Vandalia Leader

Follow Us On:

Election Focus: Local Alderman races

Posted on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 12:25 pm

election-buttonCity of Laddonia Alderman race

—The following preview of the election for alderman in the City of Laddonia includes a biographical write-up on each candidate and a vision statement/point of emphasis on fulfilling to duties of the office, if elected on April 7, 2015. Candidates appear in the following article in the same order their names appear on the election ballot. Information was either submitted in electronic or paper form by the candidate or provided through an interview over the phone or social media.
[Alderman-City of Laddonia] Eric Craft
Eric Craft has lived in Laddonia for nearly four years with his wife Kathy of 23 years.
Both Eric and Kathy work at Casey’s.
The couple has one son Wayne, who has served two tours in Iraq.
The two previously lived in North Carolina. When on vacation in the area, the couple really liked it and decided to move into Audrain County.
Eric’s brother Shawn Craft and his family also reside in Laddonia. Eric’s parents are Ed and Avis Craft.
“I’d like to see more businesses come here to help the town grow because we just lost our grocery store…,” Eric Craft said. “I’d like to see some stuff done at the ballpark because we have a lot of people who go down there. We’ve got a basketball goal over here behind the city maintenance building. I’d like to see it fixed up and would like to see another police officer (added to the force) because he’s putting in a lot of hours.”
Francis Hunn
(as submitted by the candidate) My name is Francis Hunn. I’m running for alderman in Laddonia.
I’ve been a resident for seven years. I moved here because it was a nice place to retire, close to Mark Twain Lake, Vandalia Lake, and lots of places to go fishing.
I’ve been married to my wife (Judy) since 1973 and we have two sons (Scott and James) and one daughter (Charlene), eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Since moving here I bought five vacant homes and renovated them and rented them to good citizens.
I have 40-plus years in the construction business. I worked as a city engineer for Wright City.
I’m a member of the Laddonia St. John’s Catholic Church and also a past board member.
I was elected to the first Laddonia Rural Fire District Board.
I believe with my past experience with construction and overseeing water repairs and new construction in Wright City plus a firm belief in a betterment of our city, I am the best candidate for alderman. Thanks to everybody for their support.
Alicia Stanford
(as submitted by the candidate) I was born and raised in Laddonia, by my parents, Vernon and Edwina Stanford. I moved away in February 1996 and returned in November of 2009.
I have two children, ages 19 and 17, Chelsie and Takoda, whom also reside in Laddonia, and a grandaughter named Maci, who was born in February 2015.
My vision, if elected alderman, is to work hard for any improvements that can be made in Laddonia, and to hear what the citizens have to say. This is their town, as well as ours. Community involvement is very important in any town/city.

City of Vandalia Ward I race

—The following preview of the election for City of Vandalia’s Ward I includes a biographical write-up on each candidate and a vision statement/point of emphasis on fulfilling to duties of the office, if elected on April 7, 2015.
Candidates appear in the following article in the same order their names appear on the election ballot. Information was either submitted in electronic or paper form by the candidate or provided through an interview over the phone or social media.
[Ward I –
City of Vandalia] G. Doug Bontz
(as submitted by the candidate) I grew up in Vandalia, the son of lifelong residents Floyd and Betty Bontz. As a young boy, I worked several years as a Mexico Ledger paperboy for Henry and Julie Harp (auto parts dealers), a waiter at the Rebylarch Cafe (Clyde and Marge Barron) and Jones’s Café (Otis and Vivian Jones), and as a clerk at a Derby Station (Linda Johnson, manager).
In the mid-1970’s, I worked for Pearson’s Clothing (I have fond memories of Earl, Charlie, and Skip Pearson; Ina Nation, Beulah Maxwell, Ray Hale, and Marie Korpal.).  I also worked a very brief time for Claude Collier at the Western Auto Store.
Although I attended Van-Far schools, I did not graduate with peers. I earned my GED the same year (1975) and then attended a semester at Hannibal LaGrange. Unfortunately, working full-time at Harbison-Walker (1976-1978) prevented me from continuing college.
In the summer of 1978, I moved to Kansas City, Kansas to train as a P.N. Hirsch & Co. store manager. In October of that year, I was given my own store in Higginsville, Missouri. I later managed both the Higginsville and Lexington stores.
I attended EMT training (1981) in Lexington and paramedic training (1984) in Independence. I worked on the ambulance as both volunteer and full-time employee for five years. I also coordinated EMT training.
In 1988, I returned to college. During those years, I worked as a Best Western Motel front desk clerk, a 911 dispatcher, and served on the campus newspaper at University of Central Missouri (formerly Central Missouri State University – Warrensburg) as editorial-page editor. I won state and national awards for investigative reporting. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism/English.
Upon graduation, I was employed as a newspaper editor in Higginsville and managing editor of a weekly Warrensburg newspaper. After time in the newspaper business, I entered graduate school to obtain a Master’s Degree in Communications. During my studies, I worked for the Missouri Safety Center, where I assisted in law enforcement and highway safety programs.
As graduate assistant, I was an assessor in law enforcement supervisor training. I participated in law enforcement assessment centers in several agencies: Wyoming State Police Academy, Platte County Missouri Sheriff’s Department, Liberty Police Department, and Hannibal Police Department.  I also helped develop several publications for the National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration and the Missouri Safety Center.  I had a brief stint in Jefferson City, working for Missouri Highway Safety (now part of MoDot). Additionally, I assisted in academic professional development presentations.
In 2009, I began working for University of Phoenix online as a college instructor; teaching English, communications, and journalism courses. Although I wanted to move back to Vandalia years ago, circumstances prohibited it. I was happy to return to Vandalia in 2009 with my partner, Kathy. I’m still employed with the university, and it has been a blessing being near my parents (Dad died in 2012).
I raised my three, wonderful children in Higginsville. Today, I love nine beautiful and intelligent grandchildren, (ages 2-19), one adopted granddaughter, and one adopted great-granddaughter.
Kathy and I live in a modest house next to my mother. I enjoy composing piano music, studying Christian history (much of my library of books), reading scientific studies, writing poetry and prose, cooking, and gardening vegetables and flowers. My main passion, however, is public debate, which allows me much motivation to ask pertinent questions in a representative position.
For the past several decades, Vandalia has deteriorated in image and spirit. Anyone who thinks differently must be a lovable Pollyanna. (Lord knows we need more of these people in the world.) Fortunately, I am a realist, a person who sees things for what they are–not what I want them to be. The reason I am running for alderman is because I have a vision that Vandalia can be restored to some semblance of its former image. It will take much time and hard work, but it can be done.
There are many state and federal reasons for Vandalia’s decline. Nevertheless, I think locally the main issue started at the top. It appears that over time management and the city council accepted a status quo (same old, same old) ideal, and with all status-quo systems, a “no-can-do attitude” is the mode of business when it comes to changing the present and planning for the future. I’ve heard more no’s coming from our government than not. I’d love to hear more “hell yes that’s a great idea. Let’s discuss that.”
I’m not opposed to reorganizing city government to promote this new “hell yes attitude” if that is what taxpayers want. We need change. We need new and creative ideas that don’t get shot down before discussion is ever granted.
So there you have it. That is why I am running for office. I promise to be available, accountable, and give much attention to community renewal if elected. I also promise that any money paid to me for being an alderman will be donated to local civic organization programming that promotes community renewal.
Robert D. Dunn
(as submitted by the candidate) My name is Robert (Bob) Dunn and I am a candidate for alderman in Ward I. I have lived in Vandalia since 1967 and have raised my family here in Ward I.
I worked for Harbison-Walker for 50 years at Vandalia and at other HW plants throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.
• Served on Vandalia Housing Authority Board from its inception to currently serving.
• Currently serving as a volunteer for Meals-On-Wheels program.
• Member of Vandalia First Baptist Church.
• My wife and I were some of the first volunteer EMT’s to serve on the Van-Far Ambulance.
We raised our three children in Vandalia and they attended and graduated from Van-Far schools.
My first goal, if elected, would be to represent/serve the citizens of Ward I as well as all citizens of Vandalia.
My priorities would be to review the city’s income and budget to see how and where the money is being allocated and spent in various departments.
One of my goals would be to see a permanent asphalt street program started. Also, I would like to see a curb side grinding of small tree limbs and shrubbery on once-a-month basis.
I would appreciate your vote.

City of Vandalia Ward III race

—The following preview of the election for City of Vandalia’s Ward III includes a biographical write-up on each candidate and a vision statement/point of emphasis on fulfilling to duties of the office, if elected on April 7, 2015.
Candidates appear in the following article in the same order their names appear on the election ballot. Information was either submitted in electronic or paper form by the candidate or provided through an interview over the phone or social media.
[Ward III – City of Vandalia]

Gabriel (Gabe)
Jennings
Gabriel (Gabe) Jennings, age 36, was born and raised in Vandalia.
He’s lived in Vandalia the majority of his life and most of his family lives here.
He attended the Van-Far R-I School District.
Jennings is married to his wife Nancy, who has been a teacher in the Bowling Green R-I School District for 19 years.
Currently, he’s employed at Service and Supply Cooperative in Bowling Green.
He enjoys hunting and fishing, Previously, he was president of the local chapter of the QUWF (Quail & Upland Wildlife Federation.)
He is now a volunteer with the Vandalia Area Fair Association.
Jennings’ vision is to make positive improvements in the City of Vandalia.
“I have lived the majority of my life in Vandalia and want to actively help make improvements that will continue to make our community grow and prosper,” he said.
“I feel like I can relate to issues/concerns that residents of the community may have because of my long time ties in  Vandalia. I want to help provide a positive and safe environment for families to raise their children in.”

Hazel Hardy
(as submitted by the candidate) My name is Hazel Hardy. I have lived in Vandalia for approximately three years. I am the mother of two children, Rebecca (12) and Robert (10).
Previously, I have worked at Northeast Community Action Corporation (NECAC) in Bowling Green implementing rental and utility assistance programs, and at WERDCC here in Vandalia as a Corrections Officer I.
I am currently a stay-at-home mother.
My vision for serving as a council member is to bring fresh ideas and positive solutions to the Vandalia City Council that better the community.
I would like to increase residents’ confidence and respect in the council.
I believe this can be achieved by protecting essential city services in future budgets, refraining from indulgent or wasteful spending, and always being willing to listen to citizens’ concerns and opinions.
A few of my goals include ensuring public safety, expanding the economy by adding businesses and jobs, fundraising for our new YMCA project, and finding ways to implement more after school and summer programs for our children.
One of my biggest concerns is the lack of activities available for our children.
Vandalia is a good city, but I believe we can still do better.
I believe that I am the best candidate for this job because of my willingness to listen to everyone’s ideas and opinions on any issue, and my willingness to invest as much time as is needed to obtain the outcome that is best for Vandalia’s citizens.
“…I am always willing to discuss issues or concerns,” she added.