By Michael Boyink
Ava and Douglas County residents turned out at the polls yesterday and elected a new city mayor and several school board members.
Even though the sun was shining and spring temperatures cooperated throughout the day, voter turnout was low. With 7,863 registered voters in Douglas County, only 1,113 ballots were cast. A turnout of 14.15%.
While the election results are yet to be officially verified by Circuit Clerk Karry Davis, the returns show the following:
For City of Ava Mayor, Burrely Loftin won with 345 votes (63.3%), Lonnie Atchison had 186 votes (34.1%), and Kenny Thompson had 14 votes (2.6%).
In the race for Ava East Ward Alderman, Billy Stewart won with 118 votes (44.9%), Tom Gunter had 84 votes (31.9%), Teresa Tost had 60 votes (22.8%).
Ava West Ward Alderman Noel Dye ran unopposed.
Stewart and Dye join incumbents Keith Jones and Stan Lovan on the Ava Board of Aldermen.
The Ava Ambulance District 2 Board member race was won by Scotty Upchurch with 96 votes (86.5%). Del Barton had 15 votes (13.5%).
In the Ava A-1 School District, Brandi Stanifer and Dan Johnson won with 612 votes (38%) and 406 votes (25.2%) respectively. Tanner Clark had 308 votes (19.1%) and Anna Gamboa had 279 votes (17.3%). There were 4 write-in votes.
Stanifer and Johnson join incumbents Kenny Fleetwood, Bart Ellison, Mike Stewart, and Deanna Parsick on the Ava R-1 School Board.
In the Skyline School Board race, Sara Harden and Bradley Loveless won seats with 54 votes (42.2%) and 51 votes (39.8%) respectively. Frederick Dechow had 20 votes (15.6%). There were 3 write-in votes.
In Plainview, Teresa Blakey had 39 votes (32.2%) and Randall Whitaker had 32 votes (28%) to gain seats on the School Board. Jessica Hall had 26 votes (22.8%) and Tiffany Guilliams had 17 votes (14.9%).
In Ozark County, voters defeated the Gainesville Bulldogs Proposition to fund school improvements for the 3rd time, 504-474 votes (51.5% -48.5%). The proposal asked voters to approve a bond issue that would build a new $1.9 million dollar gym, and increase the district’s debt service levy from $0 to $0.28 cents. A second issue asked for general improvements and upgrades in security.
This was the third time in less than a year the Gainesville schools have asked for a tax increase.