April 5 General Municipal Election Winning Bfield school board candidate resigns because home lies outside district
In an odd turn of events, a Bakersfield School Board candidate who won a seat on the board was forced to resign on Election Day because an updated plat map and aerial photos showed his house was just a few feet outside of the district lines.
Brad Maynard was the number two vote-getter in a three-way race for two spots on the Bakersfield School Board. He received 31 percent of the vote (49 votes) and beat out incumbent Kyle Clayton who had 45 votes. Darren Johnston received the most votes with 41 percent (65 votes).
Bakersfield Superintendent Amy Britt told the Times that a representative of Howell County notified Maynard on Election Day that he could not serve on the Bakersfield School Board because updated GPS coordinates and satellite aerial photos showed his house is just a few feet across the district boundary. Upon learning of his ineligibility, Maynard submitted his resignation to the school board.
The board will certify Johnston and Clayton as winners.
“This is an unfortunate and very regrettable situation,” Britt said. “It is always the desire of the Bakersfield R-IV School District Board of Education to certify the candidates who get the most votes. However, in this situation, better technology made this error known.”
Britt said that, according to the plat map the school had when Maynard built his house and enrolled his kids in school, he was in the Bakersfield School District. Now, with the updated map, his house is just a few feet inside the West Plains School District, even though his driveway and the rest of his property remains in the Bakersfield district.
“This is in a very tricky area near the Arkansas border,” Britt said. “It was not anything that was done intentionally, but we are moving forward according to Missouri law and district policy, being transparent and very cognizant of the importance of communicating this issue to voters and patrons of the district.”
The board was scheduled to certify their election results this week.
Use tax voted down
In other election news, Ozark County Commissioners said they were disappointed - but not really surprised - that the use tax measure failed in Ozark County for the second time. The use tax would have created additional revenue for the county with 1.5 cents per dollar spent online going toward the county’s General Revenue Fund, a half-cent per dollar going toward the Law Enforcement Fund and another half-cent per dollar spent benefitting the county’s Road and Bridge Department. The measure was defeated with a vote of 640 (63 percent) no to 372 (37 percent) yes. “I guess I’ll take responsibility as much as anyone,” said Presiding Commissioner John Turner. “I probably could have done better in explaining it, but I feel like the reason it failed was mostly because of the current state of our nation’s economy.”
“Everybody is nervous about their money,” said Western District Commissioner Layne Nance. “Fuel prices are sky high and so are groceries, and people just don’t want to hear the word tax right now. I get it.”
Commissioners said they wished they would have been able to better estimate the potential revenue the proposed tax would have provided.
“There’s just no way to know for sure,” said Turner. “The state just sends us a check, and nothing is itemized on where the sales tax money is coming from or how it comes in.”
“I still say it was a fair tax,” Turner continued. “You already pay that sales tax if you buy from local businesses, and it’s only fair that online sellers [charge] the tax too.”
Commissioners reiterated that many online sellers do collect the tax, but it cannot be dispersed from the state of Missouri to Ozark County unless the local use tax is passed.
“I guess [the money] will just sit up there in Jefferson City until … I don’t know what they’ll do with it.” Turner said.
Turner said he fears the county may have to cut services and tighten its belt as more and more buyers switch to online shopping.
“It only makes sense that if people quit buying locally, and we don’t get tax dollars in that we won’t have the money to provide the services that we are currently providing,” Turner said. “I can see it happening soon, especially with the sheriff’s department.”
The county had to supplement the sheriff’s department’s budget this year with more than $200,000 transferred over from the county’s general revenue fund. That was after officials trimmed over $130,000 from their budget, laid off one employee and the sheriff volunteered to mow the jailhouse lawn and change his own oil in patrol vehicles.
The county attempted to pass the measure for the first time in the 2020 General Municipal Election, but it was voted down then by a vote of 786 (68 percent) no to 373 (32 percent) yes.
The unofficial election results released last Tuesday night by Ozark County Clerk Brian Wise indicated that 1,012 votes were case in this year’s race compared with 1,159 votes cast on the issue in 2020.
Other election results
In other General Municipal Election races these results were obtained.
Gainesville School District: Incumbents Heather Bushner and Robby Walrath, edged out competitor Laramie Johnson, and were re-elected to fill the two open seats on the Gainesville School Board. There were 946 total voters cast votes in the race with the following breakdown:
• Robby Walrath: 42 percent, 396 votes
• Heather Bushner: 31 percent, 290 votes
• Laramie Johnson: 26 percent, 250 votes
• Write in candidates: 1 percent, 10 votes
Dora School District: Dylan Leroy and Shelby Nold won against Tim Masters and Jessica Green to fill the two open seats on the Dora School Board.
A total of 341 voters cast ballots in the race with the following breakdown:
• Dylan Leroy: 30 percent, 102 votes
• Shelby Nold: 28 percent, 95 votes
• Jessica Green: 24 percent, 82 votes
• Tim Masters: 18 percent, 62 votes
Lutie School Board: Incumbents Jennifer Garrison and Suzanne Meeks won with a slight margin over fellow candidate John Lubbers and were elected to fill the two open seats the Lutie School Board.
There were 274 total ballots cast in the race with the following breakdown:
• Jennifer Garrison: 36.86 percent, 101 votes
• Suzanne Meeks: 31.39 percent, 86 votes
• John Lubbers: 30.29 percent, 83 votes
• Write in candidates: 1.46 percent, 4 votes
Gainesville City Council: Incumbent Renee Schmucker was re-elected over candidate J.C. Barber to fill the center ward position on the Gainesville City Council.
There were 46 total votes cast with 34 votes for Schmucker (74 percent) and 12 votes for Barber (26 percent).
The City Council’s East Alderman Lana Bushong and Mayor Gail Reich ran unopposed and were re-elected.
There was no official candidate for the west ward candidate, but there were write-in candidates provided. The city planned to discuss the position and write-in candidates at its meeting Monday, April 11.