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Branson fills alderman’s seat

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The Branson Board of Aldermen yesterday voted to fill a recently vacated seat.

Julia King was approved unanimously to fill the role left vacant by Kevin McConnell, who resigned Aug. 7 after he moved out of the Ward III area he represented. King, who works as a project manager for Healthcare Performance Group, is scheduled to be sworn in during the board's Aug. 25 meeting, according to a news release.

King was selected from four applicants, said city spokesperson Melody Pettit. Through a state statute process, Mayor Edd Akers and a panel of four former and currently elected officials interviewed the applicants and chose King as their appointee for the board vote. The mayor abstained from voting yesterday, per the statute.

In the position formerly held by McConnell, King will serve until the term is up in April 2021, Pettit said.

King comes to the board shortly after aldermen passed a controversial masking mandate last month that drew hours of discussion across two meetings. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the ordinance requires face coverings to be worn in public places in Branson until Sept. 8, with violators facing a fine and potential revocation of a business license and other permits.

Branson business owners Jamie Hall and Bo Dejager since have filed suit against the city in an effort to undo the masking ordinance.

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