It’s been a great year…
I am State Representative John Mayfield and I have the honor of representing the 20th District in the Missouri House of Representatives. This district includes the Truman Home neighborhood and the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum neighborhood.
Speaker Tim Jones appointed me to serve on the following Committee’s for 2013-2014:
- Joint Committee on Government Accountability
- Committee on Financial Institutions
- Committee on Insurance Policy
- Committee on Professional Registration and Licensing
- Special Standing Committee on Small Business
During the summer and fall of 2013 I was appointed to serve on the following Interim Committee’s:
- Citizens and Legislators Working Group on Medicaid Eligibility & Reform
- Improving Government Responsiveness & Efficiency
I am serving my first term in the Missouri House of Representatives. This position has given me the opportunity to meet wonderful new people and to assist my constituents with navigating state agencies. It is a very rewarding position. It is also very time consuming. You never run out of people to talk to or meetings to attend.
I am a Democrat so I often get asked how I get along with the Republicans I serve with in the General Assembly. Despite the philosophical differences we have from time to time we get along very well. Sometimes people are surprised by my answer.
The first congratulatory letter I received from one of my new colleagues after winning my election was from Rep. Andrew Koening a Republican. Several Republicans reached out to me upon arriving in Jefferson City including Rep. Jeanie Lauer, Rep. T.J. Berry, Rep. Don Gosen and Rep. Paul Wieland. Some of my best friends are freshmen Republicans like Rep. Ron Hicks, Rep. Dave Muntzel, Rep. Ken Wilson, and Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer.
I enjoy my friends in my caucus as well. I am thankful for the leadership of our leader Rep. Jake Hummel. I appreciate Rep. Jay Swearingen, Rep. Judy Morgan, Rep. Vicki Englund, Rep. Gina Mitten, Rep. Mike Colona and Rep. Jeff Roorda for their friendship and mentoring.
We spend so much time together that we do become sort of a family. Like in other lines of work no one else better understands the pressures and frustrations that we face. We had several members lose family members during the session. We rallied together and supported each other like a family.
My most difficult moment this year as a legislator was not a vote to cast or even a decision. Earlier this year Fort Osage Fire Protection District Asst. Fire Chief Harold Hollingsworth was killed in the line of duty. Rep. Kolkmeyer a retired Fire Chief in the Wellington-Napoleon District called me with the news. Rep. Kolkmeyer and I attended the funeral together and did our best to comfort the family. We supported each other has we tried our best to comfort the grieving family.
This tragedy reminded me that when tragedy comes your way it does not care whether or not you are a Republican or Democrat, conservative or progressive. It only matters what type of character you have in your heart and the depth of your soul. I will always be grateful to Rep. Kolkmeyer for the character he displayed during this process. Bi-Partisanship is not a dirty word. It reminds me of something my mother used to tell me when I was a child “it’s always the right time to do the right thing.”
I have decided that one of my areas of focus will be on government transparency and accountability. Most government workers try hard and do their best every day to make government accessible and helpful to those who need its services. However oversight in the term limit era is very weak as the average State Representative only serves four years today. By the time we learn the things we need to do we are on our way out the door as the new crop of legislators come into office.
Some might say that I am being a little self- serving with this observation. I have a question in return: “How many businesses or institutions would be successful if every four years we completely turned over all of its leadership?”
In my mind the answer is not very many. Yet we think this is a wonderful thing for government when many of my conservative friends tell me we should run government more like business. I say what many of my conservative friends say about business “Let’s let the market decide.” However term limits in Missouri are here to stay.
It has been a year of making new friends, learning a new system and trying my best to do what is right by the voters of the 20th District. When I arrive on the House floor each day and see my name on the board I think about the 37,841 people I represent. I can’t please them all but I never forget them as I do their business in Jefferson City.
I look forward to the new session in Jefferson City, and as always please contact me with any concerns.
Representative John Mayfield