|Glenda "Wendy" Metcalf|
Growing up, Glenda "Wendy" Metcalf learned about serving in public office from two important people in her life. Her grandfather, Toby Stockstill, was the Stone County Assessor and her grandmother, Ruby Stockstill, served as Public Administrator.
Metcalf, 52, has been the public administrator in Stone County for the past 22 years; she became interested in public administration while working for her mentor, Judge Bob Wiley.
The office of Public Administrator is not a business administration position, instead it acts as an officer of the court as a last resort.
When the court finds that a person can no longer make decisions for themselves and no one steps forward to act as their advocate they become a ward of the court and a public administrator is appointed to them. Sometimes when family members get into a dispute about the care of a loved one the public administrator is appointed to make decisions. If someone passes away and there are no family members, once again, the public administrators office is appointed to oversee the estate. They are also responsible for the placement and referral of people who become their wards and also oversee their mental and physical care.
The total budget for the office for 2012 is $65,590.00. Out of that, Metcalf must pay operational expenses for the office including telephone, postage, mileage and training. No county money is budgeted for the wards of the court. Wards reimburse the county for expenditures they incur when they have the funds, according to Metcalf.
She has over 600 hours of certified training related to the position and possess an extensive knowledge of Missouri Probate Code.
Metcalf currently handles 45 open cases and has 10 pending at this time. The highest case load she has handled was 79 active cases a few years ago.
"We have a huge accounts receivable load, and always will, because most of the clients are indigent."
Metcalf says budget cuts by the Department of Mental Health and Mo Health Net have affected her office, "I take what little resources they (wards) have and stretch them," said Metcalf. "You never know if they will need emergency dental care or a new pair of glasses, etc. It's my job to make sure my clients are taken care of."
There are only two public administrator's in the state who have more experience than Metcalf. "It was humbling when the head of the Department of Mental Health stood up at a conference and pointed me out and said if anyone had any questions about how to do something to ask me."
Her job has affected her children as well, "They've learned compassion. I was so proud when my daughter wrote an English essay in high school about "The House On The Hill." They get it."
Metcalf and her husband, Brent, have been married for 34 years. They have two children, Kim and Josh, and a daughter-in-law, Ginger. They have one grandchild, Ellie, and are members of First Baptist Church in Crane.
When one of her clients asked her why she didn't have more signs up, it made her really reflect on those she serves, "She said, this is my life, this is my future and I don't want a different guardian, please get some more signs out. The thought of giving up my clients, well, it's so much a part of who I am I can't even imagine doing anything else."