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Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016

Many newcomers on crowded Oregon County ballots

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Linda Greer

Staff Writer

Many who have never held public office before are seeking election to Oregon County school boards and city councils in April.

The compensation for the offices they seek varies from nothing (in Alton) to $4,800 per year (Thayer mayor).

By comparison, Mammoth Spring council members, elected in November, are paid $600 per year, while the mayor is paid $9,600 annually.

All school boards are unpaid terms of three years.

City council terms are for two years.

Alton City Council

Incumbent at-large Aldermen John Wheeler (appointed after Alderman Jason Smith died in July 2010) and Glen Jenkins will run unopposed.

The Alton mayor and aldermen positions are unpaid.

Alton School Board

Incumbents Kevin Ara Smith and Grover Crews and newcomers Jason Kemper and Rodney Parrott are vying for three seats. Board member Mark Hodge did not seek re-election.

Couch School Board

Newcomers Laura McSann and Lucas Parker will run unopposed. Three seats will open. None of the incumbents -- Joe Garrison, Dean Britt and Kimberly Martin -- filed to retain their seats.

Koshkonong City Council

Incumbent aldermen Mary Mitchell and Mike Cauble are unopposed.

Koshkonong Aldermen are paid $50 per year. The mayor is paid $120 annually.

Oregon-Howell School Board

Incumbent Winford "Buck" Smith and newcomers Ron McNear, Shawn Justice, Kevin Brashear and Stacie Huffman are vying for three seats. Board members Don Bush and Tom Lewallen did not file.

Thayer City Council

Mayor Earl "Buddy" Rogers and Alderman Robert Freeman filed for the mayor position. Rogers has been on the council for about 28 years. Freeman is completing his first term as Alderman.

Those filing for the North Ward seat Freeman is vacating are newcomers Terry Tillman and Paul Wilson Jr. and former Alderman Joe Barbee, who held the seat from 2008-10.

Incumbent South Ward Alderman Robert "Bob" Grimes will face newcomer Dorsey Williamson and former Alderman Junior Brewer, who held office for a few months in 2008 before resigning.

Thayer Aldermen are paid $2,400 per year. The mayor is paid $4,800 a year.

Thayer School Board

Incumbents Doyle Fink, Alan Pender and William Franz and newcomers Bill Honeycutt and Michael J. Morris filed for three seats. Incumbent Randall Ward is unopposed for the one-year unexpired seat being vacated by Pender.

County officeholders

In contrast to municipal elected officials' annual salaries set by city ordinance, salaries of county officials are determined by the county's assessed valuation.

All county seats are for four years.

Oregon County pays $24,440 and $22,440, respectively, to the presiding and associate commissioners.

Shannon County commissioners are paid $22,064 and $20,064 for their respective positions.

After nine years without a pay increase, Ripley County commissioners now earn $27,185 and $25,185, respectively.

The Howell County presiding commissioner is paid $33,467, while the associate commissioners are paid $31,355 annually.

In Fulton County, Ark., the county judge is paid $39,168 annually. The nine quorum court members are paid $2,221 a year and meet once monthly.

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