Election roundup: KC supports fire department funding; Ferguson makes historic mayoral choice

After Missouri’s April municipal elections were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, voters headed to the polls Tuesday to decide on a variety of tax increases, funding for local school districts and races for local elected office — including several mayoral elections.

Mayoral elections

In a historic vote, Ella Jones became the first African American and first female mayor in Ferguson, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. In St. Louis County’s other mayoral races, incumbents Jim Thomson of Richmond Heights and Jim Bowlin of Wildwood maintained their positions.

In the Kansas City area, Blue Springs voters re-elected Mayor Carson Ross to a fourth term. First elected in 2008, Ross is the first African American to serve as the city’s mayor.

Kansas City

Voters in Kansas City approved a ¼-cent sales tax increase to fund new facilities improvements and equipment purchases for the fire department, The Kansas City Star reports. The tax is expected to generate $315 million, or about $21 million annually for 15 years.

Lee’s Summit approved a $224 million bond issue to fund school construction, The Star reports. Voters in North Kansas City also approved a bond issue, worth $155 million, to build and upgrade schools.


Columbia voters approved a $20 million bond issue for public schools, the Columbia Missourian reports. The funding will update existing buildings.

Also in Columbia, Pat Fowler was elected to the city council for the first time. Matt Pitzer ran unopposed for his second term on the council.

Southwest Missouri

Voters in Camden County rejected a proposal to join the Ozarks Technical Community College taxing district, meaning the community college will not pursue a plan to build a new campus near the Lake of the Ozarks.

Camden County saw higher-than-average turnout, the Springfield News-Leader reports. OTC officials attributed the measure’s defeat to the economic fallout from COVID-19.

St. Louis

In St. Charles County, voters approved a $244 million bond issue for the Francis Howell School District to construct a new high school, as well as complete repairs on existing buildings.

Voters in the Wentzville School District approved a measure to borrow $105 million for the construction of a new middle school and maintenance of current buildings. The new addition would increase the capacity of students by 5,000.


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