Crocker candidates score upset victories for school board, city council
By: Darrell Todd Maurina
Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 6:37 am
CROCKER, Mo. (April 7, 2010) — Crocker residents delivered upset victories to two different challengers on Tuesday when they unseated incumbent Ward II Alderman Charles Stroburg and Crocker R-II School Board President Don Mayhew.
Both of the victors are newcomers to elected office.
Denise York, a billing clerk for Lake Ozark Home Health, unsesated Stroburg who had been serving his third two-year term on the city council, and did so by more than a two-to-one margin. York earned 78 votes compared to 22 votes for the incumbent.
She learned of her election the same day she learned of the death of her brother’s wife and is now planning for the funeral of her sister-in-law.
“I thank everybody for voting for me, and I’ll do the best I can for them,” York said. “It’s been a happy day and a sad day.”
York attributed her victory to aggressive door-to-door campaigning and listening to what Crocker’s voters told her.
“I want to thank everybody for believing in me and giving me a chance to help then. I got out and campaigned and worked hard to let people know who I am,” York said.
In the city’s first ward, incumbent Alderman Jeff Curry had no opponent and was re-elected with 66 votes.
The Crocker R-II School District also saw an upset in a four-way race.
All four school board candidates except Mark Sasfy, a retired Marine who moved to Crocker only five years ago, are Crocker High School graduates and most had lived in Crocker all of their lives. However, Sasfy won with 221 votes and joined incumbent board member Kris York, whose family owns a local electric company and received 285 votes, on the school board for which two positions were open this year.
That edged out board president Donald B. Mayhew, who was elected three years ago on a campaign to improve Crocker’s academic performance and public openness, who received 217 votes. Kelly Newcomb, who works as a part-time bookkeeper for family-owned Newcomb Hardware, came in last with 170 votes.
Like York, Sasfy credited his victory to aggressive door-to-door campaigning.
“First off, I tried to meet all the patrons. I basically started at the boundary with Waynesville and worked my way all the way through to Crocker. I really enjoyed meeting everybody and enjoyed hearing the concerns of the patrons,” Sasfy said.
Sasfy said he’s heard a consistent message from residents of the Crocker school district while campaigning.
“For a lot of patrons, the underlying theme is to establish a better partnership. There are a lot of patrons who support the school district but they want to have better communication and a better partnership,” Sasfy said. “I do think that myself being elected, I think it does demonstrate there are issues there and I plan to address them.”
Sasfy, who is currently working on his master’s degree in education and plans to become a teacher himself, said he plans to begin a self-education program in the next few weeks so he understands how to be the best board member he can be.
“I do want to sit down and review and go over the policies and get informed about the issues that are in place. There are issues I want to fully understand so I can fully represent the patrons when it comes to those issues,” Sasfy said. “The bottom line is everybody believes the education of their children is number one, and if we fail, the children will suffer.”
Key items Sasfy plans to bring to his next three years on the school board include a focus on better communication between the school and the community as well as violence prevention in the school.
“Communication and violence prevention are both important for me. Without effective communication and better communication between the parents, the community and the school board, that’s what I’ve talked about and a lot of the underlying issues involve communication,” Sasfy said. “It’s something I am truly going to seek to remember and hopefully I will succeed in addressing it.”