Absentee voting begins Tuesday in the April 2 municipal elections that will see county residents weigh in on multiple local government races and tax issues.
Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada told the Democrat on Sunday that his office mailed out requested military ballots on Friday and will mail an additional 231 ballots on Tuesday to homebound, disabled and elderly voters on the county’s permanent absentee list.
La Strada estimates turnout for the only scheduled election in 2013 will be between 6 and 8 percent due to few contested races or ballot issues. Of the county’s 19 polling places, Cedar Township, Sedalia East and Sedalia West will all be closed on election day because there is nothing to vote on; Flat Creek will also be closed on April 2, with the clerk making special arrangements for the seven voters there that are eligible to weigh in on Green Ridge school board races.
“There just isn’t a lot on this ballot and a lot of people just don’t have anything to vote on,” La Strada said. “But we still want to encourage people that can, to vote. Every election is important.”
La Strada said he expects the Sedalia Public Library’s tax issue to be the biggest draw, though some 165 voters in Ward 4 — mainly in the Southwest Village and Katy Trail Estates neighborhoods — live outside the library district.
The library is asking voters to approve a 7-cent tax increase to be sunset in 25 years to pay for repairs that forced the building to be closed following last summer’s drought.
In addition, Pettis County voters will weigh in on a number of local races and issues:
• Voters in the Knob Noster R-VIII School District are being asked to increase the district’s operational property levy to $3.50 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation to allow the district to remain eligible for Federal Impact Aid; Knob school voters will also decide a three-way school board race between Patricia (Patty) Sellers, Michael D. Fisk and Matt Cleveland. The trio are vying for two seats with three-year terms.
• Voters in La Monte R-IV School District will decide the Proposition K.I.D.S. issue, which seeks a no-levy increase authorization for the district to borrow $950,000 to fund the completion of renovation, remodeling and repair improvements to district facilities. They will also choose two school board members from Jack P. Shull, Barak Knoernschild, Brandie LaMaack, Elizabeth Green and Steve Harvey.
•Voters in Sweet Springs R-VIII School District will choose two school board members from Donald Boland, Bruce J. Hoyes, Marc W. Johnson, Alan Zimmerschied and Doug Loges.
• Voters in Smithton R-VI School District will choose two board members from Jason M. Brown, Sabrina Hanger, Eric Homan and Becky Williams.
• Voters in Green Ridge R-VIII School District will choose two board members from Marc C. Haverly, Jason G. Cannon and Stacey L. Morton.
• Voters in the Pettis County Ambulance District Sub-Director 4 race will choose between challenger Bill J. Griffith and incumbent Les Harrell for a three-year term.
• City of Smithton voters face an uncontested eastern and western aldermanic races with Tom Glenn on the ballot in the East Ward and Doug Galey in the West Ward.
• The City of Houstonia will face blank ballots in its north and south ward aldermanic races. That race will be decided by write-in votes.
• The Village of Hughesville will choose three members of the Board of Trustees from Elizabeth Thalgott, Sherria McDonald, Bennie Hunter, Linda Gerken, Franklin D. Lindsey and Travis Teter.
• In the City of Sedalia, incumbents Jo Lynn Turley, Ward 1; Becca La Strada, Ward 2; and Bob Cross, Ward 3, are all running unopposed. Sedalia Ward 4 will be decided between incumbent Kenneth W. Norton and Larry Stevenson.
• The City of Green Ridge sees Jeffrey R. Nilson and Daniel Piscopo seeking two available seats on the city’s Board of Aldermen.
• The City of Windsor has a contested mayor race between Dennis W. Carter and Justin L. Brown; Christa Bowen and Melody Forbis Gnuschke are both vying for Windsor City Collector; and in Windsor Ward 1 Danny Hampton runs unopposed.
• The City of LaMonte also faces two uncontested aldermanic races, with Wanda A Bishop in Ward 1 and Larry A. Canida in Ward 2.
La Strada reminded voters that the location of their polling place and what districts and municipalities they are eligible to vote on are printed on their voter registration cards. People with questions may call the clerk’s office at 826-5000, ext. 918.
The last day to register for the April 2 municipal election is March 6.