Light turnout expected for April 6 Municipal Election

By Dave Marner, Managing Editor
Posted 3/31/21

Gasconade County Clerk Lesa Lietzow said four south-county precincts will not be open next Tuesday for the April 6 Municipal Election since there are no ballot issues for residents …

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Light turnout expected for April 6 Municipal Election

Posted

Gasconade County Clerk Lesa Lietzow said four south-county precincts will not be open next Tuesday for the April 6 Municipal Election since there are no ballot issues for residents there. 

Closed precincts include Drake, Rural Canaan, Tayloe, and Third Creek since there are no county-wide questions or school board candidates to vote on. 

The Gasconade County R-2 School District’s Board of Education had two candidates file for election for two open seats. Since both incumbents — Molly Steinbeck and Debbie Landolt — signed up for another term, the district was not required to hold an election.

Potential voters in the Third Creek precinct who have ballot issues pertaining to the Maries County R-2 School District’s or the Osage County R-2 School District’s election have been notified by county election officials of the opportunity to cast their ballots in Bland. “We have reached out to them and they’re going to Bland (to vote),” said Lietzow.

Lietzow said this involves very few potential voters but they will have the chance to vote on these school board-related issues if they wish.

There is only one “open write-in” ballot condition in the county.

Rosebud voters will have the opportunity to select a collector of revenue since no one filed for the position. In an open write-in situation, any and all written-in names will be considered valid.

Owensville residents will have one contested ballot race to selected a Ward 2 alderman for a two-year term.

After repeatedly saying he was not planning to seek another term, incumbent Charles “Rob” Borgmann, III, currently president of the board, signed up on the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 15. Karen Hubenthal-Arnold, a paramedic and manager of the Owensville Area Ambulance District, had signed up to be as a Ward 2 candidate earlier in the day.

And, making it a three-way race, Mary E. Diestelkamp, a former mayor and alderman, signed up Tuesday, Jan. 19, in the final hour of the month-long filing period to challenge both Hubenthal-Arnold and Borgmann. Also on the final day of the filing period, Sam Bennett, himself a former alderman, withdrew his name as a candidate. He had signed up earlier in the month.

Ward 1 incumbent Kevin McFadden will be unopposed next Tuesday.

The only other ballot issue for Ward 2 Owensville voters will be to select a board member for sub-district No. 5 of the Owensville Area Ambulance District (OAAD). Mary Ann Huesgen, a former office manager for the OAAD, faces off against Curtis Duncan, a former municipal police officer and county sheriff’s deputy.

The ambulance district’s contested board position will not be on the Ward 1 ballot due to sub-district boundaries.

In the Gasconade County R-1 School District, an unusual circumstance has the Hermann-based district holding an election with two candidates filing for two open positions. Lietzow said a “funny quirk in the law” requires the district to hold an election even though only two candidates are on the ballot for two positions.

Before filing closed Jan. 19, a third candidate had filed their intent to run. Then, before the ballot was certified, the candidate withdrew their name from consideration.

Since one candidate withdrew their name from consideration after the filing period ended but before the ballot was certified, the district must still hold an election.

“They’re voting for two candidates,” said Lietzow. “There’s only two names on the ballot. Normally that will mean a non-election election.  It’s just one of those quirky things.” Mark Brooks and Kevin Stiers are the two candidates for the R-1 board.

Rosebud voters will have lone candidates in each ward to elect. Jennifer Griffith, Ward 1, and Doug Bauer, Ward 2, are both unopposed.

Hermann city voters are being asked to decide a question of whether or not to transfer ownership of an electric transmission line and related hardware which runs through town to Central Electric Power Cooperative. Approval of Proposition E would require Central Electric to assume costs for operational maintenance of the 69 kV transmission line.

Hermann voters will select between Robert C. Koerber and Derek J. LeRoy as an alderman in Ward 1 for a two-year term. In Ward 2, James R. Schirmer and Joseph T. Gleeson are the options for a two-year term.

Lietzow said the lack of contested races will likely translate to a low voter turnout across the county. 

“Fifteen percent…maybe?” said Lieztow. “We may reach 20 percent inside Hermann. I would think our turnout will be along the lines of 15 percent, not 20.”

Voters in the city of Gasconade will have two candidates running for two positions as aldermen at large. Michael Owens and Jennifer (Jenn) Miller both signed up for the election. Both will serve two-year terms.

The same situation is present in Morrison as two candidates, Thomas E. Hernandez and Rick Penrod, signed up for at large positions as aldermen. Both will serve two-year terms.

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