Contested school board races headline the April 4 general election ballot this spring as voters will head to the polls to decide school, city and road district issues.
Voters in Cassville will be asked to approve a bond issue and levy proposal that will allow the R-IV District to pursue a $7.1 million construction plan that will build a new facility for fourth and fifth grades and add on to the existing high school campus. A complete story on Cassville's Proposition #1 and #2 appears in this week's issue of the Cassville Democrat. R-IV voters will also be deciding on a boundary issue.
The Barry County Commission is asking area voters to approve an extension of the existing county-wide one-cent road and bridge capital improvement sales tax. This tax was first approved in 1986 and extended in 1991, 1996 and 2001 by county voters.
The sale tax provides about half of area road districts' funding. If the tax is not renewed, the county's 25 special road districts and one common district stand to lose approximately $1.6 million annually. If approve, the sales tax will be continued for another five years.
"It would be devastating to our county road system if the tax extension doesn't pass," said Presiding Commissioner Cherry Warren.
In Washburn, city officials are seeking voter approval of a $1.6 million bond issue to finance improvements and expansion to the city's existing water and sewer system.
Currently, the city is served by an aging system that is deteriorating. The city's proposed plan calls for construction of a new 125,000-gallon storage elevated water storage tank, installation of around 7,650 linear feet of six-inch to 10-inch water main and construction of a new deep water supply well.
The city expects to restructure its water rates if the issue passes. City residents should expect their water bills to average around $41 a month if the bond issue is approved.
School board races
School board races in Southwest, Wheaton and Exeter have attracted a larger than normal number of candidates.
At Southwest, seven are vying for two seats on the R-V board. Incumbents Danny Dalton and Robert Catron will be joined by challengers Bobby Stephens, Jason Clay, Mike Clifton, Wayne Walden and Doug McCasland.
Wheaton voters will be filling three seats on the school board next Tuesday. Four candidates have filed for one one-year term on the board. They include Ronnie Senseney, Donna Youngblood, David Shockley and Charles Tichenor. Voters will be choosing from six candidates to fill two three-year terms on the board. Candidates include J.P. Hickman, Gail Pierce, Doug Goostree, Adam Chapman, Travis Clark and Bobby Banks.
In Purdy, district patrons will select two candidates from a ballot list that includes incumbents Randy Rex Henderson and Curtis Schallert and challenger Tracy Tate.
Exeter voters also have a choice to make. There are five candidates running for two seats on the school board. Those running include incumbent Sammy Hudson as well as newcomers Natalie Moseley, Brian Utter, Sandra Hayworth and Shirley Fletcher.
Few races for city office are contested this April. Only Wheaton, Cassville and Butterfield have attracted more than one candidate running for a seat on the boards of aldermen.
Cassville city voters will choose either incumbent Gary Whyte or challenger Blaine Brock for north ward alderman. Political newcomers Jan Enloe and Herb Primrose will face off for the south ward alderman's seat.
Three candidates are vying for west ward alderman in the City of Wheaton. Those running include J.P. Hickman, Nancy Rosentretter and Ryan Henderson.
The open east ward alderman seat in Washburn will be filled by write-in as will the open south ward alderman post in Exeter. No one filed to run for either of these offices.
Butterfield's first council
It will be a historic day in Butterfield when voters choose their very first city council and mayor. Tony Cope is the lone candidate for mayor, and Carrol Hayes and Gary Florer are the only two candidates who filed for the two east ward alderman positions.
A field of three candidates are running for the two west alderman posts. Voters will be choosing between Francis "Hank" Mathis, Frances Hobbs and Rowena Higgs.
Road district races
A number of road district commissioner races are contested. Voters living in the districts listed below will be asked to cast their ballot in favorite of one candidate.
No one has filed for commissioner in the Exeter, Mountain and Roaring River road districts. These positions will be filled by write-in votes.
Voters living in the Central Crossing Fire Protection District will be choosing two board members from four candidates who include Dave Wilhelm, Ron Rickard, Ed Hoefler and Trevor Lawson. The Eagle Rock-Golden-Mano Fire Protection District had only one candidate file for its board. Roger Richards is the lone candidate, so the second board position will be filled by write-in.
Four candidates have filed for three seats on the Village of Emerald Beach Board of Trustees. Candidates include William D. Willard, Hilbert Manar, Del Stoll and Don Goshay.
In the Village of Arrow Point, four candidates have also filed for three seats on the board. Contenders include Sylvia Dill, Iva Mae Howard, Donna Kitchen and Deryl Krutz.
Those living in the Chain O Lakes Village will also be electing three board members from a choice of four candidates who include Cliff Mitchell, Richard L. Harbison, Ronald Youngblood and John M. Murphy.
General election information
Polls for the April 4 election open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
A list of polling places is as follows: Ash, O.K. Community Building; Butterfield, Butterfield Community Building; Capps Creek, St. Peter's Parish Hall; Cassville City, Cassville Rural and Mineral-McDonald, Barry County Courthouse in Cassville; Crane Creek, Marrs Hill Community Building; Exeter, Exeter Fire Station; Golden, Golden Community Building; Jenkins, Jenkins Fire Building; Kings Prairie and Pleasant Ridge, Kings Prairie Community Building; Monett, Monett Park Casino; Ozark, Madry Christian Union Building; Purdy-McDowell, Purdy Community Building; Roaring River, Eagle Rock Community Building; Shell Knob, Central Crossing Fire Station; Seligman, Seligman Community Center; Washburn, Washburn City Hall; and Wheaton, Wheaton Fire House.