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Mtn. View voters elect all-new council; Harper squeaks past Thompson to earn spot on R-7 School Board


Unofficial Howell County election results from Tuesday show a couple of potential upsets, including a defeat of Mtn. View Mayor John Krasuski by a write-in candidate, and a new West Plains R-7 school board member to replace longtime member and current President Jim Thompson, who was defeated by two votes.

Results will be declared official once the Howell County Clerk’s Office has certified them after a final count.

Mtn. View city council has seen turmoil over the last five months and spent last month with only two aldermen of four remaining after resignations, the removal of an appointed council member, Judi Colter, over nepotism and the ouster of another because she voted for the appointee, who was her first cousin by marriage.

The result will be a brand-new council, and one of its first tasks will be to appoint a council seat that opened when West Ward Alderwoman Brenda Colter was removed in March because she hadn't abstained from voting for Judi Colter's appointment. That happened during the council's regular meeting on March 12, missing a deadline to be placed on the ballot.

Charry McCann was a write-in candidate for mayor who defeated Krasuski by 26 votes, 182 to 156. Total votes cast in that race were 338.

Judi Colter had a seat on the dais for one month as an appointee, in January, before a vote was taken to remove her in order to wait for the results of the election, as she had put her name on the ballot for a two-year term. Colter previously served as a council member from 2020 to 2022, and will be the only sitting member with prior city council experience when new members are sworn in on Tuesday, as long as election results are certified by that time.

She had been appointed to fill the remainder of Murray Anderson's term after he resigned in December, and in Tuesday’s election, defeated write-in candidate Brigg Pierson by 79 votes to 54.

Calvin Perry has won a two-year term as a west ward alderman in a close race with 91 votes to challenger Lucinda Burton's 84. The seat opened after Lindell Vandevort chose not to run for reelection.

David Bauer ran against Vicki Carr for a one-year term as an east ward alderman, the remainder of Bud Vines' appointment, and won by 81 votes to 68. Vines was appointed after the resignation of Steven Sills in November.

For the West Plains R-7 School Board there were three candidates for two three-year terms: incumbents Jim Thompson and Brian Mitchell, plus challenger Shealia Harper. Mitchell got 171 votes, Harper 141 and Thompson 139, with 451 votes cast.

For West Plains City Council, member Johnny Murrell won his bid unopposed, with 166 votes out of 174 cast. The remaining eight votes were for write-in candidates.

For Willow Springs City Council there were two unchallenged candidates: Incumbent Kim Rich got 59 votes, with two write-in votes, for a two-year term. Tyler Morris won a bid to fill the one-year remainder of a term he was appointed to with 35 votes.

The remaining Howell County municipality to have an election was Brandsville, with unchallenged east and west ward alderman candidates. Betty Pirkle won the former with 10 votes and for the latter, Ronnie Bunch got five votes.


Ballot initiatives supporting capital improvements in two school districts were passed by district patrons, at Glenwood Elementary and Oregon-Howell (Koshkonong) Schools.

Glenwood asked for permission from voters to borrow $2 million to make facilities improvements and upgrades to buildings and playgrounds; it will result in an increased debt service property tax levy of 34 cents per $100 of assessed real and personal property valuation.

The initiative passed with 110 votes to 65.

Glenwood patrons also voted for two open school board seats, with two candidates on the ballot. Chase Johnson got 128 votes and incumbent Jason Finley got 99 votes. Three of the 230 total votes were cast for write-in candidates.

Koshkonong patrons were asked permission to borrow $1.35 million to build and furnish a storm shelter that will also house science laboratory classrooms, and to repair or replace the school's asphalt parking lot as funds are available. It is an extension of the current debt service levy of 80 cents per $100 dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property, and will add no taxes to those living in the district.

Koshkonong School boundaries include residents in both Howell and Oregon counties. In the Oregon County portion of the district, the vote was 85 for and 47 against, and in Howell County, the vote was closer at 31 for and 15 against.

The district also had two openings for three-year terms on the school board. Jeff Lancaster and Jamie Roberts were the winners, with Lancaster taking 106 of the 318 votes cast across both counties, and Roberts with 83 votes.

Candidates Angelia Andrews got 21 votes; Ruth Waggoner, 45; and Joan Billingsley, 58. In Oregon County, five votes were cast for write-ins.

Other school board races were for two open three-year terms on the Mtn. View-Birch Tree and Willow Springs school boards. In Mtn. View-Birch Tree, with voters in Howell, Texas and Shannon counties, 828 patrons showed up at the polls.

The race between Gaylon Noble, Michael Smith and Jennifer Foster ended in a very narrow win by Noble with 278 votes and a tie between Smith and Foster with 273 votes each.

Willow Springs School District has voters in Texas and Howell counties, but no votes were cast in Texas County. There were three candidates for two three-year terms; Mac Gum got 256 votes; Scott Foster, 213; and Roger Shanks, 191, with five votes for write-ins.

There was also an opening for a one-year term, and Debbie L. Bryan will take that seat with 172 votes, three more than competitor Meagan Jones. Larry Huitt got 30 votes and there were two votes for write-ins.