MARYVILLE, Mo. — Dee O’Riley, the newly elected public administrator for Nodaway County, said Tuesday that she plans to set up an office in the Nodaway County Administration Center in Maryville when she takes over in January.
O’Riley met with the Nodaway County Commission Tuesday to discuss transition plans into the position, which has been held by Diane Thomsen since 2009. O’Riley, a Republican, defeated the Democrat Thomsen in November’s election with 60 percent of the vote.
“I’m really excited,” O’Riley said. “I have a lot to learn.”
The county public administrator serves as the guardian and/or conservator for individuals, frequently the elderly, who are unable to care for themselves or their property when there is no one else to serve, representing them in the court system, managing their finances and performing other duties to responsibly maintain their assets.
During the campaign, Thomsen had made an issue out of office space and the use of attorneys to conduct the public administrator’s business. Thomsen runs her office out of space provided by the law firm of Strong & Strong in Downtown Maryville, where she had worked prior to winning the public administrator position in 2008. Additionally, the attorneys at the firm provide free legal services to Thomsen’s office, which is frequently necessary; an attorney must sign off on all paperwork filed with the court by the public administrator’s office.
Tuesday, O’Riley said she will open an office in the Nodaway County Administration Center, and will begin budgeting for the transition. She also told the commission that she plans to contact several local attorneys to see if they would be willing to provide similar services to her office as those that have been provided under Thomsen’s tenure.
Currently, O’Riley works as a tax preparer and also as the city clerk for the city of Hopkins. She said she has been asked to stay on as the city clerk, which is a part-time position with flexible hours, and so she plans to do so. That will likely mean splitting time between Hopkins and Maryville, she said.
“I’d like to come here for the convenience of the people, then anything I can do from my office up there, I would probably do up there,” she said.
O’Riley and all other county officials elected in November are tentatively scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 5.