• BUTLER COUNTY - SEMO TIMES spoke with Butler County Clerk Tonyi Deffendall on Monday to find out the details of counting votes when there is a write-in candidate. Here are the bullet points of that conversation: Votes cast must include both the write-in name and the arrow must be connected to the right of that name Any ballots with a write-in candidate marked (every contest has a write-in listed on the ballot) are automatically separated by the voting machine for later counting The only race where a candidate has registered to be a write-in is the County Collector race, no other write-ins are allowed At 7pm and at each of the 26 polling stations the write-in ballots will be tallied Each polling station will

    Nov 04,
  • Butler County hasn’t seen a race like this since, well, ever. An election with two Republicans running, one on the ballot and one as a write-in, and a Democrat is very unique in this heavily Republican county. One key controversy within the race focuses on the $25,000 compensation for collecting taxes for the city of Poplar Bluff; this is in addition to the $62k salary the county official receives. Tammy Marler, the write-in candidate, was first to speak out against using the office for personal gain. The interim collector and Democrat candidate, Chris Michel, told SEMO TIMES he would not accept any personal payments of tax income. Emily Parks, Republican Candidate, choosing to evade giving a direct answer to the

    Nov 01,
  • SEMO TIMES has unearthed yet another disturbing instance of former City Manager Doug Bagby’s careless management and costly inattention to the city’s fiscal health. First, Bagby and his coalition on the council left the new leaders with a $3M deficit in the employees’ health insurance fund. Next, the taxpayers footed the bill for successfully challenging the clever, but illegal, perpetual contract that Bagby orchestrated. And now, the most recent instance of manipulation, playing sleight of hand with public money in the sale of City Cable. Eight months and six days after City Council voted to sell the cable system, Utilities Manager Bill Bach stood before City Council on September 23 and said, “The ZCorum contract was not included” in the

    Oct 31,
  • POPLAR BLUFF – When Kaplan came on board on August 18, he was faced with the city’s self-funded health insurance nearing a $3,000,000 deficit. His first step in getting out of such a huge hole was to find a health insurance consultant. A request for bids was sent out. The city received two qualified bids for insurance consultants. The low bid of $68,000 was submitted by First Community Insurance of Poplar Bluff. A bid of $85,000 was submitted by AON, an international company. To evaluate the two bids, a committee comprised of seven employees from different departments within the city was formed. Committee members included Deputy Chief Jeff Rolland as chairman along with Steven Burkhead, Gail Barriner, Chris DeGaris, Jason

    Oct 27,

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