Michael Lester was elected to the Jefferson City council during annual municipal elections earlier this month. Lester will represent the second ward and replace Rick Mihalevich, who was term-limited.
Three candidates were running for the seat. Lester won with 243 votes. Aaron Mealy received 186 votes and Gregory Butler 105.
Lester has been a member of the city’s planning and zoning commission since 2009.
Ward 1 councilman Hank Vogt was officially elected to his position. He ran unopposed and joined the council earlier upon the resignation of Rick Prather. Also running unopposed and re-elected, were councilmembers Erin Wiseman, Ron Fitzwater and John Hensley.
The city’s 10 council members are elected for staggered two-year terms. The city council makes laws, budgets city money and establishes policy and procedures for city staff. Council members must be a qualified voter of the city, have lived in the city for at least a year before the election, and in the ward they wish to represent for six months.
Each of the city’s five wards has two council members. The council meetings are the first and third Monday of each month at 6 p.m.
The mayor is elected for four years, with an eight-year term limit.
Four propositions to update the city charter were also approved by voters.
Proposition A changes language to me more gender neutral, eliminates unnecessary dates, and adds “incapacity” as a reason to removal councilmembers or the mayor. It would take a four-fifths majority vote (8 of 10 councilmembers) to remove the mayor. It was approved 1,585-886.
Proposition B requires the city clerk, city administrator and city counselor to be residents of Jefferson City within 180 days of initial employment. It was approved 2,085-414.
Proposition C makes technical changes to the council’s legislative procedures, changing rules for bill sponsors and co-sponsors, and clarifies procedures regarding the reading of bills, suspension of rules and the informal calendar. It was approved 1,509-910.
Proposition D would prohibit former councilmembers or mayors from holding any compensated appointive city office or employment until two years after leaving office. It would also prohibit the mayor, councilmembers, parks and recreation committee members, the city administrator, city clerk and department directors from holding certain publicly elected offices elsewhere in Missouri. It was approved 1,842-640.