MARYVILLE, Mo. — Scott Walk, environmental specialist at Northwest Missouri State University and manager/operator of Walk Farms, hopes to take with him 57 years’ worth of Nodaway County knowledge, financial know-how and agriculture practice should he be elected as South District Commissioner in November.
Planning to retire from his position as an environmental specialist at Northwest, Walk is looking for his next challenge and believes the opportunity to serve county residents on the commission will fit the bill.
“I think the current commission has done a good job,” he said. “I would like to join that team and serve the people of Nodaway County.”
Walk’s background includes serving county residents for 16 years as part of the Nodaway County Ambulance Board of Directors. He’s been chairman and is now the treasurer, which he said is a similar position to commissioner due to its countywide nature.
“They are both tax-funded entities of which I feel like you need to be fiscally responsible when spending the money,” Walk said.
The ambulance district is a countywide organization and they sponsor all of the rescue squads, plus provide ambulance service for the county. The commissioner’s job is a countywide position that provides services for the entire county.
“They’re very different types of services, but they are very similar in that aspect,” Walk said. “When you look at what you’re doing there, you have to look at all of Nodaway County, not one section, not one group, but all of Nodaway County and I have experience doing that.”
He’s also spent 31 years as an environmental specialist at Northwest working through environmental compliance, fire safety and safety training.
“In doing environmental compliance you deal with regulatory agencies, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), DNR (Department of Natural Resources),” he said. “The county has to deal with some of those very same agencies.”
He also mentioned making sure the university is in compliance with the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act as well as with disposal of hazardous waste.
As an example he said knowing how to deal with what types of hazardous waste: household or commercial is how he’s cultivated relationships with people at the regulatory agencies.
“I’ve always looked at them not as adversaries, but as an ally,” Walk said. “Working with others and building positive relationships is important.”
He explained that he believes the most knowledgeable person is one who knows whom to ask the right question.
“Find that right person to help you along, because nobody knows everything and everybody makes mistakes,” Walk said.
Walk has worked on a farm every year since he was 6 years old, he told The Forum, but it was after his father died in 2006 that he took over managing the family farm. While running that business, along with working at the university and serving on the ambulance board, he has learned about focusing on details.
“There is a need to pay attention to details,” Walk said. “That’s what good budgeting comes down to. That’s what good fiscal responsibility comes down to: being a fiscally responsible member of the community, of a board or anything else. I have a lot of experience in that and that’s what would lend well to being a commissioner for the county.”
Walk said his top priorities if elected would be roads and bridges, because “good infrastructure is essential to the county moving forward.”
Those roads and bridges in Nodaway County stretch the county budget. Walk got a copy of it to study before the election.
“Law enforcement is not getting any cheaper and providing emergency services for people in the county is important,” he told The Forum in August. “Competition for funding is a challenge.”
Last week, Walk said the commission is going to have to think of alternative funding options. He complimented what the commission is working on with other counties to trade soft-match funds for other governmental funds.
“I love that, because it means they’re thinking outside the box when it comes to bringing in money to create a better infrastructure for Nodaway County,” he said. “When I believe in something I speak for it.”