Mr. Reedy Goes To Jefferson City

Joyce Coates
County Reporter
 Rodger Reedy resigned as Benton County Assessor at 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2018, ending his 36 year career in that office. 
Reedy was hired by the County Assessor in 1982, the late Glen Coffey, and worked with him until 1992 when Coffey died tragically in a car crash. Then-Governor John Ashcroft appointed Reedy to complete the remaining term.  In all, he served seven terms.
However, it is neither his final farewell nor a move into retirement. Rather, north Benton County is not losing an assessor; in only 8-1/2 days it is gaining a State representative, as is Henry County and parts of Bates and Cass counties.  Seventy-four (74) percent of all MO District 57 voters chose Reedy last November to represent them in the 100th Missouri General Assembly. 
Single when he first joined the Assessor’s office, Reedy married a few years later. He and his wife Rhonda have three children, now full-grown adults: Kayley – 28; Austin – 23; and Wesley – 21. His hometown is Windsor, and they raised their family in the same area where Rodger was born and raised, on a farm with cattle. 
Rhonda Reedy grew up in Clinton where they attend church, and where she is partner in a business on the Clinton Square. Their two oldest and youngest children are poised and ready to manage the farm while their dad is serving in Jefferson City.
“I had always been interested in the State Legislature,” Reedy said, “and the time came when everything fell into place.” 
Term limits prevented Rep. Wanda Brown from running again. When he announced his candidacy in 2017, he did not have to face a primary election. He ran a 14-month campaign that kicked off at his house, holding events that featured chicken dinners like one in Cole Camp that yielded a large turnout of enthusiastic supporters.
 “You could call me Mr. 57,” Reedy said.  “Elected at 57 years old to represent the 57th district, working with Missouri’s 57th governor!”
Reedy takes office when the 2019 General Assembly convenes on January 9 and looks forward to opportunities to serve in his new role. Yet, he spoke with nostalgia about his career in the county assessor’s office, his staff and coworkers, and his campaign for state representative. 
“My first day working in the assessor’s office,” Reedy recalls, “Glen Coffey told me ‘the most important thing is to treat people the way you want to be treated’, and that stuck with me.”
What he will miss is working with the people and his coworkers in the courthouse.  As Assessor, he is most proud of his excellent staff and the fact that four former employees became county officials. His responsibility was to comply with the law and to keep assessments fair and reasonable, and he worked with county commissioners to do so.
Throughout his campaign he enjoyed events across the 80 miles wide district.  Within it are 14 small and one large town; a largely rural area influenced by Truman Lake and Lake of the Ozarks. On election night as results were coming in, Reedy drove first to Benton County. Each time his wife texted updates from the Henry County Watch Party, he would pull off the road to read the messages. Most gratifying, he said, was that Benton County carried him by 84 percent.
Following the election Reedy has been preparing for his move to the Capitol. Soon to be among a total of 163 State legislators, Reedy joined 59 other “freshmen” for a 3-day orientation and two weeks of training that included a tour of state facilities in St. Joseph, Carthage, New Madrid and Louisiana, MO. Besides traveling to the eastern side of Missouri for the first time, he enjoyed meeting his fellow freshmen, getting to know them and beginning the process of building relationships based on what they have in common and by understanding their points of view regardless of party affiliation.
Committee assignments are pending. Reedy has requested to serve on the Committees on Agriculture, Local Government, Children and Families, and to become better informed about General Laws may also request that committee. Freshmen draw numbers to determine seniority, office assignments, and parking spaces; he drew #42 of 49. The day after Christmas, the family spent the day setting up and decorating his office.
Reedy has selected a legislative assistant who will also work for the Sullivan County representative, thereby saving $22,000 in salary and benefit costs. Also, to save money, rather than renting an apartment, he has arranged special rates at a motel for the nights he will spend in Jefferson City during the legislative session.
The 2019 regular session begins Wednesday, January 9 at 12:00 noon, with scheduled breaks on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 21; Spring Break from Friday, March 15 through March 22; Easter Monday, April 22. The session ends on Friday, May 17.
During the legislative session, Reedy will prepare weekly Capitol Reports for distribution to newspapers, and to constituents who can sign up via the link on his MO House webpage. Constituent services will be a priority throughout the year. Reedy’s legislative assistant will remain in the office during the off-session when he returns to the district, during which times he will also attend events district wide.   
The 2 years-8-months remaining in the Benton County Assessor’s current term will be filled by whomever Governor Parson appoints as successor. He will announce his choice to be made from recommendations that have been or will be submitted by the central committees of each party. 
Until noon, January 9 “Representative-elect;” and thereafter, Representative Rodger Reedy can be contacted in his Jefferson City office via the following:
Telephone: (573) 751-3971. 
Address: 201 W. Capitol Ave, Room 115C, Jefferson City, MO 65101.