Just over 13% of registered Greene County voters made their voices heard yesterday by sending a mix of returning and new faces to Springfield City Council and the school board.
McClure and council
For the city's mayor, the highest-ranking post on the ballot, voters reelected Ken McClure by a wide margin. McClure, who first was elected mayor in 2017, defeated challenger Marcus Aton with 10,250 votes, or 65.7% of the tally, according to the unofficial election results posted to GreeneCountyMo.gov.
McClure retired in 2015 as Missouri State University’s vice president for administrative services. Aton is a freelance marketer, according to past reporting.
Council's Zone 1 seat went to Halo Massage and Wellness owner Angela Romine, who gathered 1,209 votes, or 54% of the total. Her challenger was Isabelle Jimenez Walker, a real estate broker and owner of Eagle Management & Realty 1 LLC. Romine is slated to succeed Phyllis Ferguson, who chose not to run again.
Matthew Simpson, director of research, strategic planning and grant development at Ozarks Technical Community College, was reelected to council's Zone 4 seat. He secured 3,166 votes, or 51.7%, to defeat challengers Jean Kalapathy and Craig Kauffman.
Heather Hardinger, director of workforce and economic development consulting projects at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, is another new face to council after winning her bid for General Seat A on the city's governing body with 41% of the vote. She beat Randy Allen, Alexander Aton and Justin Burnett. Hardinger takes on the seat currently held by Jan Fisk, who did not seek reelection.
For General Seat B, attorney Craig Hosmer picked up 8,805 votes, or 58%, to maintain his seat. Real estate developer Brent Brown and private contractor J. Michael Hasty trailed with 25.5% and 16.6%, respectively.
Greene County voters elected all new candidates to the Springfield Public Schools Board of Education. Voters were asked to choose three candidates to serve three-year terms on the board.
Dr. Maryam Mohammadkhani received the most votes, at 9,374, or 17.6%. Scott Crise picked up 8,470 votes, or 15.9%, and Danielle Kincaid gathered 8,109 votes, or 15.2%.
Mohammadkhani is a pathologist at CoxHealth, Crise is manager of technical services for Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. and Kincaid is the co-founder of The Elder Law Group LLC.
Incumbent Jill Patterson lost her reelection bid. Kelly Byrne, Daniel Ogunyemi and Brandi VanAntwerp also were on the ballot.
On the school board, Mohammadkhani, Crise and Kincaid join Alina Lehnert, Denise Fredrick, Charles Taylor and Shurita Thomas-Tate.
Gerry Lee and Bruce Renner chose not to run again.
Voters in nearby counties yesterday approved mayoral candidates and tax issues.
Mayoral winners included Bradley Alan Jackson, of Ozark; Ashley French, of Strafford; Larry Milton, of Branson; Matt Russell, of Republic; and Samuel Snider, of Willard.
Branson voters also approved the renewal of a tourism tax that generates millions of dollars annually, and a $12.5 million bond issuance for fire station renovations and equipment was passed in Ozark.
The Bark Yard dog park and bar concept launched; Charity Fent Cake Design LLC moved; and a pair of business owners collaborated on opening The Hidden Hut LLC.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistry Pottery, talks about her struggle with PXE, or Pseudoxanthoma elasticum, a disease that affects the eyes. She says that despite her struggle, she is ultimately thankful.
Jessica Burkland, a Missouri State University business instructor in the Department of Management, talks about small business start-up trends in a post-pandemic year. Burkland, who owns Activate Consulting & Training and volunteers as a small business mentor for SCORE of Southwest Missouri, says startups that offer new services and products to help people work from home or that enhance mental health could find greater success.
Jim and Debbie Meinsen, co-owners of TCI Graphics, say the past year has been one of the toughest they have faced. Now in the company's 50th year, the couple says they learned a few things in 2020.
Charlie Rosenbury, president of Self-Interactive, calls on his experience in programming to illustrate lessons he has learned running a business and life in general. Springfield Business Journal's 90 Ideas is presented by Great Southern Bank.
Darline Mabins talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about growing up after a tragic accident took the lives of her mother and older brother. Mabins is now the regional branch sales manager for Arvest Bank. No Ceiling is an SBJ podcast, going in depth with local women, sharing their journey to the top of their professions.
Caleb Scott, owner, coach and player for Queen City Insane Asylum semi-professional football team, talks about the ways that the team works to support each other on and off the field. Scott says you can’t force people to become leaders, they have to come naturally.
Steve Williams, owner of Crosstown Barbecue, discusses the role relationships have played throughout the 51 years that Crosstown Barbecue has been in business. He says that while he puts effort into providing the best food he can, ultimately “people like to do business with people they like.”
Randy Bacon, professional photographer and humanitarian, relates his experience building relationships with clients since he became a photographer. He says building relationships with his clients and perfecting his craft are the most important things he does to spread his business.
Sandy Higgins, owner of the Crackerjack Shack, shares the reason behind the business’ name. She says part of the inspiration goes back to a painting her daughter had in her room when she was younger.
Heather Kite, owner of Rooted Deep Farms, relates how she started up her business in the summer of last year. She says it was a long journey, but she is satisfied with the choice she made.