4 new faces join Ambulance District board
Challengers take the race for open seats in Tuesday election
Voters shook up the status-quo on the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District at the polls Tuesday in electing two new faces, along with two unchallenged seats, to finish out the new board.
In the District 1 race between incumbent Rick Vanderpool, who has served on the board since 2009, and Nick Mercer, a former employee of the district, voters elected Mercer by a total of four votes. Vanderpool received 39 votes, or 48 percent of the vote, compared to Mercer's 43 votes, or 52 percent. District 1 serves the townships of Capps Creek, Kings Prairie and McDowell.
"I am ecstatic to have opportunity to serve on board and hope my experience in emergency medical services will help make good changes for the community," Mercer said. "There is nothing on my agenda currently except getting good medical equipment, trained personnel and providing a good response for the community overall. I want fantastic care for this community. That's what I am primarily interested in."
In District 4, challenger David Compton, a former district employee and the Barry County emergency management director, was running against incumbent and board chairman Marty Newman, who has served since 2000. The vote in that race resulted in Compton taking the seat by a 10-vote margin. Newman received 34 votes, or 44 percent of the vote, compared to Compton's 44 votes, or 56 percent. District 4 includes the Barry County portion of Monett east of Central and Eisenhower.
"I am looking forward to seeing the board make some changes for the betterment of the ambulance district," Compton said. "We're in a good place right now with really good people on the board to make some really good changes."
Unopposed candidates named to the board include first-time candidate Cale Cendroski in District 3, which includes rural Monett and Freistatt in Lawrence County, and Larry Eden in District 6, which includes the rest of Barry County inside the city limits. Cendroski replaces Kris Strouse, while Eden replaces Howard Kuhnert, who served from 2008 until November 2014.
Each board member will serve a three-year term.