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Voters OK sales tax increase to help fund Sheriff’s Office

Cape Girardeau County voters on June 2 approved a sales tax increase of one-half of one percent to provide law enforcement and public safety services to the county.

The vote was 3,670 (57.06 percent) for and 2,762 (42.94 percent) against.

Currently, the Sheriff’s Office is understaffed. To bring the staffing to acceptable levels will require 10 new officers. Last year, deputies responded to more than 25,000 incidents in the county. The staff expansion will enable adding two school resource officers.

Adding officers also means adding equipment. The equipment necessary to outfit an officer is estimated to be $57,395.

The additional funds will make salary increases possible. Currently, Sheriff’s Office salaries are more than 10 percent lower than Cape Girardeau and Jackson Police Department salaries.

The Sheriff’s Office operates the County Jail. Funds will be used to provide additional staffing, operational costs, and capital improvements so the 250 inmates and staff are adequately protected.


The voters in the Millersville Fire Protection District approved a $900,000 bond issue to build a new fire station. The vote was 235 (64.03 percent) for and 132 (35.97 percent) against.

Voters had turned down the request when it was previously on the ballot in April 2019.


There was one contested city alderman race in Jackson. Incumbent Joe Bob Baker defeated challenger Steven Lee in Ward 4 by a vote count of 123 (69.49 percent) to 51 (28.81 percent).

Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge R-6 School District voters approved a tax increase to fund the financially troubled school district. The operating tax levy will increase by 65¢, from $2.917 to $3.567 per $100 assessed valuation.

In a crowded field of Oak Ridge R-6 School Board candidates, the following three were elected: Mary A. Seyer, 276 votes (20.12 percent); Thomas Schreiner, 267 votes (19.46 percent); and Whitney McFall 251 votes (18.29 percent).

Coming in a close fourth place was Andrew Seabaugh, 248 votes (18.08 percent). Also running were Lindsay Berry, 228 votes (16.62 percent), Pat Hunt, 97 votes (7.07 percent), and five write-in votes (0.36 percent).

Cape Girardeau

In Cape Girardeau, the transportation sales tax was extended by a vote of 2,044 (63.72 percent) for and 1,164 (36.28 percent) against.

The three winning Cape Girardeau School Board members are Jared Wayne Ritter, 2,081 votes (27.87 percent); Casey L. Cook, 1,903 votes (25.49 percent); and Tony L. Smee, 1,708 votes (22.87 percent). Missy Nie-veen Phegley came in a close fourth place with 1,706 votes (22.85 percent) and there were 69 write in votes (0.92 percent).

In Cape Girardeau’s Ward 3, Nathan Thomas defeated Renita Green 325 (56.03 percent) to 254 (43.79 percent). There was one write-in vote.


Delta voters approved the borrowing of $800,000 to be combined with FEMA funds to build a storm shelter/cafeteria/multipurpose facility. The vote was 124 (66.67 percent) for and 62 (33.33 percent) against.

Elected to the Delta School Board were Kimberlie Nothdurft, 140 votes (29.72 percent); Evelyn Nussbaum, 116 votes (24.63 percent); and Samuel A. Below, 108 votes (22.93 percent). Matt Huffman also ran, garnering 102 votes (21.66 percent).

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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