In the late morning of Tuesday’s municipal election day (April 6), Jefferson County Clerk Ken Waller said he would be surprised if turnout exceeded 10 percent.
April municipal elections historically have generated a turnout of around 15 percent of all eligible voters, but last year, when the April election was switched to June because of concerns with the novel coronavirus, only 11.67 percent of Jefferson County’s registered voters cast ballots.
On Tuesday, Waller turned out to be a fortune teller as only 8.2 percent (12,738) of Jefferson County’s 155,091 registered voters made their opinions known on a number of school board, city, ambulance and water district board elections.
Noting that 2,120 of those 12,738 ballots were turned in early, via absentee ballot either mailed in or by voters showing up at the County Clerk’s Office in the days before the election, Waller said the low turnout was telling.
“That’s what surprised me – that only about 10,000 people showed up today,” he said. “I can’t even fathom that. Some polling places have 4,000 to 5,000 people on the books, but we can’t get more than about 10,000 out on an Election Day. And weatherwise, you couldn’t have asked for a better day. Maybe the best day we’ve had all year so far.”
Those who did cast their votes weren’t in the mood for change.
Of the 38 contested seats on the ballot, only five incumbents were turned out.
In the Fox C-6 School District, April Moeckel unseated incumbent Vicki Hanson. Incumbents in the Hillsboro R-3 (Jon Schuessler) and Grandview R-2 (Cynthia Modrosic) school districts also failed to win new three-year terms.
Longtime Rock Township Ambulance District director Paul Horn also was defeated in his bid for a new term, and in Kimmswick, Ward 2 incumbent Heather Rice was defeated by Gary Lee Ridings.
Ballot issues were a mixed bag.
Voters in Pevely handily approved a sales tax to address stormwater issues and improve parks.
“I don’t live in Pevely, but I’m happy to see that,” Waller said. “That’s needed for development. If Pevely wants to grow, they probably needed that.”
In Hillsboro, a proposition that would have instituted business license fees failed overwhelmingly, and a proposed 50-cent property tax increase that would have allowed the Hillsboro Fire Protection District to maintain six firefighter jobs and allow the district to address maintenance of facilities and equipment didn’t fare much better.
A $17.9-million bond issue proposed by the Meramec Valley R-3 School District also was approved by 76.53 percent of the voters in three counties, easily clearing the four-sevenths majority needed.
|Final, unofficial results from the April 6 election. Winners in bold. Incumbents listed with an (I). Ballot issues required a simple majority for passage unless indicated.|
|Question No. S&P|
|(Sales tax for stormwater and parks)|
|Fire Safe Community Prop 24-7|
|(50-cent property tax increase)|
|MERAMEC VALLEY R-3 SCHOOLS|
|($17.9 million bond issue)|
|Board of Trustees|
|Steve Meinberg (I)||5,464||27.55%|
|Retta “Susan” Tuggle (I)||4,140||20.87%|
|Avery A. Fortenberry||2,857||14.41%|
|City Council, Ward 3|
|Tom W. Kohler||124||25.73%|
|Mark Hood (I)||179||37.14%|
|City Council, three-year term|
|Jim Akers (I)||255||29.93%|
|City Council, one-year term|
|Autumn Blanchard (I)||254||57.34%|
|Board of Aldermen, Ward 2|
|Carleen Murray (I)||226||53.43%|
|City Council, Ward 1|
|David Earl Boyer (I)||87||53.05%|
|City Council, Ward 2|
|Ricky Ray Waymire||64||33.33%|
|Staci Lynn Templeton||127||66.15%|
|Board of Aldermen, Ward 4|
|Joyce A. Twiggs (I)||52||64.20%|
|Dennis K. Bradley||29||35.80%|
|Philip D. Stang (I)||50||58.82%|
|Board of Aldermen, Ward 2|
|Heather Rice (I)||19||42.22%|
|Gary Lee Ridings||26||57.78%|
|BOARDS OF EDUCATION|
|Cheryl J. Aylesworth (I)||445||39.95%|
|Tammy L. Heidland (I)||434||38.96%|
|Brian N. Payne||226||20.29%|
|Michael Wolk (I)||624||26.26%|
|Douglas Wendel (I)||655||27.57%|
|Vicki Hanson (I)||1,536||19.07%|
|James (Jim) Osia||565||7.01%|
|Shannon Marie Ponzar||677||8.40%|
|Richard (Rick) Lamborn||738||9.16%|
|James (Jim) Chellew (I)||1,721||21.37%|
|Cynthia Modrosic (I)||89||20.32%|
|Amie L. Merz||147||33.56%|
|Gary E. Bohler||130||29.68%|
|Heather (Langhans) Bodnar||63||14.38%|
|Jon Schuessler (I)||653||24.55%|
|Lisa Welker (I)||854||32.11%|
|Chris Shelton (I)||1,181||37.86%|
|Terri Green (I)||1,117||35.81%|
|Tamara Jo Rhomberg (I)||5,699||23.39%|
|Jaime Bayes (I)||5,639||23.14%|
|Charles Keith Messmer||1,651||6.78%|
|Sean Patrick Conover||1,061||4.35%|
|Steve Heuer (I)||107||36.15%|
|Kathryn Agnes Ann Labruyere||104||35.14%|
|Michael T. Dubis (I)||456||35.49%|
|Thomas A. Krupp (I)||396||30.82%|
JOACHIM-PLATTIN AMBULANCE DISTRICT
|Terry R. Thomas (I)||1,505||28.85%|
|Denise Manning Gebhardt (I)||1,356||26.00%|
|George “Bob” Engelbach||1,107||21.22%|
|Rachel Brown Edwards||1,223||23.45%|
ROCK TOWNSHIP AMBULANCE DISTRICT
|Mark Paul (I)||2,321||29.19%|
|Paul D. Horn (I)||1,757||22.10%|
|Avery A. Fortenberry||1,082||13.61%|
WATER DISTRICT C-1
|Gene Barbagallo (I)||1,153||56.71%|
WATER DISTRICT NO. 7
|Jennifer Deckard (I)||312||52.26%|