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Seven Cole County municipalities hold elections

April 5, 2022 at 11:10 p.m.

In the seven smaller municipalities in Cole County, there were no contested races in the Tuesday municipal elections.

Most of those running were incumbents who were elected to two-year terms.

In Centertown, incumbents Paula Hinshaw (27 votes) and Travis LePage (29 votes) retained their seats on the Board of Trustees.

Three incumbents filed for the positions up for election in Lohman — Mayor Jason Wood (17 votes) and Ward 2 Aldermen Frank Chapman (17 votes) and the Rev. David Viles (21 votes).

In Russellville, incumbent Mayor Sharon Morgan (70 votes) won re-election as did West Alderman Dana Frisby (29 votes). Newcomer Kevin Oetting was elected to the East Ward position (43 votes.)

In St. Martins, Robert Hackman was elected to the North Ward Alderman position (79 votes) and John Pecher was elected to the South Ward spot with 28 votes.

In Taos, Ron Walker ran unopposed for mayor with 101 votes. He currently serves as an alderman. An appointment will have to be made to fill out his term as alderman. The other two positions had newcomer Viola Schaefer elected to the Alderman 1 position with 34 votes and incumbent Matt Forck elected to the Alderman 2 position with 66 votes.

In Wardsville, incumbents Brian Schrimpf (173 votes), Paul Stoner (148 votes) and Mark Eicholz (168 votes) were re-elected to the three positions on the Board of Alderman.

St. Thomas did not a hold municipal election for openings on their board because communities with a population of 2,000 or fewer can forgo non-partisan elections when the number of people who have filed is equal to the number of positions up for election if voters in those communities have adopted that practice.

Incumbents Lorrie Libbert, Brad Heckman and Eric Buechter filed for the three openings on the St. Thomas Board of Alderman.

Voters in Taos and Lohman were asked if they wanted to continue this practice. They said yes and this will be in place for seven years. The unofficial vote total in Taos was 74 “yes” votes and 37 “no” votes while voters in Lohman approved their measure with 15 “yes” votes and 8 “no” votes.

St. Thomas voters will have to decide in 2024.

Centertown voters turned down a use tax on online purchases.

The measure, which showed up as Prop U on the ballot, required a simple majority to pass. The unofficial results were 14 “yes” and 29 “no.”

The Centertown Board of Trustees worked with the Missouri Municipal League to prepare Prop U to complement Senate Bill 153, also known as the “Wayfair” tax.

The General Assembly passed the legislation last year that allows the state to collect sales taxes on purchases made “online” that are from out of state. The legislation also allows local taxing entities, with the approval of their voters, to collect local taxes in the same manner.

Voters in Lohman approved having the city imposing a 1 percent sales tax on receipts from sales and services at retail establishments for another four years. The unofficial vote was 14 “yes” and 9 “no.”

The reason the tax was first proposed in 2018 was that the city had no municipal taxes, and it would help fund things like street improvements instead of depending totally on funding from Cole County.

The measure only needed a majority vote to pass.

The Eugene and Russellville school districts also had issues to be decided Tuesday.

In Eugene, Charles “Chuck” Angerer won one of two seats available on the school board. He had 275 votes in Cole County and 67 in Miller County. Angerer is a financial associate at Thrivent who oversees retirement, life insurance and investments. This will be his third term. Angerer has said he wants to help the new administration make good decisions and help get the bond issue under way.

Christina Busch claimed the other seat on the board. She had 264 votes in Cole County and 68 in Miller County. Busch is a senior mortgage banker at Flat Branch Home Loans with 25 years of banking experience. She has prioritized nutrition and fitness and facility improvement.

Voters in the Eugene district also approved a bond issue. The vote, counting the Cole and Miller county totals together, was 406 “yes” and 73 “no.” The measure needed a four-seventh majority to pass.

The bond issue will provide money for repairs and upgrades, including upgrades that would provide high speed internet, improve drainage around the track, and expand the preschool to allow 3-year-olds to attend.

In the Russellville school district, patrons voted on two school board members.

Elaine Buschjost and Stephen Schnieders were elected as each got 195 total votes. That includes votes in Cole and Moniteau counties.

Buschjost is a retired school administrator who served as the principal of Cole R-1 School District. Buschjost said her top issues are school funding and creative financing, teacher retention and hiring, adding extracurriculars and specialized learning courses, school safety and positive behavioral support.

Schnieders is a data analyst with Central Bank. His top priorities are working and communicating with staff and the superintendent while providing a good voice for those in the schools.

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