There’s a hefty crop of candidates hoping to fill three seats on the Claycomo Board of Trustees.
The incumbent candidates are Jim Stoufer, Marina Barker and Greg Thompson. The challengers are Richelle Scarborough, Daniel Baumli, Benjamin Watkins IV, Linda Powell and John Cooper.
All of the challengers stressed the importance of creating a more balanced city budget. Stoufer said he’d like to see improvements and more businesses along the Highway 69 corridor.
Thompson, Barker and Littrell did not answer questions.
Voters will pick three of the nine candidates on April 2. The board of trustees meets on the second and fourth Mondays of the month.Richelle Scarborough Age:
213 E Longfellow St.Occupation:
Public safety dispatcherEducation:
Graduated from Savannah High SchoolPublic experience:
Her priorities include monitoring the outsourcing of fire and police dispatch services to ensure it’s cost effective and doesn’t compromises public safety, and maintaining the same level of city services without raising taxes. She’d like to evaluate the business environment and possibly offer economic incentives for new business.Daniel J. Baumli Age:
Did not answerOccupation:
Union carpenter with J.E. DunnEducation:
Graduated from Maryville High SchoolPublic experience:
Alderman for the city of Ravenwood, Mo., for four yearsStances:
He would like to see a more “community-friendly” police force. He’d also like to evaluate current zoning and building ordinances. He said the biggest challenge for Claycomo is budget shortfalls and he’d like an audit to be conducted to make sure all accounts are in order.Benjamin Watkins Age:
504 W. Whittier St.Occupation:
Electrician with IBEW Local 124; 10 years with the Army National Guard; one year tour in IraqEducation:
Vocational schoolPublic experience:
He said the city’s biggest challenge is over-spending and he’d want to focus on keeping a tight budget. He said one of his first steps in office would be a budget review. He’s not willing to raise any taxes.Linda Powell Age:
59 N. BryantOccupation:
Retired; formerly worked in customer service and as a cash vault cashier at Dillard’sEducation:
Attended Baker UniversityPublic experience:
Has served on the Claycomo Park Board for eight yearsStances:
Her priorities are balancing the budget and updating all the office computers and websites. She would vote against the current budget proposal and would work toward one with less spending. She favors merit-based raises for city employees.Jim Stoufer Age:
315 E. Longfellow St.Occupation:
Plumber/pipe-fitter at the Ford Motor Claycomo Plant; owner of AAA Plumbing $ MoreEducation:
Graduated from Lawson High School; completed a four-year apprenticeship to become a journeyman plumber/pipe-fitterPublic experience:
Currently a Claycomo trustee, first elected in 1991 with a break for education from 2001-2003 ; served on the Claycomo Park Board, Zoning Board and FunFest Committee; serves on the Northland Board for United Way of Greater Kansas City since 2006Stances:
His priorities are attracting new businesses and maintaining emergency services, and he wants to attract businesses to and improve the 69 Highway corridor through the village. Said if he had to raise taxes, he would look to sales tax.John L. Cooper Age:
Retired; owned Cooper Automotive ServiceEducation:
Graduated from Central High SchoolPublic experience:
Two previous terms on the board of trustees; four terms on the Claycomo Road District; captain in the Clay County Sheriff’s DepartmentStances:
He said the village needs to focus on balancing the budget and getting its spending under control. He is never in favor of increasing taxes. He also said while he wants the road district and the board to move forward as separate entities, he would like to see increased communication.