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John Nail

The Pettis County Ambulance District Board of Directors will have two new members after John Nail defeated Vice Chair Mike Layton in Tuesday’s municipal election.

Nail received 421 votes while Layton received 297 for the District 2 seat. Mark Buckley will also be a new face on the board. He was the only candidate to file for PCAD District 5; board member Greg Nehring did not file for re-election.

“I’m humbled that the citizens think enough of me to believe that I can be their voice and to watch the money the way it’s spent and help keep the ambulance district as a high-quality, friendly customer service organization,” Nail told the Democrat by phone Tuesday night. “I’m looking forward to being able to help in any way I can.”

Nail most recently served as principal and as an instructor at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Sedalia. He has also worked as an agent at Farmers Insurance and managed Sirloin Stockade/Golden Corral, where he was also active in the State Fair Shopping Center Merchants Association. He has served in leadership positions in his church and served as president of the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Nail is now retired and he said that allowed him the opportunity to run for public office. He said he’s prepared to “do whatever I need to do” in his new position.

“I need to do a lot of homework first, I’m sure I just barely know the surface but I’ll do the due diligence to get in there and learn as much as I can,” he said. “The main thing I think is to be a fiscally conservative voice and I’ve had quite a bit of experience working with small amounts of money and getting it to go as far as we can without hurting employees or the organization, so that’s what I’m going to be looking at.”

Nail said he received a lot of support on Facebook and encouragement from local citizens during his campaign. He said he “really appreciates” Sedalia citizens.

“There’s been a lot of positive feedback and I just really appreciate the friends that I have here in Sedalia,” he said. “It’s not the place I was born but it’s my hometown because I was in an Air Force family and I lived a lot of places. It’s the only place that feels like home.”

Layton has been on the board since the district was formed in 2012. He has spent his entire life in public service, first in the military for about nine years followed by 20 years as a volunteer firefighter and 23 years in law enforcement. He said he initially joined the board to see the other side of public service.

“I’ve enjoyed starting from the beginning, seeing where it’s come so far,” Layton told the Democrat by phone Tuesday night. “As far as I’m concerned, we’ve got one of the best ambulance services in the state and I just hope it continues.” 

Layton said he thinks the election results show people are ready for a change.

“I appreciate the votes,” he said. “I’ve done what I thought was right for the public and that’s the way I work. I’ve enjoyed being on the board and seeing where it’s come from and where it’s going.”

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Nicole Cooke is the editor for the Sedalia Democrat, overseeing all newsroom operations and assisting with news coverage of Sedalia and Pettis County. She can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.

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