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Northland: Incumbent mayor tossed out in North KC; Excelsior Springs OKs smoking ban

Updated: 2013-04-03T02:39:38Z

Here are highlights of local voting in the Northland, according to complete but unofficial returns from Tuesday’s election:

•  North Kansas City: Donald Stielow handily knocked incumbent Bill Biggerstaff out of his mayoral post. Stielow captured 67 percent of the vote. He was followed by Jerry Barham, who received 18 percent. Biggerstaff, a retired police chief and former City Council member, received 14 percent. Danny Shipp finished fourth.

Throughout the campaign, the candidates said their top priority was to resolve issues between North Kansas City Hospital and the city. The city hired an investment banker last summer to look into selling the hospital.

In the only contested City Council race, H.J. Kistler beat Dave Wood.

Voters also approved, by almost 63 percent of the vote, a property tax increase to add almost $200,000 every year to the parks department’s operating budget. The city’s park levy had not been raised in more than 25 years, supporters had said, and Tuesday’s proposal was to raise the rate, now 12 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, to 20 cents. A simple majority was needed.

•  Excelsior Springs: City voters embraced the idea of placing more restrictions on smoking. The proposal, which applies to enclosed workplaces and enclosed public spaces, won 60 percent of the vote. A simple majority was needed. City officials have said that, if voters approved the idea of prohibiting smoking in in those areas, then work could begin on a specific ordinance.

•  Liberty: The city has a new mayor in Lyndell W. Brenton, who thrashed Travis G. Stoufer by winning 80 percent of the vote. He will replace Greg Canuteson, who did not seek another term. Each candidate stressed the importance of working with the school district.

Council winners were Harold A. Phillips and Gene Gentrup.

• Gladstone: Bill Garnos, who was elected to the City Council in 2012, held back two challengers, receiving 41 percent of the votes against Linda Morrison and Donald Ward.

•  Platte County: County residents decided to renew a sales tax for roads and bridges for another 10 years, with 57 percent of voters saying yes. Proceeds from the three-eighths-cent tax will pay off $20 million in bonds for transportation and infrastructure, which also won approval, with 58 percent of voters supporting it. A simple majority was required for both.

Sales tax revenue is split equally beween the between the county and municipalities.

•  Parkville: Voters narrowly refused to impose a 1.5 percent local use tax on cars purchased across the state line in Kansas. The Missouri Supreme Court last year decided that local governments like counties or cities lacked the authority to continue charging sales tax on vehicles purchased out of state. As a result, some jursidictions are facing declines in tax revenues. A majority of 50.65 opposed the measure, with 49.35 percent approving it. A simple majority had been required.

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