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Road tax passes; Palmer edges write-in

Dearborn and West Platte also successful in getting voter approval on tax/bond issues

by Ivan Foley and Shana Haines
Landmark staff

It was a good day for tax and bond issues on the ballot at Tuesday's local election.

Platte County's 3/8 cent sales tax for roads, the county's bond issue that will allow financing for those road projects to become available soon, Dearborn's half cent general fund sales tax, and a West Platte School District bond issue all got a favorable nod from voters.

In a 'contested' candidate race, incumbent Platte City Aldermen Jim Palmer held off a stiff challenge from write-in candidate John Kurtz, with Palmer retaining his Ward 3 seat by only three votes.

Kurtz' name was not on the ballot. He decided to run just days before the election after aldermen voted themselves a 133% pay raise.

Voter turnout was extremely light, even for an April election. Turnout was 12%, which Platte County Board of Elections officials said is 4% less than the turnout last year at this time.

Platte County's road sales tax won with 3,743 in favor to 2,710 opposed, or 58% to 42%.

The outcome was satisfying to Platte County Second District Commissioner Steve Wegner, who led the campaign for passage.

"The margin of victory took me by surprise," said Wegner, indicating he thought the vote would be closer.

He said the result proves that "if you present a good plan, the voters of Platte County are reasonable people who will support a good plan that has accountability built into it."

He praised the work of a citizen task force that helped develop the plan.

"We listened to what our constituents were telling us as we put together this plan," Wegner said.

The tax will run for 10 years. It will generate an estimated $65 million for road and bridge improvements, with half of that going to cities and the other half to unincorporated areas.

After coming late to the party, John Kurtz nearly got to dance. He fell just short of his write-in bid to unseat incumbent Platte City Alderman Jim Palmer in Ward 3.

Palmer got 51 votes to 48 write-ins. It is assumed most, if not all, of those write-ins went to Kurtz. Platte County Board of Elections officials will officially announce all the write-in votes when the results are certified on Friday, reports Wendy Flanigan of the election board.

Kurtz said he went door to door campaigning, deciding to make the effort after the aldermen recently voted in a 133% pay raise for members of the board.

Despite the close race, Kurtz was disappointed.

"I'm disappointed people don't care. They get a notice that they are going to have to pay more taxes and they get upset. When someone in office votes to give themselves a raise, they don't seem bothered by it," he said Wednesday morning.

Palmer said he had only one comment: "I want to thank the voters who voted for me and supported me."

Lee Roy Van Lew in Ward 1 and George McClintock in Ward 2 were elected without opposition.

Dearborn Mayor Marvin Landes was happy to see his city's sales tax question get approval, though it came by a narrow margin. Dearborn voters passed the tax with 58 in favor and 55 opposed.

"We got it. We'll be able to keep our shoulders afloat now," he told The Landmark Tuesday night.

It's estimated the tax will generate an additional $15,000 per year for the city's general fund. It's expected most of that will go toward the city's connection to Kansas City water, a project that is nearing completion and will allow Dearborn to shut down its current water plant.

"We're proud of it. It's not a big step but for us it's a good one," Landes said.

Also at Dearborn, current alderman Bill Brooks defeated Debbie Sellars 47-23 in a race for the one year unexpired term in Ward 2. Brooks was appointed to fill the post several months ago and now will finish the term.

Bill Taylor and Steve Fulk were elected to the school board at West Platte with 558 and 536 votes respectively. Rob Arnold was a third candidate for the two open spots and finished with 213 votes.

West Platte's $250,000 general obligation bond issue to build additions and renovate facilities was passed with 637 in favor to 160 opposed.

In other races of note, Steve Folck defeated Steve Kubly 199 to 98 in the race for director of the Camden Point Fire Protection District.

For Weston alderman, Philip Ost defeated incumbent Mark Huffman 101 to 87.

For South Platte Fire Protection District director, Michael Newburger beat Troy Jones 738 to 378.

At Farley, Teresa Bing and Keith Carrel were voted in as trustees with 48 and 44 votes, beating out Alvin Von Seggern with 12 and Arlene Madsen with 9.

A complete rundown of county election results:

Platte County
Question 1
Impose a three-eighths percent sales tax for transportation projects that would last 10 years
(simple majority)
*Yes - 3,743; No - 2,331
Question 2
Issue $45 million in general-obligation bonds for transportation projects.
(Four-sevenths majority)
* Yes - 4,095; No - 2,331
Camden Point
Ward 1 alderman -*Thomas Redman, 45.
Ward 2 alderman - * Mark Wagoner, 62.
Ward 1 alderman - *Lila Scrivener, 37;
Ward 2 alderman (one year term), Debbie Sellars, 23, *Bill Brooks, 47.
Ward 2 alderman - *Robert L. Carrol, 59;
Question - Impose one-half percent sales tax (simple majority) - *Yes, 58; No, 55.
West Ward alderman - *Barbara Snook, 23; East Ward alderman - * Ronald Hay, 18.
Trustee (two seats) - Arlene Madsen, 9, Alvin Von Seggern, 12, *Keith Carrel, 44, *Teresa Bing, 48.
Trustee (two seats) - *(Doc) Dave Kitchel, 8, *Glen Griffin, 18.
Houston Lake
Mayor - *Jean Hallauer, 56; South Ward alderman - *Sharron E. DeLaFuente, 8; North Ward alderman - Phillip Otte, 20.
Trustee (three seats) - (tie) Carol D. Murdock, 8, *Robert G. Reiss, 13, *David L. Anderson, 13, (tie) Floyd J. Harris Jr., 8.
Lake Waukomis
Municipal judge - *Steven L. Sanders, 235; Ward 1 alderman, *Paul Fryrear, 116; Ward 2 alderman - *Dan Garrison, 111;
Question - Impose a three-year tax levy increase of $1.20 per $100 of assessed valuation for general purposes, including fire suppression and repair of the city's dam. (Two -thirds majority) - *Yes, 232; No, 20.
Mayor - *Harlan Shaver Jr., 51, Stephen E. Dugas, 26; Ward 1 alderman, *Isabel Gleason, 8; Ward 2 alderman, *Kathy Shaver, 19, Kelly Jamison, 9; Ward 3 alderman - *Jennifer Fries, 22, Joe T. Harris, 20.
Ward 1 alderman - *J.C. "Charlie" Poole, 54; Ward 2 alderman - *Dave Rittman, 35; Ward 3 alderman - *Marvin J. Ferguson, 79; Ward 4 alderman - *Marc R. Sportsman, 53.
Platte City
Ward 1 alderman - *Lee Roy Van Lew, 63; Ward 2 alderman - *George McClintock, 98; Ward 3 alderman, *Jim Palmer, 51.
Platte Woods
Ward 1 alderman - *Douglas Morgan, 36, Peny Powell, 26; Ward 2 alderman, *Kurt Lee Killen, 32, Richard B. Rollins, 21.
Trustee (one-year term) (two seats) -*Gene Bollinger, 17, *Lonnie Williams, 15; Trustee (two-year term) (two seats) -*Scott Wagle, 17, *Bev McClellan, 15.
Ward 1 alderman - *Charles F. Burris, 50; Ward 2 alderman - *Ray Beard, 30; Ward 3 alderman - *Pamela J. Darata, 54, Gary W. McMichael, 33.
Ward 1 alderman - *Rita Rhoads, 6; Ward 2 alderman (two-year term) *Julie Thomas, 8; Ward 2 alderman (one-year term) - No candidate filed.
Weatherby Lake
East Ward alderman - *Denise McPherson, 148; West Ward alderman - *Carol Rittenhouse, 146.
Mayor - *Howard Hellebuyck, 293; Ward 1 alderman *Cliff Harvey, 128; Ward 2 alderman - Mark E. Huffman, 87, *Philip L. Ost, 101.
Camden Point Fire
Protection District
Director - Steven L. Kubly, 98, *Stephen P. Folck, 199;
Southern Platte Fire
Protection District
Director - *Michael "Newie" Newburger, 738, Troy A. Jones, 378.
Weatherby Lake Fire
Protection District
Director - No candidate filed.
Park Hill School District
Board of education (two seats) - Michael J. Maasen, 1,402, *Denise Schnell, 1,610, *John A. Thomas, 1,625, Bradford E. Culver, 1,171.
West Platte School District
Board of education (two seats) - *Bill Taylor, 558, Steve Fulk, 536, Rob Arnold, 213;
Question - Issue $250,000 in general-obligation bonds for building additions, renovation, furnishings and equipment. (Four-sevenths majority) - Yes, 637; No, 160.
Platte County R-3 School District
Board of education (two seats) - *Dick Modin, 642, Karen Wagoner, 733.