By Kyle Siegel
There was a larger than expected turnout for the Pettis County General Municipal election on Tuesday, April 1, when 10.35 percent of registered Pettis County voters turned up at the polls.
Pettis County Clerk Nick La Strada was pleased with the turnout and how smoothly the election went.
“I was very pleased with the turnout. What brought the voters out was the race for fourth ward of city council and the tax issue.
“I think I predicted a six to eight percent turnout and we had 10.35 percent turnout,” La Strada said.
La Strada was asked how well the process went during the turn in and counting process.
“We had everything checked in at the clerk’s office by 7:54 p.m.
“This has been my seventh election. We learn something new every election. We will keep making them more efficient and accessible.
“We were really impressed with the turnout and how smoothly it went. It was unreal how fast the results came in,” La Strada said.
The two biggest contested races involved the Sedalia Public Library tax issue and the race for the fourth ward city council position between longtime council member Ken Norton and Larry Stevenson.
The Sedalia Public Library tax issue passed with 61.31 percent of the vote. It was the issue with the largest amount of votes with 1039 voters coming out in total.
The tax issue received 637 yes votes compared to the 402 no votes.
With the passing of the tax issue, there will be a $0.07 increase in property taxes that will sunset in 25 years. The funds raised from that will be used to pay of debt service for repairs to the Sedalia Public Library building.
The funds will also be used for repairs, renovations and maintenance of the Sedalia Public Library.
Sedalia Public Library Director Pam Hunter was optimistic going into the election.
“I was guardedly optimistic. I had some positive comments from many of our patrons. I thought it would be a positive outcome,” Hunter said.
Hunter also mentioned that it helped relieve a lot of pressure concerning the repair and upkeep of the Sedalia Public Library.
Hunter was asked what the is the time line for the completion of repairs at the library.
“They are saying that it should be the first of July. We are hoping to be operational by late August or early September. That is our goal,” she said.
It was a close race for the fourth ward city council seat in Sedalia when Larry Stevenson pulled out a victory over longtime councilman Ken Norton.
Stevenson garnered 51.73 percent with 254 votes. Norton was close behind with 48.27 percent with 237 votes. There was a gap of only 17 votes between the two.
Stevenson was unavailable for comment as of press time.
In other election results, Les Harrell won the Pettis County Ambulance District 4 race with 66.67 percent of the vote over Bill Griffith, who had 32.23 percent of the vote.
The three other races for Sedalia City Council positions were uncontested races and Jo Lynn Turley, Becca La Strada and Bob Cross all retained their seats.
This will be the first full term for Turley, who stepped in for Tony Arbisi when he away for a job.
For a complete list of election results please visit www.pettiscomo.com.