April 2 election features a variety of local issues

Mar. 29—CARTHAGE, Mo. — A plethora of city and school elections mixed with two use-tax proposals, elections for the Jasper County Emergency Services Board, a marijuana tax in Asbury, and a sales tax hike in Fidelity will make up ballots for area voters Tuesday.


—Jasper County and the city of Carl Junction are both asking voters to pass use taxes to be charged for online purchases at a rate equal to the city and county sales tax rate.

Carl Junction's use tax would be 3% and the county's use tax rate would be .375%.

Carl Junction's Board of Aldermen passed a city ordinance last December stating that proceeds from the city's use tax would be dedicated to the public safety needs of the city, including the Carl Junction Police Department. The city has tried four times to pass a use tax, most recently in 2021.

Jasper County is touting its use tax as an "attempt to eliminate the unfair advantage enjoyed by out-of-state vendors over local vendors."

Both measures require a simple majority vote to pass.

—The Carl Junction Board of Education is asking voters to pass an $18.5 million bond issue that would not raise the district's debt service property tax levy but extend it for 10 years.

The measure, called Project KIDS on the ballot, would pay for a variety of maintenance and improvements, including about $1 million for a classroom building and other improvements at the school farm, which was recently dedicated. The farm sits on 7 acres of land donated by the Asbell family and currently includes an incomplete barn donated by Halle Roper, a recent graduate of Carl Junction schools, and her family.

The bond issue also would pay to build new baseball and softball fields and an indoor facility dedicated to the school's archery and ROTC programs.

—The city of Asbury is asking its voters to approve a marijuana sales tax of 3% as allowed by the state constitutional amendment passed in 2022 legalizing recreational marijuana.

—The village of Fidelity is asking its voters to approve a one-half percent sales tax to pay to provide trash service for all residents in Fidelity. The village doesn't have a sales tax now but Mayor Danny Muench said it needs this tax to continue paying for the trash service for all residents.

Jasper County

—Because of a resignation and appointments to fill unfinished terms, all seats except the chairman's are up for grabs this year for the Jasper County Emergency Services Board. The seven-member board governs the Jasper County 911 dispatching system.

In the race for the Eastern District, four-year term, Brandi Corum, Christi George and incumbent Danny Stanley are running. People can vote for two and the top two vote-getters will take the seats.

In the race for the Eastern District two-year term, incumbent William (Bill) Hawkins Jr. is the only candidate.

Two people, Jeremiah Norton and Steve Weaver, are running for the two open western district four-year terms and are all but assured of election.

No one filed for the western district two-year term, so people can write in candidates.

Schools and cities

All cities and school districts are holding elections April 2 to fill recently expired terms on school boards, boards of aldermen, city councils and boards of trustees.

—Carthage Board of Education: The two incumbents whose terms were set to expire this month decided not to seek reelection to the board. Running for the two open seats are Maria Sanchez, Nathan Scott, Mark A. Westhoff and Bill Scheerer. The top two vote-getters will win the open seats.

—Carthage City Council: Three of the five open seats on the Carthage City Council have more than one candidate running for them.

In Ward 1, incumbent Brandi Ensor is running against Derek Peterson.

In Ward 3, incumbent Robin Blair is running against Dustin Edge and Mike Daugherty.

In Ward 5, incumbent Mark Elliff is running against Jana Schramm.

Loretta (Lori) Leece and Tom Barlow are running unopposed for the two-year terms in Ward 2 and 4, respectively.

—Webb City Board of Education: Three people are running for the two open three-year terms on the Webb City board. Candidates are incumbents Lisa Hartman Robinson and Jason Woodmansee and challenger Erin Taylor.

—Webb City Council: Incumbents are the only candidates for the four open seats on the council. Ray Edwards is running in Ward 1, Alisa Barroeta in Ward 2, Jerry Fisher in Ward 3, and Jim Dawson in Ward 4.

—Carl Junction Board of Education: Three people are running for the two open three-year terms on the board. Incumbent Kasey Cowger and challengers Terry Higgins and Melinda Brown are running for those seats and the top two vote-getters will win the terms.

—Carl Junction City Council: In Ward 2, James Shanks and Walter Hays are running for the Ward 2 two-year term on the council.

No one filed for the Ward 1 seat. Incumbents Bob McAfee and Roger Spencer are running for the Ward 3 and Ward 4 terms.

—Neosho Board of Education: Four people are running for the two open three-year terms on the Neosho board. Incumbents Dan Haskins and Steffen Wiest are running against challengers Audrey Dixon and Cody Crocker.

—Neosho City Council: Two people, Charles Collinsworth and Jake Evans, are running for the one at-large, three-year term on the Neosho City Council.

Incumbent Ashton Robinson is the only person running for the Ward 1, three-year term on the council.

You should know Registered Missouri voters can vote early between now and Tuesday at their county clerk's office. Polls open across Jasper and Newton counties and counties across Missouri at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. April 2.