Longtime Blue Springs school board member out

Mike Genet

The Blue Springs Board of Education will have two new members, as voters turned out its longest-tenured member Tuesday.

Incumbent Kay Coen, who has been on the board for eight years, will return to the board, joined by newcomers Jeff Siems and Steve Westermann. Board President Dale Walkup, who had been on the board for 27 years finished fourth in Tuesday’s results.

Coen finished with 5,367 votes, Westermann 4,794, Siems 4,740 and Walkup 3,910.

Coen, a former librarian in the district, succeeded her husband on the board. Westermann is the former longtime chief of the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District who retired in 2017 and now serves on the district board, and Siems is the owner of Blue Springs Marine who has a son in the district.

The Blue Springs board consists of seven members who serve three-year terms. The other board members are Rhonda Gilstrap, Kurt Swanson, Bryan Dennie and Bobby Hawk. Gilstrap and Hawk were re-elected in 2019. Swanson and Dennie’s terms are up next year. The other board seat had been open since Dale Falck retired last fall. He had been re-elected with Walkup and Coen in 2017.

Lee’s Summit schools

District voters overwhelmingly approved $224 million in bonds Tuesday for school renovations and additions. The bonds will not increase the district’s debt service tax levy.

More than 82 percent of voters approved the bonds – 10,058 yes votes to 2,152 no. Planned projects include renovations at Lee’s Summit High School, Mason Elementary and all three middle schools, a new fourth middle school and security upgrades at all school buildings.

Three board of education seats were on Tuesday’s ballot, and Megan Marshall, incumbent Kim Fritchie and Kathy Campbell finished atop a field of nine candidates. Marshall, the leading vote-getter with 6,631, is the district’s first African-American board member. Fritchie received 6,367 votes and Campbell 4,555. The next-closest candidate was Christine Bushyhead with 2,998.