Hansen And Harms Take On New Roles At The Courthouse

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
November 2018 mid-term elections in Benton County resulted in the election of Rodger Reedy, Assessor, to the position of State Representative for District 57. His resignation as Assessor resulted in the movement of two County personnel into vacated positions. North Side County Commissioner Jim Hansen was appointed by Governor Mike Parson to fill the Assessor’s position, and North District Foreman Scott Harms has been recommended by the Benton County Central Committee to replace Hansen on the County Commission. As of press time, Harms is awaiting confirmation by the Governor that could come this week.
Jim Hansen grew up in Benton County, in the Lincoln area. He is not new to the Assessor’s office as he worked 16 years for Rodger Reedy before serving six years on the Benton County Commission. 
“It is a natural fit for me because of my prior experience in the office and I’ve been surprised at how fast it’s all coming back to me,” said Hansen. “I don’t plan on making any big changes, but am making some updates in the office and on our GIS website. I am presently in the process of hiring a data collector and office clerk to replace the two recently vacated positions.” (Referring to Carla Brown who is the newly elected Recorder of Deeds and David Broderson, who is the newly elected County Collector.)
Hansen was confirmed by Governor Parson at the end of the first week in January. He resigned as Commissioner effective January 7, and was sworn in as Assessor on January 8. He said that after serving the rest of this term, he will run for re-election.
When asked about the highlights of his time on the County Commission, Hansen said that the new jail was the hot topic that consumed the Commission for a couple of years. 
“I am glad that the voters saw the need for a new jail and the fact that most people thought the budget was acceptable,” said Hansen. “It was the big hurdle, but there were also ‘feel good’ accomplishments too, like the time when Benton County was declared a Purple Heart County.”
When asked about his replacement for the North Side County Commissioner position, Hansen said that Scott Harms was a good fit for the job and that he was glad that he applied for the position. He said that Harms was well versed and known in the northern part of the county where he has been active in the Cole Camp rural fire department.  A Republican committee interviewed six applicants for the Commission job on January 24 before selecting Harms. Since Governor Parson is a Republican, it is considered usual that he would confirm the candidate recommended by the Republican committee.
Harms said that he is excited about being named to fill the Commissioner seat, although it will be different for him. He is a veteran at taking care of county roads as he has been the North District Foreman for almost 14 years.  
“My goals include making sure the jail gets built and stays within budget,” said Harms. “I will also be looking at roads and prioritizing maintenance that needs to be done. Weather makes a difference on how roads need to be taken care of.  At this time frost is coming out and creating problems.”
Harms was born and raised in Cole Camp. It will be nearly two years before his term will be completed, and he plans to run for re-election, and eventually retire from the position.