Cassville voters to decide bulk of races
Cassville voters will decide the majority of the contested races that will appear on the April 2 general municipal election ballot. Residents across the county will also decide a contested race for the Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees and a county-wide sales tax issue.
On Tuesday, current Cassville Mayor Bill Shiveley will be challenged by newcomer Tracy Lannum. The city's other incumbent candidate, Ann Hennigan, north warld alderman, is running unopposed. Hennigan will be joined on the council by Jan Anthony, who is also running unopposed for the south ward alderman seat that will be vacated by Jeff Parsons, who did not re-file.
Residents who live in and around Cassville will also decide a contested school board election. Three candidates have filed for a pair three-year terms on the R-4 School Board. Incumbents Greg Allen and Hal Smith will be challenged by Wade Hermansen.
The Cassville School District is the only district in southern Barry County that will hold a school board election on April 2. Only incumbent candidates filed for the Exeter, Wheaton, Southwest and Shell Knob school boards.
Voters across the county will decide a contested race for the Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees. Incumbents John Starchman and Jan Thomas have refiled for seats on the board.
Although the board's other incumbent Linda McBride chose not to seek re-election, the race has attracted two new candidates, Stormy Holtzman and Paul Bingham.
Other municipal races
Seligman residents will choose between two candidates for mayor. Jason D. Raucstadt, who served as the city's mayor until February, and Jerry Montgomery, who served as Seligman mayor until he was defeated by Raucstadt in April of 2011, have both filed for the open seat.
The following municipal candidates are running unopposed: Donnie Powell, Wheaton mayor; David Shockley, Wheaton east ward alderman; Naomi Young, Wheaton west ward alderman; Rusty Reed, Exeter mayor; Rhonda Scott, Exeter south ward alderman; Jimmie L. Morse, Exeter north ward alderman.
Steve H. Roden, Purdy mayor; Larry D. Rickman, Purdy ward one alderman; Robert Moster, Purdy ward one alderman; Wayne Rupp, Purdy ward two alderman; Eric Freeman, Seligman west ward alderman; John Tiedeman, Washburn mayor; Mary Roller, Washburn east ward alderman; Amanda Crim, Washburn east ward alderman; Mark Thomas, Butterfield east ward alderman; and Guadalupe Meza, Butterfield east ward alderman.
No candidates filed for the open east ward alderman seat on the Seligman City Council or a second open west ward alderman seat on the Washburn City Council.
Other election issues
In addition to deciding a county wide one-eighth of a cent sales tax for public safety, personnel, building maintenance and equipment, voters who live within the Eagle Rock-Golden-Mano Fire Protection District will consider a one-tenth of a cent tax increase for operation expenses.
"Our tax revenue has been flat for the last three or four years," said Steve Gash, Eagle Rock-Golden-Mano Fire Protection District chief. "But the costs of fuel, insurance, workman's compensation insurance, personal protection equipment and to equip and train firefighters and first responders has gone up.
"Grant funds have decreased significantly," continued Gash. "The age of our department's vehicles range from 12 to 25 years. Some of our personal protection equipment and SBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) units are 10 years old. It is getting harder and hard to keep things up to date."
The Eagle Rock-Golden-Mano Fire Protection District last requested a tax levy increase over a dozen years ago, said Gash. That request was for a 30 cent tax. The district's current tax is set at $0.292.
If the one-tenth of a cent tax increase is approved, the district will collect between $40,000 and $50,000 in additional revenue each year.
The Exeter Road District is also asking its voters to approve the continuation of its one-thirteenth of a cent tax levy for four more years, and City of Wheaton residents will decide a one-half of one percent sales tax that would be used for transportation expenditures if approved.
Other tax issues will impact voters who live in the Aurora and Pierce City Fire Protection Districts and the Aurora School District and those who are served by the Northern Stone and Northern Barry County Fire Protection District.
Candidate questionnaires for each of the contested races are featured on page __ of this week's edition of the Cassville Democrat.