Voters in the Sni Valley Fire Protection District on Tuesday narrowly rejected a tax increase to pay for ambulance service and voted to cut off some of the district’s current funds. Voters also turned out two current board members.
“The voters have spoke. It’s time for a change,” said Board President Steve Russell, who was defeated and who had pushed hard for both ballot issues.
One question on the ballot was a property tax increase of 15 cents per $100 of assessed valuation – about $3 a month on a $125,000 home – to improve ambulance service training and staffing. The vote was 413 to 395, or 51.11 percent to 48.88 percent.
It was even closer on the second issue – a margin of just three votes. Residents decided, by a vote of 418 to 415, not to allow the district to keep a sales tax on motor vehicles. Local governments across the state collect the tax. The General Assembly voided the tax a few years ago, but the state Supreme Court reinstated it with the condition that local governments go to the voters for approval to keep it.
Voters in the Jackson County part of the district – the Oak Grove area – voted in favor of both ballot questions, but that could not overcome “no” majorities in the Lafayette County part of the district, the Bates City area.
In one race for the board, Keith Weaver defeated incumbent George P. Scott for a two-year term. The vote was 550 to 224, or 71.05 percent to 28.94.
Scott said the main thing he wanted to see was the ballot issues pass. As for his seat, “I did it just because it’s good community service. But I wish him the best of luck.”
In the other race, for a six-year term, voters were choosing two board members from a field of three. In results posted Tuesday might, it appeared incumbent Matt Beal (422 votes) and challenger Mindy Jacoby (418) were headed to victory, each running well ahead of Russell (186). Those results won’t be official until Friday because ballots in Lafayette County instructed voters to vote for one candidate, not two, in that race.
“Honestly I campaigned more for the ballot issues than for my race personally,” Russell said.
He’s been active with district for close to 25 years.
“And I will continue to do whatever I can to support it,” he said.
In other races Tuesday:
• Levasy voters left an at large alderman race in a tie. Mike Cole and Gerald K. Friedrich each got eight votes, and there were two write-in votes.
• Raytown School District voters elected two board members. Amy Beth Tittle (2,113 votes) and Kristie Lynn Collins-Delarber (1,818 votes) edged Thomas Granger Estlund (1,358 votes.)
• Lake Lotawana voters elected Scott Miles as mayor. He defeated Syed Asif 254 to 31. Tracy Rasmussen, Douglas B. Graham and Gordy McBride were unopposed in alderman seats, as was Jan Nichols for city collector.
• Lake Tapawingo Ward 3 voters chose incumbent Michael C. Cloyde over Jerome Vajnar by a vote of 25 to 9. Rocky E. Queen was unopposed for mayor, Larry J. McCue was unopposed in Ward 1, and Anthony P. McCarthy was unopposed in Ward 2.
• Oak Grove voters elected three unopposed aldermen: Hank Melhorn in Ward 1, Larry Moore in Ward 2 and Mike Baxter in Ward 3.
• River Bend elected two trustees. Kyle C. Seyller got seven votes, and David Obermeyer got six, edging out Paul Angelides with three.