Voter turnout expected to be low

Posted 8/4/14

By Tim SchmidtRecord Managing EditorDespite several races, including multiple ballot measures, election officials expect a low turnout for next Tuesday’s municipal election.Warren County Clerk Barb …

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Voter turnout expected to be low


By Tim SchmidtRecord Managing EditorDespite several races, including multiple ballot measures, election officials expect a low turnout for next Tuesday’s municipal election.Warren County Clerk Barb Daly said only 107 absentee ballots were requested by her office — a relatively low number for an election.“That tells me that it won’t be very well attended, but you never know,” she said. “Usually in April, having 15 to 20 percent (turn out) is a good day.”Polls will be open Tuesday, April 8, from 6 a.m.-7 p.m.Voters are required to show some sort of identification when they vote, according to Daly. The most popular forms are a driver’s license or voter registration card.Daly also reminds voters in the Concord Hill and Hopewell precincts that they will be voting at the same location, the American Legion Hall north of Marthasville on Highway 47.Absentee ballots can still be filled out up to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 7, at the county clerk’s office. The clerk’s office will also be open from 8 a.m.-noon this Saturday, April 5 to accommodate absentee voters.Ballot MeasuresTuesday’s ballot will include two tax propositions for voters in Warren County Ambulance District and Scenic Regional Library District and a no-tax-increase sewer bond issue for Warrenton voters.Voters in the ambulance district will be deciding whether to pass a 15-cent property tax increase to fund operations. The levy increase, known as Proposition A, would be used to meet current and future needs. Ambulance district officials say the increase is necessary because the number of calls has grown commensurate with the district’s population over the years.If approved, this would be the district’s first tax hike since 2001.Some of the major expenditures proposed by the ambulance district in its five-year plan include replacing an aging ambulance fleet, purchasing property for a fourth base, hiring additional staff and replacing equipment.Scenic Regional Library, which has seven branches in Warren, Franklin and Gasconade counties, is proposing a 10-cent tax levy increase on Tuesday’s ballot.Currently, Scenic Regional operates at a 10-cent levy, which is the same amount the district was given when it formed in 1959.The increased funding, if voters approve the measure, will allow library officials to build or renovate the branches, provide new materials and longer service hours.Warrenton voters are being asked to authorize revenue bonds to finance improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment and collection system.City officials say the $15.5 million project is needed to adequately transport waste to the treatment facility and for the waste to be effectively treated at the plant. The bonds would fund construction, bond issuance and financing, and reserves. The planned improvements will be completed in phases.Some of the planned improvements include the installation of larger sewer mains parallel to the existing sewer mains, replacement of the Water Street lift station and equipment upgrades at the treatment plant.Officials have emphasized there is no tax increase associated with issuing the bonds. If the bond measure is not approved by voters, officials warn that improvements will have to be funded through higher interest cost financing which will result in higher user fees.Contested RacesFive candidates are seeking three seats on the Warren County R-III School Board. The candidates include Scott Costello and Teresa Scott, both incumbents, and John Todd, Laurie Wenzel and Mark Winter. The top three vote-getters will each serve three-year terms.Four candidates are running for three, three-year terms on the Wright City R-II School Board. The candidates are incumbents Joseph Butterfield and Corri Ruge and Heidi Neill and Alice Jensen.In Warrenton, two alderman seats are being contested. The Ward 1 seat will pit Ron Jurgesmeyer against Toni Hawley. In Ward 2, Eric Schleuter will face write-in candidate Stan Shelton. The winners in each race will serve two-year terms.Wright City Ward 2 Alderman Forrest Bruce is being challenged by Sal Gertken. The winner will serve a two-year term.In Marthasville, Southwest Ward incumbent Pamela Jensen is facing opposition from Michael Etter. For the opening on the East Ward, incumbent Jim Struckhoff is running as a write-in candidate. Both seats are for two years.In Innsbrook, three candidates are squaring off for two trustee seats. They are Stan Price, Tom Stevener and Robert “Bob” Dowdle. The top two vote-getters will serve two-year terms.The Wright City Fire Protection District has one opening on its board of directors. Andrew Klein is challenging Dan West. The winner will serve a six-year term.Voters in the Public Water Supply District 1 of Montgomery County will choose between Michael Hutcherson, George Heath Jr. and write-in candidate Dennis Flake for one three-year term on the board.Other races will involve county voters in the Washington School District and the East Central College district. Six candidates — Scott Byrne, Janie Chalem, Anton Hinrichs, Rebecca Voelkerding, Daniel Haire and Susan Thatcher — are vying for three, three-year terms on the Washington school board.For East Central College, Joseph Stroetker and Gene Overhoff are battling for one open spot in Subdistrict 1, with Ann Hartley and David Hood squaring off for one seat in Subdistrict 2. The winners in each race will serve six-year terms.No OppositionThere are no races for mayor in either Warrenton or Wright City as incumbents Jerry Dyer and David Heiliger both are running unopposed.Also, Warrenton Ward 3 Alderman Jim Dreyer and Wright City Ward 1 Alderman Jim Schuchmann both face no opposition.In Truesdale, there are no races for two alderman seats. Shalene Blackwood and Rhonda Colombo were the only candidates to file for positions they currently hold.In Foristell, Carol Rose and John Pickering were the only candidates to file for alderman seats in Ward 1 and Ward 2, respectively.Also running unopposed are Village of Pendleton trustee candidates Rebecca Kilpatrick and Ashlee Pottebaum for two, two-year terms.Registration deadline approaching