Unless something changes by Tuesday, the April election will be about as exciting as a game of solitaire.
Of the eight elected positions available in Pettis County — two for the ambulance district, two for the Sedalia 200 district school board and four Sedalia City Council seats — just three currently will be contested. Bill Griffith has filed to challenge incumbent Les Harrell in Sub-District 4 for the ambulance district, and Sedalia School District Foundation member Diana Nichols will compete with incumbents Stan Bowlin and David Wolf for the two available school board seats.
Running unopposed are Dave Clippert in ambulance Sub-District 1, and city council incumbents Jo Lynn Turley, Ward 1; Becca La Strada, Ward 2; Bob Cross, Ward 3; and Ken Norton, Ward 4.
Given the amount of criticism in the community over the handling of the Washington Avenue bridge repairs, demolition of fallen buildings downtown and other issues, we are surprised that no one has stepped up to back up their complaints. And since the city is required to hold an election no matter whether any of the races are contested, we’d like to see at least a couple of challengers enter the race, if for no reason other than it would foster a community conversation about relevant city issues and potential solutions.
A Sedline caller this week offered this take: “We believe Sedalia has many qualified citizens who could seek office for city council in all four wards. Also we need more candidates in the race for Sedalia school board. This is an opportunity to give back to your community and give the voters a selection of candidates. These positions are very important to our city and schools.”
We agree — and we invite the caller and others to stop waiting for someone else to do “their civic duty” and enter the fray themselves.
The filing deadline for all races is Tuesday. There’s still time ...