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Election to decide Jackson sales tax; Oak Ridge bond issue and school board

Next Tuesday’s election will impact safety and sales tax rates for every citizen in the City of Jackson and will decide the fate of a bond issue request for Oak Ridge R-6 School District, as well as choosing two Oak Ridge School Board members.

In the City of Cape Girardeau, voters will decide whether to extend the 3/8 cent sales tax for the funding of storm water control and local parks, and there is one contest for alderman in Ward 2 (Shelly Moore and Scott Johnson are running).

Most other issues on the ballot will be routine.

Cape Girardeau Mayor Candidate Bob Fox and the remaining city aldermen candidates are running unopposed.

Jackson Mayor Dwain Hahs is not on the ballot this year, but four aldermen will run unopposed (Phil Penzel, Ward 1; Dave Reiminger, Ward 2; Larry Cunningham, Ward 3; and Joe Bob Baker, Ward 4).

The major issue for Jackson voters is the request for a 1/2-cent sales tax to pay for public safety.

The tax is expected to generate about $1 million a year to pay for 4-5 additional police patrol officers, a school resource officer, a fire department training officer, and to buy additional equipment.

The approval of this sales tax will make it possible for the City to use reserve funds to build a new police station and municipal court next to the current fire and police complex. The old building will be remodeled as the fire department takes over the entire building.

The 37-year-old current building is outdated and overcrowded.

If voters approve the sales tax increase, Jackson will continue to have one of the lowest sales tax rates of cities around here. The rate will be 7.225%, compared to Cape Girardeau and Perryville (7.975%), Sikeston (8.225%) and Poplar Bluff (7.725%).

Voters in the Oak Ridge School District will vote on a request for a $2.6 million bond issue. Approval will not raise taxes on them.

The money will be used to add two additional elementary classrooms, rework the front atrium area of the elementary school, add a parking lot in front of the elementary school, enlarge the high school parking lot, add a bus lane to serve both buildings and add a vocational area to the high school multipurpose building.

Three candidates are vying for two seats on the Oak Ridge School Board. They are Jeff Hahs, Robert Grayhek and George Below.

Because the number of candidates matched the number of open positions, there will be no Jackson R-2 School Board election. Incumbents Kelly Waller and Sheila King will continue to serve.

Some polling places will not be open because there is no election affecting the voters who live in those areas.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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