Local city mayor pushes University broom

Mike Moss - Custodian, Mayor of Carl Junction

Mike Moss – Custodian, Mayor of Carl Junction

You never know whom you’ll meet when walking down a Missouri Southern hallway.

Mike Moss, custodian, is more than just a guy behind a broom. His flair for local government has led him to a unique position.

“I just finished my first two year-term as mayor in Carl Junction,” he said. “I ran unopposed and I am beginning my next term.”

For Moss, this isn’t his first time in politics.

“I ran for mayor in 2003 and lost by 54 votes,” he said. “When I ran in 2005, I was unopposed.”

Prior to becoming mayor, Moss served with Carl Junction’s city council for seven years, and also ran for state representative in 2000. Moss said his reason for getting involved was much like any other individual’s reasons.

“You think ways aren’t going how you’d like them to,” he said. “At the time, we had some controversial issues, such as the Rails for Trails and a lawsuit about someone who felt their First Amendment right to free speech had been violated.”

When he isn’t presiding over city matters, Moss can be found maintaining Webster Hall.

“I’ve been here since August of last year,” he said. “It was a job opportunity for a change in pace.”

Moss had spent 32 years in retail grocery, working for the Consumers supermarket chain and also the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pittsburg.

For him, the difference between the two professions is a welcome change.

“Having weekends and holidays off, which we have here, has been a real pleasure,” he said.

Moss said his love for local government comes not just from the education he received while a student in the Duquesne school system, but also from his family’s political background.

“My grandparents on my mother’s side of the family were deeply rooted in politics,” he said. “We would sit down at Christmastime and discuss politics. My grandfather was the president of Pleasant Valley schools. My grandmother worked for two congressmen, Gene Taylor and Dr. Durward Hall, so politics is in my blood.”

Though the work may be rooted in his heritage, Moss approaches his work with a sense of humility.

“I have enjoyed my interest in city government,” he said. “When my interest in Wal-Mart got waning, doing things for the city was a positive outlook for me. You just plan for the future of your town. I’ve enjoyed city council. You have to be passionate about what you do.”