Fire Protection District expansion Referendum

Sunday, April 2, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:52 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

An important issue on the ballot for the Boone County Fire Protection District is the referendum to expand its three-member board to five members.

In the fall the board voted to put the referendum on April’s ballot after months of public discussion. Given its initial push by members of the community — including the group Concerned Citizens of Boone County — some supporters say the bigger board will be less vulnerable to influence by Fire Chief Steve Paulsell and have greater flexibility.

John Gordon said he and Mrytle Rapp approved the referendum because the majority of the public was in favor of an expansion and because he thinks the change will add diversity to the board. Shelly Dometrorch and Don Farris, the candidates running for the Fire District board to replace Rapp, also agree the expansion of the board will add diversity and strengthen communication among board members.

If the majority of the public votes in favor of the proposition, the expansion of the board will go into effect in April 2008, when voters will elect two additional board members. Of the two elected board members, the person with the most votes will serve a term of six years while the person with the second highest number of votes will serve a term of four years.

After the 2008 election, all members of the board will serve six-year terms.

David Griggs, who replaced former board member Willis Smith after he died in January, will also decide whether to run as an incumbent or leave his position with the board, opening the possibility that there will be three new board members in 2008.

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