Texas County Health Department photo
Texas County Health Department

This story has Unlimited Access. Please support our commitment to public service journalism. Subscribe now.

Texas County residents will elect two members to the Texas County Health Department board on April 4.

Jim Hagler and Edward Williamson are the incumbents.

Listed in alphabetic order are the candidates’ responds to a questionnaire:



Tell us about yourself — My name is Jim Hagler. I am a recently retired independent insurance agent of over 50 years.  My wife Ann and I have lived in Licking basically all our lives.  I have two children, Nancy Derrickson and Bobby Hagler and five grandchildren.  I was brought up to be honest, to work hard and to help those who needed help.  I attend the Licking Pentecostal Holiness Church and strive to be the example I need to be to those I come in contact with, inside and outside of the church.

What are the most pressing needs of public health in the county? Making sure the people of Texas County have availability to good healthcare.

Why do you want to be a member of the Texas County Health Department board? To help in financial and insurance situations that they continue to run efficiently.

What initiatives would you like to see tackled over the next few years? At this point, everything is running smoothly with a great team to work with, however we could look at more available mental health options.  


Tell us about yourself — I believe in three things. God, Family and Country. My relationship with God and Family is secure.  However, I am losing my country.  It is on a jet ski to socialism / communism. And if we cannot stop it we will no longer be the land of the free.  Right now, there are not enough brave men and woman that will stand up and be counted.  We are lacking as a people to stand for freedom.  Including freedom for our health choices.  We allowed Communist pencil necks to tell us what to do and even how to think about COVID for the last three years. Which, as the Bible says the pig will return to the mire and the dog to its vomit. So we should expect them to try to enslave us.  And we only have ourselves to blame for allowing it to happen.  I feel we need to take responsibility for ourselves and stop relying on the Government to tell us what to do. America operates on the consent of the Governed. And without bravery we can never have freedom

What are the most pressing needs of public health in the county? To train people to be responsible for their own healthcare. The Government is a terrible baby daddy.  No matter how much you try to take charge of a person’s health, you will never be able to get them healthy unless they make the choice to be healthy. But, when the government starts deciding personal health choices, many of us will let them.  We cannot spend enough money or enough man-hours to compensate for STUPID.   If folks took charge of their own choices they would quickly see the results of responsibility both the good and the bad.  If we want to see a positive change in our community, people need to see a positive reward in their life and it would only make them better for it.

Why do you want to be a member of the Texas County Health Department board?  After seeing how the different county health boards dealt with the last three years of Government Intrusion in our lives.  It is easy to see that the board makes all the difference.  In Texas County, one of our high schools forced kids to run up and down the basketball court wearing a face mask.  After they were threatened with lawsuit, they reversed course.  But when asked about it they said that was the direction from the county health board.   Some of our neighboring county health boards tried to put more infringements of their citizens and some health departments did not want to put any restrictions on its folks. We can be more like the latter if we had a board that did not lean toward socialism. 

What initiatives would you like to see tackled over the next few years? The county health department needs to be for the entire county, not just for those that are considered poor.  When is the last time the health department was involved in a community event?  We need to stop catering to one portion of our community and work for everyone.  We have a neighboring county health department to the east that is doing just that. Health Fair,  CPT Training and  childcare assistance program for the entire community.  When you scroll through the facebook pages of the health departments you can see who they are providing services for.  The most valuable things that folks can do for their health is lifestyle choices.  We cannot vaccinate our way out of dependency and into health.   And contrary to what the CDC says folks need to make good choices for good health. Instead of encouraging folks where to get free stuff how about enabling them to make better choices. And the health department needs to address more than vaccines and WIC.



Tell us about yourself — I am a graduate of Houston High School (class of 1981). Except for a few years while my dad was stationed out of state and a couple of years after high school I have lived in Texas County my whole life. I worked at Pizza Express in Houston while finishing up my teacher certification and graduated from Southwest Baptist University in 1991. I taught school at Raymondville and Summersville from 1991-1999. I earned an M.Ed. from Southwest Baptist University in 1993, and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1998.

I became a college professor at Drury University in 1999 and am completing my 24th year. I am a tenured Associate Professor of Education and have taught at many of the Drury University locations throughout southern Missouri as well as online and at the main campus in Springfield. My wife, Beth, was the choir director and also taught music at Raymondville, Summersville, Houston and Licking during her long career. Our oldest son, Clint, graduated from Summersville High School while our younger son, Ethan, and daughter, Elisa, graduated from Houston High School. My parents still live in Houston, and I have lived near Twin Bridges between Houston and Licking since 1997. In addition to my work at Drury University I have also served as the minister of the Bendavis Church of Christ in western Texas County since 1985. I like to volunteer at the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Mo., whenever I have the opportunity. I also speak to schools and other groups about the life of George W. Carver. I am a member of the Concord Cemetery of Texas County board and the Carver Birthplace Association Board of Directors.

What are the most pressing needs of public health in the county? I have always felt that access to mental health resources and services is a crucial need. I also feel that we need education about the dangers of drugs such as fentanyl in order to protect the citizens of our county. In addition, our health department is able to provide access to resources to counteract overdoses from opioids. The county health department is an integral part of the health network in Texas County. Providing vaccinations and other health services is a vital function of our local county health department. To me these three: mental health resources, education and resources about opioids, and basic medical services such as vaccinations for the citizens of Texas county are the most pressing needs. I also feel very strongly that members of the Texas County Health Department Board need to ensure the Health Department is adequately staffed to meet the needs of all who live in our county.

Why do you want to be a member of the Texas County Health Department board? I want to be a member of the Texas County Health Department board to continue serving the citizens of Texas County. I have been honored to serve as a member of the Texas County Health Department board for the past four years. I was asked to file as a write-in candidate four years ago since no one had filed for the position. I was subsequently elected to a four-year term. As my term was coming to a close this past year I was glad to be able to file for re-election. The past four years have been very difficult for everyone because of the virus pandemic. I am glad that the virus seems to be waning and this allows us to focus on the other very important health issues that face our county. I feel that the current members of the Texas County Health Department board work very well together and do the very best job they can for all citizens. I filed for re-election in order to continue this very important work.

What initiatives would you like to see tackled over the next few years? As I stated earlier, I believe that access to mental health resources and services is a crucial need in Texas County. We were able to open the Community Resource building next to the health department during my first term on the board. This has allowed the Texas County Health Department to provide more resources and services relating to mental health. I want to continue to work on this in the coming years. I also am interested in making sure that all parts of our very large county have the resources needed to help our citizens with their health needs.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply