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Friday, May 6, 2016

Few surprises in municipal elections

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

With the exit of the circuit court from the historic courthouse in Lawrence County last month, County Clerk Gary Emerson at left has established a new center for voting tabulations on the second floor of the courthouse, taking over the former circuit court clerk's office. As election judge Jerdine Barker at center brought in the North Mt. Vernon precinct's voting results and assorted support equipment, Emerson and election judge Paul Brockman unloaded the materials, marked them off a checklist and stacked the items in storage spots at rear. Previously Emerson has had to run elections out of his own office, filled with work spaces for daily operations. Now, he said, election equipment can remain in place year-round in the new office. On this occasion, because seven races in Lawrence County involved write-in ballots, Emerson had a table set up at rear right for five election judges to tabulate write-in ballots on the spot. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]

A generally light turnout offered few surprises around the bi-county area in municipal elections yesterday. Barry County had 12 percent of the voters going to the polls, while in Lawrence County, which had the two more contested issues on the ballot, nearly 16 percent of voters cast ballots.

Barry County

Local voters elected two new aldermen to the Cassville City Council. Challengers Bill Hill and Mark Pry were winners over incumbents Pete Landstad and Sue Brattin.

Voters elected Hill over Landstad for an open north ward alderman seat. Hill received 134 votes compared to Landstad's 76 votes. Jo Ellen Fielding, who announced her withdrawal from the race earlier this year, received 16 votes.

Pry was elected to the south ward alderman seat currently held by Brattin. Pry received 80 votes compared to Brattin's 47 votes.

Purdy voters chose incumbent Rex Coffey over challenger Scott Redshaw for an open ward one alderman seta. Coffey received 23 votes and Redshaw received 11 votes.

Exeter and Washburn residents selected several council members by

write-in votes. All write-in candidates must be verified before they can assume office.

Exeter voters awarded Jim Morse a two-year north ward alderman seat. Keith Johnson was chosen to fill a one-year north ward aldermen term on the Exeter City Council.

Washburn residents elected John Tiedeman as mayor by awarding him 12 write-in votes. Incumbent Scott Young, who did not file for re-election, received 10 votes.

Voters also awarded one write-in vote each to Brian Rose, Judy Brooks, Sara Brattin and Richard Brinkman for a two-year east ward

alderman seat on the Washburn City Council.

In the village of Emerald Beach, three seats were open. Four-term incumbent Everett Barragar led the field with 48 votes. First-time candidates W.D. Reid with 44 votes and Bill Little with 40 votes outdistanced the other three candidates to win.

Lawrence County

The open seat in Pierce City's Ward One was one of seven positions in the county up to be filled by write-in votes. Three-term incumbent David Jones received four votes and is the apparent winner.

Kenneth Smith got two votes. Six others received one vote each.

The other city council races were all unopposed. Allen Stockton won a fifth term to represent Ward Two with 73 votes. Julie Garner won a third term with 47 votes, and Cory Sooter won a fourth term from Ward Four with 36 votes.

In Freistatt, Brian Paynter won a second term with 29 votes, and newcomer Eva Jobe received 28 votes. Twenty-three write-in votes were cast to fill the third vacancy. Former mayor Elmer Conway received 18 votes. Four individuals got one vote each.

In Verona, Roy Snyder got a third term as mayor with six votes running unopposed. His win may have been more precarious than it looked, as four write-in votes were cast against him.

Incumbent Matt Pruente got a second consecutive term with 12 votes. Deborah Snyder won the other at-large council seat with five votes. Four additional write-in votes were cast.

In Aurora, newcomers easily edged the incumbents. First-time candidate Doyle Ferguson led the field with 695 votes. Mike Bloss took the other seat with 651. Long-time candidate Jerry Lee West finished third with 271, ahead of Eddie Breeding, in his third bid, with 209.

For the one-year seat, David Price got 538 votes to edge three-term incumbent Gene Anderson with 496.

In Mt. Vernon, two-term incumbent James Greene got 45 votes to beat first-time challenger Chet Hunter with 30.

In Ward Two, two-term incumbent David Van Pelt finished last in a three-way race. First-time candidate Gary Albers won with 47 votes. Linda Day had 18 to edge Van Pelt's 17.

In Ward Four, two-term incumbent John Hull had 50 votes to top a three-way field. Charles McConnell had 15 and James Schmitt had 12.

Max Springer had 44 votes to get a fifth term from Ward Three.

In Miller, Dennis Harris won the mayor's job in his second try with 48 votes. He beat Steven Epps, who had 44, and Garry Baker with 28.

Taking the two at-large city council seats were four-term incumbent Kerry Johnson with 84 votes and one-term incumbent Bill Jones with 51. Bill Wilhite got 44 and Milo Daniel had 37.

In Marionville, Daniel Clevenger won a second term representing Ward One with 45 votes, over Rhonda Clark's 36. In Ward Two, first-time candidate Derek Eckels got 51 votes to upset one-term incumbent Todd Steinmann, who had 40.

3-30 School races final



Barry County

Monett R-1: Incumbents easily carried the day in the Monett school district. Jerry D. Roberts got a second term by repeating as the top vote getter with 384 (207 Barry County, 177 Lawrence). Fellow first-term incumbent Mark Coatney had 350 votes (181 Barry, 169 Lawrence) to take the other seat.

Trailing in his first election bid was Douglas Childress with 281 (131 Barry, 150 Lawrence). First-time candidate Richard Morris had 50 votes (23 Barry, 27 Lawrence).

Cassville R-4: Patrons elected one incumbent and one new candidate to three-year terms on the school board. Incumbent John Sullivan received the most votes with 660. He was followed by new candidate Carolyn Bowen, who received 583 votes.

The board's other incumbent, David Haddock, received 506 votes,

which was not enough to win him another term on the board.

Southwest R-5: Patrons supported incumbents Daniel Dalton and Robert Catron over challengers Dustin Mabry and Arlus "Wayne" Walden.

Catron received the most votes with 195 (185 Barry, 10 McDonald). He was closely followed by Dalton, who received 190 (179 Barry, 11 McDonald). Mabry earned 117 votes (111 Barry, 6 McDonald), and Walden tallied 99 votes (97 Barry, 2 McDonald).

Shell Knob No. 78: Shell Knob voters also awarded its incumbent candidates three more years on the board. Lisa Fielder won 152 votes, and Bob Stewart earned 107 votes on Tuesday. Challenger Susan B. Beck received 94 votes, which was not enough to secure a seat on the board.

Lawrence County

Pierce City R-6: Fallout from the failed bond issues reverberated through the school board race. As if the public was seeking a fresh face, voters awarded first-time candidate Mike Zebert the top spot with 391 votes (293 Lawrence, 33 Barry, 65 Newton). Outspoken two-term incumbent Fred Slagle won re-election with 378 votes (311 Lawrence, 31 Barry, 36 Newton).

One-term incumbent Kevin Hatfield, chairman of the committee to pass the bond issues, finished out of the running with 348 votes (238 Lawrence, 42 Barry, 68 Newton). Two-term incumbent Kenny O'Hara followed with 346 (243 Lawrence, 45 Barry, 58 Newton). Three-time candidate Hollis Webb had 178 (150 Lawrence, 9 Barry, 19 Newton).

Mt. Vernon R-5: Five-term incumbent John Rutledge easily took the top spot with 396 votes. It appears that official write-in candidate Danny Bowling received 281 votes to take the second position. Fellow first-time candidate Katherine Teel was out of the running with 184 votes. Only one other write-in vote was cast.

Miller R-2: The winners for the two open slots received almost the identical number of votes. First-time candidate Jeff Hadlock led the field with 255 votes. Also winning was two-term incumbent Cindy Gulick with 253. Out of the running was three-time candidate Todd Cook with 162.

Aurora R-8: The second time was the charm for Michele Parbury. In her second consecutive run at the Aurora School Board, Parbury led the field with 760 votes (703 Lawrence, 57 Barry). Four-term incumbent Roger Dummit easily claimed the second spot with 691 votes (622 Lawrence, 69 Barry).

Out of the running was first-time candidates Matt Lauffer with 530 (487 Lawrence, 43 Barry) and Steve Bryan with 418 (402 Lawrence, 16 Barry).

Marionville R-9: Four-time candidate Brandon White outdistanced all his opponents to win election with 193 votes. One-term incumbent Brad Smith took the other open slot with 148 votes.

Trailing were Travis Edwards with 124, Bryant Smith with 104, and Matthew Schmidt with 67. Again this year, all votes came from Lawrence County patrons, as none of the Christian County patrons voted.

3-30 Issues final



Voters were generally negative toward big money issues in a year with a weak economy.

No where was that more in evidence than in the Pierce City R-6 School District. The Board of Education was seeking a 23 percent tax increase to build a new high school. The package went to voters as a $3.5 million bond issue, raising the property tax levy by 33 cents per $100 of assessed property, and a lease-purchase, adding another 45 cents on $100 of property.

Voters gave the bond issue 41 percent support, 359 in favor (251 Lawrence County, 42 Barry County, 66 Newton County). Opposition garnered 513 votes (405 Lawrence, 43, Barry, 65 Newton).

The lease purchase received only 38 percent support with 328 votes (226 Lawrence, 44 Barry, 58 Newton). Opposed were 537 (426 Lawrence, 41 Barry, 70 Newton).

Aurora voters had similar sentiments for the $3.1 million proposal to build a community water park. Backing the proposal was 434 votes or 40 percent, compared to 653 against.

In contrast, Wheaton voters overwhelmingly approved a $1.2 million bond issue that will finance a drinking water system improvement project. The issue received 59 "yes" votes and 10 "no" votes.

In a rare move, not all the proposals to extend additional tax levies for road districts in the bi-county area won approval. The Sugar Creek Special Road District lost its 13-cent tax levy extension when the "yes" votes of 62 were outdistanced by 74 "no" votes.

Elsewhere in Barry County, the Exeter Road District's 13-cent levy got another four years by a vote of 91-60.

In Lawrence County, the Green Benefit Special Road District got its 22-cent levy approved 39-21. The Vineyard Special Road District won another four years on its 22-cent levy by a margin on 8-2.

The 19-cent levy for the Pierce Benefit Special Road District was reauthorized 342-146. The Aurora Special Road District got its 17-cent levy back on the books by a margin on 845-349.

Voters in Stotts City agreed to create their own municipal police department and authorized their city council to appoint a police chief by a vote of 26-9.

Voters in the Barry County Public Supply District #2 in the Crestwood West area in Shell Knob authorized a $575,000 bond issue to acquire, construct, extend and approved the subdivision's wastewater system by a wide margin. The proposal gained 87 percent approval on a vote of 26 "yes" and 4 "no."

Assorted races final


Voters had a wide range of races for administering boards and road district commissions to determine in the Tuesday election

Barry County Health Dept.

There will be a change on the Barry County Health Department Board of Directors. Board chairman

John Starchman won re-election with 1,404 votes, followed by incumbent Jan Thomas with 833. Linda (Bass) McBride got 785 votes to beat out incumbent Pauline Gage of Monett, who had 753 votes.

Road Districts

Rural Monett voters in Barry County returned longtime Monett Special Road District commissioner Bill Medlin, who had previously retired, back into office. Medlin defeated fellow multi-term incumbent James Arnaud by a vote of 178-57.

In the Purdy Special Road District, Gary Rickman easily defeated Junior Wolf 130-25.

In the Crane Creek Road District, Gary Moreland got 37 votes to top Earl Harris with 24.

A close race in the Exeter Special Road District had Darrell Bacon earning 79 votes to beat one-term incumbent John Marney with 76.

In the McDonald Special Road District, north of Cassville, two-term incumbent Bill Wolf easily beat Edgar Schreiner II by a vote of 30-6.

In the Mineral Special Road District, Cary Cheek got 59 votes to beat incumbent Rex Crumpler with 23.

In the Ozark Special Road District, east of Pleasant Ridge, Robert Miller's 43 votes were enough to edge Jeff Kelm with 42 and Richard Williamson with 16 for the commissioner's job.

In the Sugar Creek Road District, Connie Lloyd garnered 81 votes to beat Alvin Stanley with 56.

In the White River Road District, Larry Mann received 127 votes to easily win over Don Saffold with 61.

Two Lawrence County road districts had contested races. In the Mt. Pleasant Benefit Special Road District, west of Pierce City, Don Kleiboeker had 50 votes to win over Roger Moennig with 33.

In the Green Benefit Special Road District, west of Miller, Shawn Duncan carried the day with 42 votes over Rodney Riley with 12 and Robert Calvin with 11.

Ambulance District

Two seats on the Mt. Vernon Ambulance District were opened to write-in voting. In District 2, Mike Albright and Betty Ferguson each received one vote each. In District 5, Derrick Barnes is the apparent winner with two votes. Seven other individuals received one vote each.

Other Races

In the Seligman Fire District, Wendell Bishop got 96 votes and Ron Roller received 94 to win the two open seats in a five-way race.

Two positions were left without candidates on the Lawrence County Nursing Home Board of Directors, opening election to write-ins. For District 1, Max Springer was the apparent winner with 3 votes. Twenty other persons received votes.

For District 6, five candidates got multiple votes. Sandy Brown was the apparent winner with 6 votes, two over runner-up Jerry Lee West. Single votes were cast for 27 individuals.

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