April 17, 2012
The Pettis County Commission on Tuesday approved the six-district Pettis County Ambulance District map that will be the basis for board of director elections expected to be held June 5.
The commission was charged with dividing Pettis County into six districts, roughly equal by population, after the approval of the district by voters on April 3. The map was presented to the Sedalia-Pettis County EMS Committee last week and met with unanimous approval.
“I think the response to this map showed a great deal of cooperation, collaboration and fairness among representatives for a large number of people in the county,” Presiding Commissioner John Meehan told the Democrat on Tuesday.
The map divides the city of Sedalia into three districts, with the other three districts reserved for county areas not already covered by districts in Cole Camp, Sweet Springs and Windsor.
A plan for staging the election, including a set election date, and opening and closing dates for candidate filing will be reviewed by the commission today. If approved, the plan will be submitted to the court for a final review.
Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada said the court must review the plan because standard candidate filing, absentee voting and voter registration deadlines must be condensed to meet a stipulation in state statutes that requires an election for board members within 90 days of the district’s approval.
Meehan said he would like to present a plan to the courts this week, and is hopeful the June 5 date — the only election date scheduled by the Missouri secretary of state within the 90-day window — is still a viable option.
“We want to make sure everything is in place that (La Strada) needs to have to ensure a fair election,” Meehan said.
The board will consist of one director from each of the six districts.
Once filing opens, any qualified voter who is at least 24 years old, is a U.S. citizen and has lived in his or her respective district for two years is eligible to declare candidacy in the clerk’s office.
The inaugural board will be charged with establishing the district’s bylaws and setting the sales tax rate, which may be up to one half-cent.