5:29 PM
Mark Maples


It's all about timing for one of the candidates running for Northern Commissioner.  Mark W. Maples says when he looks back at his life one day he doesn't want to think, "I should've run."

Maples spent the first three years of his life on a farm near Jamesville before his family moved to Nixa.  He graduated from high school there and has had a variety of careers in his adult life.

For three years he worked for Bass Tracker Marine before moving on to an independent oil company where he spent nearly ten years and became part owner of the company.

He and his wife, Teresa, then opened a string of successful convenience stores in Clever, Republic and the Bootheel before selling the operation in 2005.

In 2006, Maples moved his family to a farm near Hurley and started building houses.  "A quality product at a fair price" has made it a successful career choice for the 48 year-old.

Maples says spending his own money on business endeavors sets him apart from the other candidates.  "I've had to work within a budget and make payroll and pay bills before I paid myself.  I know what it's like to work seven days a week and holidays."

The Maples, who have two children and three grandchildren, are members of Hurley Community Baptist Church.

Maples says if he is elected one of the areas he would like to see improvement in is communication with constituents.   "There needs to be better public relations between commissioners and taxpayers.  They need to do a better job of letting people know what's going on, what they've completed and what they're working on."

The following list are promises that Maples, who says he's "not your normal politician," hopes voters remember when they're casting their ballot:

  1. I will do my best to provide quality service to all of Stone County.
  2. I will give it my all.  It will be a full time job for me not just a part time one and one.
  3. I will take care of your tax dollars.
  4. I won't utilize the county health insurance.  I've provided my own for over 20 years and that's not gonna change. 
There are some things in the budget that concern Maples; one of those being cell phone usage highlighted in the "fair" grade given to the recent audit of Stone County by State Auditor Tom Schweich.  "I don't understand why we have 90 cell phones for 140 some employees."

The campaign trail has been grueling for the first time candidate.  "I've enjoyed this....but it's harder than I thought it would be. I really have loved getting to meet people."

Maples says people have asked him why he's running.  "It's not because I have to or someone else wants me too.  It's not the benefits, although a paid holiday would be nice.....it's because I WANT to.  I feel I can make a difference.  If it's meant to be, it's gonna happen."