May 12, 2006 at 9:11 AM CDT - Updated July 2 at 8:25 AM
23-Year-Old Mayor Ready to Improve Community By: Wes Wallace
Pascola, MO - He's only been mayor for a few days, but Dusty Hendershot brings to the office several years of experience in town leadership.
"I've been treasurer for two years, and city clerk too," says Hendershot, "I'm pretty fortunate. I was nominated and unanimously appointed by the board of aldermen and it's such an honor."
An honor, considering two of the aldermen are in their 60's, and the village of Pascola's new mayor took the helm at the ripe old age of 23.
"Yeah there's just a little bit of a gap between our ages," jokes Hendershot, "They've seen everything and there's a lot I've got to learn, so they're teaching me things and helping me along the way."
Hendershot wasn't elected mayor, but he was appointed to his position. He says he's gotten positive response from most people in the town of 138. In a previous election for an alderman seat, the young official received 43 of the 49 votes cast.
"I was born and raised here, I've been here 23 years, and I'm not going anywhere," Hendershot adds, "The family business is here, so I have no intention of leaving, and that's why I want to look out for the best interest of our town and I need for there to be good people living here and I need this town to be the best that it can be."
Hendershot works with his father Ty, at their wrecker and repair service. It's the only business in town. From the oil and grease on his mechanic shirt, to his rough, calloused hands, Hendershot knows hard work, and he wants that to translate into his role as mayor. "I want to help us get some grants. We've got several streets that need to be paved or repaved, so I want to get that done,' explains Hendershot, "There's other stuff too, because I want to make this place attractive to people, and make them want to come and live in our town."
Hendershot says he's been told that most Missouri towns and municipalities require their mayor to be at least 24 or 25, so he's quite possibly one of the youngest mayors ever in the state.