and sitting in a closet, Mr. McMurray said.

"I said a prayer for these people," he said. "Surely, we can give these people a burial."

The remains date from December 2003 and January 2006. Mr. McMurray declined to release the names of the former clients.

Former Buchanan County Public Administrator Bonnie Sue Lawson said she didn't remember who the individuals were. The public administrator's office acts as the guardian, conservator or personal representative for about 420 county residents.

"However, it wasn't unusual when a client died to not have anyone claim the remains," Mrs. Lawson said. She declined to say anything else about the office she left.

Ms. Lawson resigned in August and faces a state investigation into funds allegedly missing from client accounts.

Mr. McMurray, who was elected to the office in November, has been finding tins, boxes and sacks filled with stuff.

In one container, found today, there were 11 Series EE $100 U.S. savings bonds, Mr. McMurray said. "Cleaning up today we discovered that there is a cage upstairs filled with stuff," he said.

The cage holds exercise equipment, pictures, old clothes, wallets, checkbooks, bills, shoes, jewelry, a bicycle, canes and files. It's just one of the storage areas - there are at least three more in town, Mr. McMurray said. Everything will have to be identified and cataloged, he said.

Despite the work that hasn't been done, the office still has to deal with day-to-day problems.

A budget meeting with county officials offered some relief. The office's first-year budget will probably be $174,000, with employee benefits, rent, office expenses and mileage, said Royal Turner, the new presiding commissioner.

"I'll be a team player," Mr. McMurray said.

He offered to move his office into the courthouse to save $14,000 in rent, but he was declined. The office is located across the street from the courthouse.

"Some clients have problems dealing with security," said Bud Crockett, western district commissioner. "Believe me, the current location is the best location."

In the coming year, the county can look at internships and part-time assistance to assist in getting the office organized, said Dan Hausman, eastern district commissioner.

Mr. McMurray said he's recruiting some volunteers to assist in filing the backlog of paperwork,

Once the county hires its new legal adviser, Mr. McMurray said he wants to review some additional issues to avoid future problems.

In a candid moment Wednesday, the administrator said he's wondered if he wasn't out of his mind running for the office.

I'm also thinking I wouldn't want Mr. McMurray's job. Maybe we need a County Exorcist to clean up this office.

Thanks go to the St. Joseph News-Press

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.


Blogger Elizabeth said...

I didn't know they were called "cremains."

Sounds like serial-killer type behavior...

Do you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis?

4:25 PM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

I'd never heard them called, "cremains" before. I think this should have been in the Bizarre News.

I have osteoarthritis/arthritis of the spine.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Pay for essay said...

I wish you to recover soon, it's so painful I know

1:54 AM  
Blogger Katherine Thayer said...

For your Back pain... Just like the residents of they choose Chiropractor rather than surgery.

4:30 AM  

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