WILLARD, Mo. — One Ozarks town is breaking barriers with its newest member of the city’s Board of Alderman tonight after the mayor appointed him to fill an empty spot last week.

The Willard mayor appointed Samuel Snider as one of the aldermen who represents Ward II in town.

While it sounds like a typical part of city politics, the mayor said the energy of the 20-year-old is what made him excited about the board’s future.
“As a personal thing is to just be there for the citizens and for the community.”

Samuel Snider works a full-time job, leads a youth group at a local church, goes to college and now represents a large part of Willard.

“I’m getting ready to start a candidacy program for Harvard for this next semester and then church, I’m the youth leader,” said Snider.

Snider was appointed by Mayor Cory Hendrickson to fill the position for a few months before an election. Hendrickson believes Snider is the youngest to ever hold the alderman seat.

“Sammy Snider is an energetic young man wanting to participate, eager to participate. He had already signed up for the upcoming election,” said Hendrickson.

Snider said his love for politics started at a young age after he was adopted and moved from St. Louis to southwest Missouri.

“In second grade, there was a representative that came into the school and showed me kind of how government worked,” explained Snider.

Snider believes the city’s personality welcomes him, even as a younger minority, to help make the Willard future brighter.

“I didn’t expect at all that I would be appointed but I’m very honored and I feel blessed.”

“We are not looking at somebody based on their skin color, just the content of his character,” said Hendrickson.

That is what encouraged Hendrickson to give Snider the nod.

“I think it is going to be a new perspective, a new outlook for the city, bring some interesting ideas to the table.”

Snider hopes to be able to hit the ground running and make a difference for the town he loves.

“I’ve got to kind of learn the position and learn what the needs are as far as the community goes,” said Snider.

The upcoming election is in April. Hendrickson said there is someone running against Snider for his alderman position. The deadline to file for the election is at the end of the day on Tuesday.