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By Echo Menges
Memphis, MO – Northeast Missouri native and Scotland County Clerk Batina Dodge has been officially elected to serve as the incoming President of the Missouri Association of Counties (MAC) Executive Board of Directors. Dodge will step into her new role as MAC President on January 1, 2022, representing one of Missouri’s most rural counties and regions, Scotland County in Northeast Missouri.
Dodge will step into her new role from one of the most rural communities Missouri has to offer. According to the 2020 Census, Scotland County is ranked as being the seventh least populous county in Missouri with 4,716 residents.
“What I like about MAC is that it brings all of the different county associations together and it broadens our perspective on all the things that are possible, and how we can collaborate to best serve our citizens,” said Scotland County Clerk and MAC President-Elect Batina Dodge.
Dodge was elected President at MAC’s 50th Annual Conference held at the Tantara Resort in Osage Beach, MO, on November 21-23. Throughout 2021, she has served as the MAC President-Elect and has been on track to take the lead at MAC.
“I was elected as Treasurer in 2019, and from there it is an ascension,” said Dodge. “The Executive Board begins at the Treasurer position and moves in ascension into Third Vice President, Second Vice President, President- Elect and then President.”
After serving on the MAC BOD as a Regional Representative, Dodge decided to run for the Executive Board in 2019 moving up in the ascension by one year, after a fellow Board member preceding her, Steve Hobbs, was moved into the Executive Director position.
According to Dodge, the MAC Board of Directors and Executive Board took a hard look at the organization over the last year, after the announcement came that the 22-year veteran Executive Director Dick Burke would retire.
Some of the goals Dodge and her counterparts have set are to make sure issues are addressed as county issues, every county is represented well and new steering committees are set up with a wide swath of representatives designed to include and support all county officials.
“That’s what MAC has the ability to do, pull all of our perspectives together. We’re really trying to flesh that out,” said Dodge.
It will be a challenge to juggle the many duties of the MAC President while keeping a tight grip on her duties as the Scotland County Clerk and Local Election Authority during the 2022 election year. Nonetheless, Dodge is looking forward to her new role, and she’s excited to push MAC’s 2022 agenda forward.
“We’re really trying to make MAC a strong united voice for county government,” said Dodge. “I like being able to be involved at the state and national level and bring those resources back to our region. And, to be a voice for rural counties.”
Dodge isn’t the only Northeast Missourian on the MAC Executive Board. She is joined by Adair County Treasurer and incoming MAC President-Elect Lori Smith. The other 2022 MAC Executive Board members include Cape Girardeau County Auditor Pete Frazier as Second Vice President, Callaway County Presiding Commissioner Gary Jungermann as Third Vice President, and Dallas County Public Administrator Carol Johnson as Treasurer.
Dodge began her career in public service in 2005 when she joined the Scotland County Clerk’s office as a Deputy Clerk working under Betty Lodewegen. She ran for the seat in 2010 and took office in January of 2011. After ten years and three elections, she still loves her job.
“I like the challenges it brings,” Dodge said about being the Scotland County Clerk. “Some days are frustrating, but there are more rewarding days than frustrating days.”
Dodge is no stranger to heavy workloads or being involved in several civic and community organizations at the same time. Besides being the Scotland County Clerk and MAC President-Elect, Dodge also serves on the Executive Board for the Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities as the Legislative Co-Chair and serves on the Training and Mentoring Committee. She’s a MAC Trust Workers Comp Board Member, the National Association of Counties Election Sub Committee Vice-Chair, serves on the Board for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Standards, and she’s on the Secretary of State’s Election Integrity Advisory Committee.
Closer to home and as the mother of three teenagers, Dodge is a proud member of Scotland County Association of Music Parents (SCAMP), Scotland County After Prom Parents, and she’s the Sponsor for the Scotland County Little Paws Pom Squad.
Dodge grew up in Scotland County. She is a Class of 2000 graduate of Scotland County High School. She is the daughter of the late Gene Gray and Ed and Linda Megrath.