A push to increase Sedalia City Council terms from two to four years failed at the polling places on Tuesday.

A total of 1586 votes were cast in 12 precincts, according to Election Authority Nick La Strada.

1246 said no, they don't want the Council members' terms to extend from two to four years.

340 said yes we do.

The percentage was 78.56% against, 21.44% for.

Voter turnout Tuesday was 13.21%.

Third Ward Councilman Bob Hiller, when asked to comment Tuesday night, said “All I want to say the people have had there say and I respect that very much. It doesn't effect anything today tomorrow or for the next 2 years when I will have to decide if I want to run again which I would have to do anyway I was just thinking about the future of the city we have the same problems today and tomorrow that we have to get through and I will not do it by getting on line or face book or buying signs to get what I want how much did Mister Goodson spend to get this voted the way he wanted I know I spent nothing just let the people decide and they voted no so that fine. I understand we have some problems but right now, these are in front of us and are trying to be addressed. Let's move forward, and I hope we can put this all behind us,” Hiller told KSIS.

Sedalia Mayor Andrew Dawson also commented on the vote.

“Today’s vote shows just how much our community cares about having a say in how we’re governed. I’m heartened to see everyone’s involvement. As Mayor, I’m all in for working with the City Council to keep making Sedalia the best place to be. It’s about what we all want for our city, and I’m excited to keep pushing forward with that. Many thanks to everyone that got out and voted today and made their voice heard!” Mayor Dawson said Tuesday night.

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Second Ward Councilman Chris Marshall responded by saying “I voted no. I’m against longer terms as I think as an elected official, you need to connect with the community. Every time I ran I knocked on doors to introduce myself and hear what the people had to say about issues concerning them. Four years is too long to be disconnected from the people who vote for you,” Marshall commented.

Second Ward Councilwoman Tina Boggess said simply “The voters have spoken and we have heard them.”

First Ward Councilman Tom Oldham said, "It’s great to see such an amazing turnout for an election that is normally one of the lowest. Voters not only showed up, but raised a loud United voice for a ballot issue. I stated from the beginning that I wouldn’t deny citizens the right to a vote, but I was not in favor of moving city council terms from two year to four year. This can create a situation where council members could become complacent. I also believe the local government should be the most effective and efficient form of government.

"If our neighbors, friends, and coworkers are not in favor of an issue on the local level, changes can be made in a timely manner. I look forward to serving my two-year term, and if I’m doing a fair and honest job in the eyes of Sedalians, they will ask me to continue serving!" Oldham concluded.

Fourth Ward Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Rhiannon Foster said, "I was completely in the middle on 2 v 4. There are pros and cons to each term length, as I stated previously at a council meeting. I am honored to represent the 4th Ward for 2 more years."

Councilwoman Foster ran unopposed and received 422 votes, and there were 37 write-in votes.

"I am happy we had over 450 come out to vote in the 4th Ward!! I think oftentimes the write-ins are just silly characters like Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck," she commented.

The people have spoken, and their wishes will be honored,” Third Ward Councilman Cross commented when reached by phone Wednesday morning. “And I haven't lost any sleep over it at all.”

“It was not that big of a deal, I don't think,” Cross said, adding that he doesn't anticipate the issue being brought up again anytime soon.

“The thing that was strange to me was, the person that was really pushing this issue to vote no, doesn't even live in Sedalia,” Cross stated.

Councilman Cross is up for reelection in April of 2025. His campaign will begin sometime in December.

“Well I was glad to see that the no votes prevailed. I just didn't think it was the right thing to do and I made that comment in the Council session. I think it's better that we have a Council member elected every two years,” Fourth Ward Councilman Bloess said Wednesday afternoon when reached by phone. “It's a better form of government for us, I think.”

Bloess is also up for reelection in April of 2025.

Bloess went on to say that “I want people to run for Council. I think it's better to have two years. You can learn everything you need to learn pretty quickly. And you're always learning, you're constantly learning new stuff. But two years is a good time to try it out, so hopefully, people will get involved again,” Bloess told KSIS.

“You know, we had four uncontested races this time, and I'm up for election this time next year, and I hope someone opposes me,” Councilman Bloess said. “You get everybody's viewpoints, and that's good local government. I want people, in a constructive way, to be involved with our community in their local government. I think everybody on the Council wants that.”

As for his loss to Patty Wood and Jeff Page for SFCC Board of Trustees, Bloess said that “those are two good people who will do a great job on the board.”

Wood was the top vote getter with 2025 votes, or 35.6%. Page came in second with 1962 votes, or 34.32%. Bloess was third with 1686 votes, or 29.49%. Only the top two vote getters are rewarded with a seat on the SFCC Board.

First Ward Councilman Jack Robinson commented “I voted against it when it first came up. I think that skills don’t improve based on how long one serves on the Council. I also think that new people bring new ideas, so I favor turnover.”

Businessman David Goodson said he was very happy with the outcome of the 2 vs 4 vote, which sends a clear message to Council.

But, he added, “we still have lots of work to do” and noted that the success of the no vote on Tuesday was “just one small hurdle.”

Goodson was not surprised by the small voter turnout (13%) but very pleased with the results and thanked those who voted no on the question.

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Gallery Credit: Emily Sherman

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