This story has Unlimited Access. Please support our commitment to public service journalism. Subscribe now.
Voters in the Houston Rural Fire Association boundaries will vote today (Nov. 2) on an issue to convert from a membership base to a fire tax district.
Circuit Judge William Hickle ordered another election in July after questions were raised whether it was properly administered in April. Only voters who resided within the association’s boundaries should have voted. The county is paying for a new election.
The issue calls for the creation of the district, a 30-cent per $100 assessed valuation levy and election of three persons on a board. The person receiving the most votes will serve a six-year term, the second highest will be elected to a four-year-term and the remaining candidate will have a two-year term. Erica Kessler, Kyle Hale and Harold Bruening are on the ballot.
The issue was placed on the ballot because membership dues haven’t kept up with operational costs to run the department. In some cases, some property owners will actually pay less than their dues.
There were 51 absentee ballots cast on Saturday during special hours at the clerk’s office. The total stands at 143 with the start of the new week.
Seyler and the secretary of state’s office collaborated to make sure military and disabled voters also were able to participate in the election:
•Four eligible military voters were contacted by email.
•Personal contact was made with 37 persons who are on the disabled voter’s list who normally are notified by mail of an upcoming election. Those folks were given the opportunity to vote by curbside or bipartisan teams traveled to their homes, Seyler said.
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft was in Texas County on Thursday to assist with election judge training.
The election will occur on the third floor of the Texas County Administrative Center on Grand Avenue. Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.