A prominent name and face in the Perry County government will step away from his position after a lengthy career.
Perry County Collector Rodney Richardet will retire after 38 years in the local government. His colleagues held a special party for the longtime County Collector Thursday.
“Anytime we get together to honor one of our own, it is a special occasion.” Missouri State Representative Rick Francis said.
Richardet was presented with two plaques to mark his career.
Despite the lengthy career, and many friends he made along the way, a local government office was not really something that he foresaw for himself.
“I never started out thinking I would ever run for an office,” Richardet said. “My parents were Republican committee members and several people over the years stopped by the house or farm to discuss politics and I always found it interesting listening to the conversations but never ever thought of it as a career. The City Collector back in 1984 was retiring & a friend whom I worked with at the time suggested that I run for that position, so I filed and campaign, and I ran on a promise to do the best job I had the ability to do and I was successful.”
Not only was Richardet successful, he also received encouragement from those around him.
“I was elected to a two-year term and after six months the retired city collector Don McNew told me that I belonged at the courthouse as county collector,” Richardet said. “I said not so fast let me get through one year here and we will assess at that time. I paid a lot of attention to what McNew had to say, for he was an experienced officeholder. I did and with the county collector retiring in 1987, I told Don if you will be my Campaign Treasurer I would run and the rest is history. I’m glad I listened to his advice, because that kind of shaped my thinking. Running on my two-year record as city collector I felt with that experience along with my integrity and leadership skills, qualify me to run an efficient and professional collector’s office. I was fortunate enough to win that position.”
Richardet started as the Perry County Collector in 1987, after spending two years as the City Collector. The collector’s office processes and mails more than 23,000 tax bills annually. Along with this, the job includes balancing and reconciling hundreds of court orders, additions, tax sales, delinquent tax billing, as well as keeping up with the many changes in the laws and statues. He has seen many changes over the years in office. A few of the office’s notable accomplishments during Richardet’s tenure include, combining the taxes for the cities in Perry County with the county tax bill, online Personal Property program with the License Bureau, Drive-up Window (First county in the state to have one), Payment Drop Box, improved mailing procedures, the online land tax sale auction, and the updating of the tax bills.
“We continue to update our computer equipment, and software programs whenever it is feasible. This has enabled the abstract companies, real estate agents, appraisal offices, and banks, etc. to be able to access online the information they need for their work. Bringing online tax bill payment to Perry County and the other counties in the State of Missouri, you have the choice to pay your taxes anywhere in the world if you have a computer or phone, by credit or debit card,” Richardet said. “I have continued my certified education training through the education programs of the Missouri County Collector’s Association, NACTFO, and NACO. I serve on the Legislature committee on the State level with the Missouri County Collector’s, was appointed the very first Third Class representative for Missouri Collector Association and served on the National level with the Technology and Telecommunications and presently with the Rural Action Caucus and Ag & Rural Affairs Steering Committees.
Richardet will always treasure his time in local government. Dena Preston will take over for Richardet on March 7.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Perry County and watch Perry County grow and become probably one of the most progressive and most well planned counties in the State of Missouri. “Honesty, courtesy, respect, fairness, efficiency” is what we will pass along to the next generation in the Collector’s Office,” Richardet said. “I’m very grateful for all the help of people over the years. I have been very fortunate to have great people that supported me and great people that helped me.”