Mayors, city council, school board, fire board members elected Tuesday
By: Darrell Todd Maurina
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2009 5:19 pm
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (April 6, 2009) — Seventy candidates will ask Pulaski County voters Tuesday to send them or return them to their seats on six school boards, five cities, and two fire districts.
Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7 p.m. at the county’s polling places where 31 school board candidates, 33 city council, mayor, and municipal judge candidates, and six fire district candidates will compete for slots on the boards that govern all of the county’s five cities, most but not all of its school districts, and two of its fire districts. State law allows school boards and special districts such as fire districts, ambulance districts and water districts to avoid the expense of elections if the same number of candidates file that are to be elected, and that happened this year with the Swedeborg R-III School Board and many of the area’s fire districts.
However, some races are hotly contested.
Some of the biggest races are in Crocker, where the termination of City Administrator Joyce Peterson and other less public staff problems have unleashed firestorms of protests by angry residents who are trying to unseat most of the city council that unanimously voted to terminate her. Seven candidates filed for two open seats in Richland, where both incumbent Richland R-IV School Board members decided not to run for re-election; in Waynesville, longtime Waynesville R-VI School Board member David Tritten decided not to run for re-election and the one incumbent, Randy Walters, faces three challengers including former board member LeRoy Fulmer, Jr., a former assistant superintendent who was defeated for re-election last year, and local educators Herman Blau and Melvin Hensley.
The county’s two biggest cities have quiet elections with two long-term aldermen, both female, facing the only challenge on their city’s ballot. In St. Robert, ten-year veteran Ward I Alderman Theresa Cook faces challenger Charles V. Slider and in Waynesville, longtime Ward I Alderman Diana Stanford faces a challenge from Charles Anderson.
Other contested races outside those two cities include:
• the Dixon R-I School Board, where two incumbents, board president Troy Porter and board member Craig Rivera, face a challenge from Greg Roberson for their three-year terms,
• the Laquey R-V School Board, where two incumbents, board members Mary Cristoffer and Mary Ann Miller, face three challengers, former board member Larry Southard and newcomers Fanny Gan and William W. Council, and
• the Plato R-V School Board, which includes the Big Piney and Palace areas of Pulaski County southeast of Fort Leonard Wood as well as much of northern Texas County and parts of Laclede and Wright counties, where three incumbents, elected board president Mike Friend and elected board member Penny Morrison as well as appointed one-year board member Pete Scurlock face off against challengers Kevin L. Christensen, John Sponsel and Tina Routh for two three-year terms and two newcomers, Kimberly A. (Murry) Hodges and Lee Atterberry, face off for a single two-year unexpired term.
A few other small parts of Pulaski County are included in school or fire districts that are primarily in other counties. In far southwest Pulaski County, those include:
• the Nebo-Falcon Fire Protection District, which has four candidates, Paul Weber, Gary J. Hess, Don Myers and Doug Christlieb vying for two six-year terms on the fire board, and
• the Gasconade C-4 School District, a K-8 feeder school for Plato High School and Lebanon High School, where four candidates, Amanda Armstrong, Kerrie Keen, Chris Armstrong and Vickie Jones are vying for two three-year school board seats.
The Hooker precinct serving Devil’s Elbow and parts of far eastern Pulaski County is closed for the election. Open polling places in Pulaski County are:
• St. Robert Precinct: St. Robert Community Center • Waynesville Precinct: Middle School • Big Piney Precinct: Palace Union Church • Richland Precinct: Richland City Hall • Crocker Precinct: Crocker City Hall • Laquey Precinct: Laquey School • Swedeborg Precinct: Swedeborg School • Dixon Precinct: Dixon Senior Center
Additional polling places are located in adjoining counties for parts of the Dixon R-I School District, Dixon Rural Fire Protection District, and Plato R-V School District. Dixon voters may need to use polling places at Santee Church, Kenner Church, or the Brinktown Roman Catholic Church parish hall in Maries County, or Jerome Baptist Church in Phelps County.
Plato voters located in Texas, Laclede or Wright counties should contact their county clerk for details of polling locations.