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The Lake News Online
  • Four battle for Ward 3 Alderman in Lake Ozark

  • Only contested race in city


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  • Lake Ozark has one contested race for Alderman in Tuesday’s municipal election.
    Jeff Van Donsel
    Occupation: My wife and I are owners of the Rockwood Resort Motel in Lake Ozark. 
    How long have you lived in Lake Ozark?
    We retired in 2001 from the corporate world and moved to Lake Ozark and purchased the Rockwood at that time. I am a native of Camdenton, Mo.,  Education in K.C., Kan., public schools with continued studies in Hydraulic Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Labor Management. Retired in 2001 as Manager of Finishing Operations at Fairbanks Morse Pump Corp. in Kansas City, Kansas after 30 years, and moved to Lake Ozark.
    Do you have any prior political experience?
    I have served on all City committees- Planning & Zoning Committee, Utility Commission, Finance Board, TIF Commission, Lake Ozark Betterment Committee and since 2006 I have had the honor of serving as Alderman of Ward 3. I am on the Board of Directors of the Bagnell Dam Strip Association, a member of the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Tri-County Lodging Association and the Convention & Visitors Bureau.
    What inspired you to run for the Board of Aldermen?
    The same reasons that I am seeking re-election now. The city has very serious issues concerning infrastructure, declining business revenues and not being in tune with what the citizens feel are important to our city. This city cannot seem to shake the good old boy politics that have caused duress for so many years. A city that is ran by consensus, and is sensitive to what the citizens feel are important is what I have worked for and is why I seek to continue to represent the citizens of Ward 3 to press on with those ideals.
    If elected, what city issue do you feel is the most important to focus on?
    Improvements to the infrastructure and streets in our neighborhoods. We seriously need to look at possible ways to incorporate all roads within city boundaries to city ownership and responsibility. There are too many unkempt small narrow roads, some no more than mere alleys, that are not suitable for safe passage, yet our citizens have to drive on them everyday.  
    We need to change policies to be more business friendly and promoting of development and investors, while protecting and enhancing the small business interests in Ward 3 and continue working to get our city focused in a cooperative, professional, fiscally responsible and positive direction.
    What new initiatives and ideas do you bring to the table?
    Even in tough economic times, we still need to look at ways to improve the quality of life in our city, especially for our youth. As I have stated many times before, this city needs to develop and put in action a parks and recreation commission to investigate plans and funding for the recreational needs of our community and our youth.
    Page 2 of 4 -
    The mayor has recently drawn a lot of attention because of an alderman’s attempt to impeach him. How would you have voted if the  motion was raised?
    Did not answer question.
    Where does the city go from here?
    To move forward, the city needs stability and an end to the partisan political grip that again affects our city. The citizens want a clear and consistent plan for the future and want to be heard, be kept informed and know their opinions are listened to and considered relevant to the success of our community. The past three years the Board has been more scrutinizing of policy and proactive in its governance. It has taken a more active role as it should. There needs to be a more open and cooperative working relationship between the City Administrator the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen.
    Bill Bolin
    Occupation: Self-employed contractor
    How long have you lived in Lake Ozark?
    6 years
    Do you have any prior political experience?
    I was an alderman for Ward 3 for two years.
    What inspired you to run for the Board of Aldermen?
    I feel as an alderman, I can help bring stability back to the City of Lake Ozark.
    If elected, what city issue do you feel is the most important to focus on?
    Growth of the City through new jobs and new businesses.
    What new initiatives and ideas do you bring to the table?
    What I bring to the table is an open mind and a willingness to listen to all ideas and suggestions.
    The mayor has recently drawn a lot of attention because of an alderman’s attempt to impeach him. How would you have voted if on the board when the motion was raised?
    Since I was not on the Board and not privy to all the infornation to make a well inform decision, I feel this question can not be answered.
    Where does the city go from here?
    Hopefully only forward.
    Sean P. Murphy
    Occupation: Did not answer.
    How long have you lived in Lake Ozark?
    I have only lived in Lake Ozark for 2 years, but I have family that has lived here since 1985, which is how long I have been coming here.
    Do you have any prior political experience?
    No I do not, but it seems to me this city’s politics has become more of a circus than something to be proud of.
    Page 3 of 4 - What inspired you to run for the Board of Aldermen?
    Seeing that a change is needed. So much negative attention focused on the city because of the bickering and selfishness of some of our board members inspired me to take my chances and try to bring a fresh view to this city and its needs.
    If elected, what city issue do you feel is the most important to focus on?
    I feel the current issue that is most important to this city is the water/sewer situation. The citizens are under a burden of rising costs while the economy is less than ideal. We have land available to develop on in areas that do not need a lot of equipment to operate a sewer system. We need to work on getting these areas developed to help ease the citizen’s burden.
    What new initiatives and ideas do you bring to the table?
    This city needs to crack down on properties on the Strip that are not making efforts toward being usuable property. The Strip is becoming an eyesore. As a kid, I remember the Strip was full of life and businesses that were doing well; now, the Strip is full of ‘for sale’ and ‘for rent’ signs. This is not bringing sales tax revenue to our city and without that revenue the city will not move ahead.
    The mayor has recently drawn a lot of attention because of an alderman’s attempt to impeach him. How would you have voted if on the board when the motion was raised?
    I feel that when the issue was raised and the aldermen agreed to take it further, they should have followed through. I attended the meeting where the issue died and I listened as board members spoke about the problems with the mayor and what compelled them to raise the issue in the first place, but there was no follow through. If you feel there’s a problem, then don’t back down when it counts. Inconsistent leaders diminish the citizen’s faith in their future here.
    Where does the city go from here?
    We have a promising development brought to us by Gary Prewitt. Hopefully, with this project coming in, it will spur other developments and the HH extention that will give a new life to Lake Ozark.
    Moran Rice
    *Could not be reached for his profile. However, he did run for alderman last year. Using that information, here’s some background:
    • Moved to Lake Ozark four years ago to start Our Place Deli.
    • Has served on multiple city committees including Lake Ozark Downtown Revitalization Master Plan and Tax Increment Financing Commission as well as a number of community organizations.
    Page 4 of 4 - • Was motivated to run for the alderman seat so he could help bring in a more positive image and change to the city. Change is a sign of growth, Rice answered in last year’s profile. Without change, things become stagnant and decay. Changing requires creating a business-friendly atmosphere (through professional, consistent information) to attract new development who will in turn create jobs for our community.
     

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