Several upsets developed in school board races in yesterday's election.
Pierce City R-6: One of the current incumbents running for the two open seats on the Pierce City Board of Education was defeated in yesterday's voting. One-term incumbent Mike Zebert was returned to office with 236 votes (158 Lawrence County, 36 Barry county, 42 Newton County). The second seat was claimed by four-term incumbent Michael Blinzler, who had not run since his last term ended in 2005. Blinzler received 222 votes (163 Lawrence, 25 Barry, 34 Newton). Finishing out of the running was three-term incumbent Fred Slagle with 161 votes (124 Lawrence, 18 Barry, 19 Newton). Hollis Webb in his sixth try for a board seat received 43 votes (35 Lawrence, three Barry, five Newton).
Aurora R-8: The second try was a charm for Melanie Houser Mayberry, who last sought an Aurora School Board seat in 2010. Mayberry with the top vote getter with 428 (392 Lawrence, 36 Barry), leaving the two incumbents to battle for the remaining slot. One-term incumbent Michele Parbury came out ahead with 391 votes (364 Lawrence, 27 Barry). Out of the running was five-term incumbent Roger Dummit with 258 votes (239 Lawrence, 19 Barry).
Mt. Vernon R-5: Incumbents easily won re-election to the Mt. Vernon School Board. Six-term incumbent John Rutledge was the top vote getter with 461. One-term incumbent Danny Bowling had 325 votes. Out of the running were Matt Shuster with 218, Chad Grider with 138 and Bob Howard with 116.
Miller R-2: Incumbents also had a clear margin of victory in the Miller school race. Cindy Gulick received 415 votes to lead the field, followed by fellow incumbent Jeff Hadlock with 343. Out of the running were first-time candidate Rickey Garner with 217 and past board member Loretta Thomas with 126.
Patrons got solidly behind a no-tax-increase bond issue to refinance past construction. The bond issue passed 493 to 109, a margin of nearly 82 percent.
Marionville R-9: A close race determined the second open seat for the Marionville School Board. Five-term incumbent Brandon White easily outpaced the other candidates with 251 votes. Two-term incumbent Brad Smith received 167 votes to barely outdistance first-time candidate Steve Rohlman with 160 votes. Behind the leaders were first-time candidate Toi Stine with 142 votes and Kevin Inmon, with 120.
Southwest R-5 school bond issue: Although the Southwest School District's $1.5 million bond issue was approved by more than 50 percent of the voters, the issue required a four-seventh majority or 58 percent of the vote in order to be approved. When all votes were tallied, the issue earned only 53.73 percent approval.
Proposition Safety received 196 "yes" votes, which equated to 53.26 percent of the vote. There were 172 voters who opposed the issue.
|Southwest patrons who live in McDonald County gave Proposition Safety 61.9 percent of their votes. The issue received 13 "yes" votes and eight "no" votes in the neighboring county.||Proposition Safety would have funded the construction of a new music room at the high school and new elementary and middle school offices.|
Exeter R-6: Mitch Sorensen will join re-elected incumbent Sammy Hudson Schmidt on the Exeter School Board. Sorensen received the most votes with 90. He was followed by Schmidt, who received 82. The ballot featured three other candidates. Jeff Hobbs received 40 votes, and Joseph Still earned 34 votes. William Roberts tallied two votes.
Shell Knob #78: Shell Knob School District patrons re-elected incumbents Lisa Fielder and Bob Stewart to the school board. Fielder received the most votes with 124. She was followed by Stewart, who received 115 votes. Challenger Katherine Marcum received 59 votes.
Election night turnout was light
By Murray Bishoff and Lindsay Reed
A light turnout had a bearing on some races in Tuesday's election.
Only 10.2 percent of Barry County voters turned out for the April 3 election. Turnout in Lawrence County was 12 percent.
The cabaret tax in Lawrence County, up for renewal for the first time, was easily kept on the books. The tax passed with 2,108 votes, or 76 percent in favor, to 676 against.
The tax, which was first passed in 2008, imposes a 10 percent tax on the profits of any establishment offering nude dancing.
LawCo Road Districts
In the Miller Benefit Special Road District, John Hunt won a first term with 243 votes, topping Thurman Lee with 121 votes.
In the Mt. Vernon Benefit Special Road District, challenger Gene Messenger won the commissioner's seat with 276 votes, beating incumbent David Smothers who had 238 votes.
BarCo Road Districts
In the Purdy Special Road District, Gary Rickman received 92 votes to win over Randy Wormington with 32.
In the Ash Special Road District, David Dalton won with 41 votes over Gary Hendrix, who had 33 votes.
In the Pioneer Special Road District, Mark Witt won with five votes over Robert Golubski, who received three.
In the Pleasant Ridge Special Road District, Leroy Schoon won with 38 votes over Robert McKee with 26.
Road district property tax measures received approval for another five years in the Kings Prairie, Ozark, Ash, Greasy Creek, Corsicana, Pioneer, Flat Creek, Mineral, Pleasant Ridge and Purdy districts.