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Blue Springs chooses Ross again

Mike Genet
mike.genet@examiner.net
Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross (right) checks final election results at home with Council Member Jerry Kaylor after learning he'd been elected to a fourth term as mayor. Ross won a four-person race against one former and two current council members.

Carson Ross will return for a fourth term as mayor of Blue Springs

Ross won a four-person race for mayor – Blue Springs does not have primary elections – with a little more than one-third of the overall vote in a field that also included one former and two current council members.

The mayor garnered 2,268 votes (34.3 percent) in Tuesday’s pandemic-delayed election, ahead of District 2 Council Member Chris Lievsay (1,885 votes, or 28.5 percent), former Council Member Dale Carter (1,633, or 24.7 percent) and District 3 Council Member Susan Culpepper (812, or 12.3 percent).

Even with a four-person race and well-known, accomplished opponents, the 73-year-old Ross said he was not concerned, knowing he’d put in the necessary campaign work to remain viable.

“You can’t control everything, but we worked hard to do our part, and we put together a good team,” said Ross, who usually had his wife Eloise as campaign treasurer before she passed away last year after a lengthy illness. “We got our message out there, and the people responded to that.”

Ross said he could point to the commercial development of Adams Dairy Parkway near Interstate 70, the greater number of sit-down restaurants and the redeveloped White Oak Plaza area at U.S. 40 and Missouri 7 as highlights over his previous 12 years.

“You could take a snapshot, and it’s like a tale of two cities,” Ross said between when he first took office in 2008 and now.

Becky Nace, Ross’ campaign treasurer, noted that other area mayors consider him a leader among them.

“I think the other mayors respect him,” Nace said. “He’s earned that.”

Moving forward, Ross said, he hopes to capitalize on the Faurecia auto parts production plant that opened two years ago in the northeast part of the city.

“I think that area can be the catalyst for more industrial development,” he said.

Reiterating an earlier-stated goal, Ross said he wants to put the use tax – essentially a local sales tax for goods purchased online – on the ballot for voters again, and he wants to work on getting parks sales tax renewed.

Also in Blue Springs elections, Kent Edmondson won re-election in District 2 (the middle third of the city) after he beat Byron Craddolph, 926 votes to 709. In District 3 (southern third), Ron Fowler easily won re-election over Benjamin Bitler, 1,565 votes to 609, while incumbent Jerry Kaylor ran unopposed in District 1.