Many voters fail to exercise civic duty in April 4 election

‘Call the Tune’ by Mike Anthony

By Mike Anthony

Voter turnout for this year’s April election was better than last year, but many south county residents still failed to exercise their civic duty.

Crestwood voters led south county in turnout for the April 4 election, as they considered a 45-cent tax-rate increase and the re-election of Mayor Gregg Roby, who was unopposed.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the tax-rate increase, called Proposition C, as 38.49 percent of the city’s registered voters made it to the polls.

A total of 31.86 percent of Lindbergh Schools voters turned out April 4, overhauling the Board of Education with the election of four political newcomers endorsed by the Lindbergh National Education Association — Cathy Carlock Lorenz, Matt Alonzo, Christy Watz and Mike Shamia.

In Sunset Hills, 30.53 percent of voters cast ballots in one contested aldermanic race and three uncontested aldermanic races. In the contested race for Ward 3 alderman, Nathan Lipe was victorious over Lori Scarlett.

Green Park typically has low voter turnout, but 30.02 percent of the city’s registered voters cast ballots in the April 4 election that pitted incumbent Mayor Bob Reinagel against former Ward 1 Alderman Tony Pousosa. Reinagel prevailed, while the city’s three aldermanic races were uncontested.

In the Mehlville Fire Protection District, 25.89 percent of registered voters turned out, as Jane Kolb challenged incumbent Aaron Hilmer for a seat on the Board of Directors. Hilmer was re-elected to a third six-year term, receiving 11,194 votes — 53.33 percent — while Kolb garnered 9,765 votes — 46.52 percent.

A total of 24.63 percent of Mehlville School District voters turned out for the Board of Education election, re-electing incumbents Samantha Stormer and Jean Pretto, along with newcomer Peggy Hassler. Finishing fourth in the race for three board seats was Michelle Pommer.

Countywide, a mere 23.17 percent of 703,245 registered voters cast ballots on St. Louis County’s Proposition P half-cent sales-tax increase for police and public safety. The sales-tax increase easily coasted to victory, receiving 102,221 votes in favor — 63.18 percent — and 59,572 votes — 36.82 percent — in opposition.

Those who elect not to vote allow a minority of citizens to make decisions for the majority. Perhaps Franklin D. Roosevelt said it best: “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”