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Ousted Council Members Look Back at Time in City Hall

New faces will be walking the grounds of City Hall next week following the 2018 primary and general elections.

Posted: Apr 5, 2018 8:24 AM
Updated: Apr 5, 2018 8:33 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) New faces will be walking the grounds of City Hall next week following the 2018 primary and general elections.

On Tuesday, voters came out to the polls to cast their ballots. For several city council members, the election results were bittersweet.

"The voters have said it is time for a change and I respect that," Barbara LaBass, three term councilwoman, said.

Only three of the eight current city council members were voted back into office. These members are P. J. Kovac, Gary Roach and Kent 'Spanky' O'Dell.

The five current members who did not make their bid in the election are Ken Beck, Pat Jones, Donna Jean Boyer, Joyce Starr and Barbara LaBass.

"Things go in cycles, and change is good," LaBass said.

The new members who have been voted in include: Marty Novak, Russell Moore, Brenda Blessing, Brian Myers and Madison Davis.

St. Joseph mayor-elect Bill McMurray said he isn't worried about the amount of incoming new faces.

"Well, I'm also an inexperienced council member, so we can work together," McMurray said.

Donna Jean Boyer reflected on her 20 years as a councilwoman and said there were many accomplishments she is proud of. Among those include the successful CIP projects over the years, the creation of the use tax, which helps generate money for street repairs and the public safety tax, which provides money to St. Joseph's public safety agencies.

"When I first ran that was an issue at the time, 20 years ago, was being able to fund the public safety department with a tax," Boyer said.

While the council members last day won't be until Monday, April 16th, both Boyer and LaBass said they already have plans in store for the next chapter of their lives.

"Well I'm already involved in a number of boards and organizations in the community, so I will continue doing that," Boyer said.

LaBass said she is leaving the council in good hands, and was excited to see a younger generation getting involved in local government.

"I'm so glad to see young people get involved, and I hope that we'll start seeing better turnout at the polls," LaBass said.

The new city council members will be sworn in on Monday, April 16th in City Hall at 12 p.m.

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Monday we had mostly sunny skies for much of the day across northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri until the afternoon when we saw a few clouds move into the area. We will clear out late tonight into tomorrow morning then have lots of sunshine along with hot and humid conditions.
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