COLUMBIA — City Council contests and school board races in Columbia, Hallsville and Southern Boone County will be the major issues driving voters to the polls for Tuesday's municipal election, Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren said.
Noren declined to offer a projection for how many Boone County voters will cast ballots Tuesday. She said there are 122,000 registered voters in the county; 98,500 are considered active voters. Inactive voters are those who remain on the rolls but are unlikely to cast ballots, in many cases because they've moved out of the county.
About 17 percent of 91,000 active voters cast ballots in the 2011 municipal election. In 2010, Columbia voters were electing a new mayor and two ward representatives to the City Council. That year about 27 percent of 94,000 active voters cast ballots.
Five candidates are running for two seats on the City Council. Council members serve three-year terms, and the winners are scheduled to be sworn in at a special meeting next Monday. The candidates are:
- Second Ward: Mike Atkinson, Bill Pauls and Michael Trapp
- Sixth Ward: Incumbent Barbara Hoppe and Bill Tillotson
Columbia Public Schools
The four candidates for two open spots on the city's Board of Education are:
The district also has two proposals on the ballot:
- A proposed 40-cent increase in the district's property tax levy that would bring in about $8 million to maintain programs and help the district cope with cuts in state and federal funding. Majority approval is needed for the levy to pass.
- A proposed $50 million bond issue that would raise money for the construction of new elementary schools and renovation of existing facilities. For the bond to pass, 57 percent of voter approval is required.
Noren said that this year, Boone County voters outside Columbia also will turn out for several noteworthy ballot items:
- Hallsville's mayoral election between incumbent Benjamin Austene and former city clerk Cheri Reisch.
- A $4.3 million bond issue in the Hallsville School District that would pay for additions to the district's elementary school and new high school, as well as the demolition of its old high school.
- Centralia School Board and Board of Aldermen elections.
Southern Boone County Fire District's proposed $2 million bond issue to construct and upgrade fire stations and training facilities.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. for Boone County registered voters. More information on the elections is available in the Missourian voters guide.