When Laurie voters head to the polls April 2, they will elect two aldermen

When Laurie voters head to the polls April 2, they will elect two aldermen.

Ward I candidates:

Jill A. Bell
Background: Graduated in 1984 from Mt. Assisi Academy, Lemont, Ill. She is supervisor of Laundry and Housekeeping at Laurie Care Center/Laurie Knolls

Community Involvement: Currentally serving 2nd term on City of Laurie Planning and Zoning Board and an active member of the Laurie Enhancement Committe of Laurie.

Family: I am one of five children. Married to Thomas Bell for 20 years and proud mother of four children, Lauren  28, Shawn 26, Lindsey 20, Lucas 19 and Grandmother to one Anndee Marie age 2.

Vote for me because: I would like to help with good effective government and I believe one can make a difference. I feel it is an important time as a community to work together to improve our area and remain positive while we move forward. If you vote for me I promise I will listen, get the facts and make good decisions for the good of the whole community.

I am running because: I would like to better educate the community and reinterate to them that they have a Vote and a Voice with decisions made in the City of Laurie. I would like to see residents to come to a Board Meeting to get a better understanding on how the City of Laurie operates. "We together have the ability to make Laurie a better place for families, children and the young adults that will one day will govern themselves."

What is the most critical challenge for the city?
Preparing for the growth of business in the city and encouraging the growth of business in the city while staying in the black for the good of the citizens.

Val Ites, incumbent
Background: She has lived here 18 years after moving to the area from Iowa. She has owned Val’s Restaurant in town for 11 years.

Community Involvement:
American Legion Auxiliary

Family: Husband in the military and three kids

Vote For Me Because: I believe in this town, and I think I have done a pretty good job.

I am running because: I'm now finally understanding things, and I see things I want to keep changing - things I want to work on.

What is the most critical challenge for the city?
The economy and finances. Getting the use tax would a help. It's something we've used to having that's been taken away. We get some grants, but it's hard to stay in budget with the economy hurting sales tax. I know some people are against events, but I think events are one of the things that keep the town going. What events make are not what the town makes. When people are here for events, they're buying gas and going out to eat. That stuff brings people to town. I know several families who always come to see the light park or come to town for the Hillbilly Fair. If we didn't have those things, we would dry up.

Ward II candidates:

Karen Dobbins, incumbent
Background: I graduated from Camdenton High School and Draughon’s Business College. My early career was in all aspects of the banking business. I then worked for Lake Dental Clinic doing clerical and dental assistance. My husband and I own and operate Dobbins Construction Company. After Dick and I were married, I was active in the business end of Dobbins Construction. I was also instrumental in getting the Dollar General Store into our area and thus we built the building that now houses Dollar General.  

Community Involvement: I am a native to this area. I grew up in Camdenton, but have lived in Laurie for the past 36 years. Through the years I have been active in Beta Sigma Phi, Rotary Club, Lake Bloomers Garden Club and Master Gardners. I have worked many hours with the Laurie Bar B Q Contest, the Hillbilly Fair, Enchanted Village of Lights, Loving Hands Preschool Board member, Clear (Community Leaders Educating about Resistance) educating about the effects of underage drinking. I serve Camden County as an election official. I have been active in Ozark Chapel United Methodist Church for 38 years. I came here when business was really booming. That was when we built the Laurie Terrace Mall. I have seen many changes to Laurie over the years. I knew and loved many of the pioneers that really worked hard to make Laurie what it is today. Laurie is a wonderful place to raise a family. I was elected two years ago to be your Alderman for Ward 11. It has been a real learning experience. With the downturn of the economy, it has been a real challenge to keep the budget in the black. We have accomplished that!  I am now on the Laurie Enhancement Committee where we are beginning to look at ways of making our little city more family friendly and more beautiful. By working with grants, we are hoping to make some wonderful improvements to our city such as sidewalks, bike paths and better lighting thru town.

Family: Dick and I have 5 children that were raised here and went to school at Morgan County RII School.

Vote for me because: I do believe our present board have worked well together. I was
elected two years ago, to LISTEN to you! So now again, I will let your voice be heard,
if on Tuesday, April 2nd , you vote for me! I will do my best to make Laurie a better  place to live.

I am running because: I want my little city to prosper and succeed and GROW!

What is the most critical challenge for the city?
I believe the downturn in economy is critical. Seems like we have lost so many good businesses these past few years. I want to see that turn around again with all kinds of new businesses popping up so much so that we have to extend our city limits I would like to see more families, young and old alike be welcomed in to our city. We do have a wonderful community with so much to offer: Fairground, Ball Park, Swimming Pool, Senior Center, beautiful lake all around us. Let’s just work to keep it that way.

Chris Jackson
Background: Graduated in 1992 from Smith Cotton High School in Sedalia, Mo. and attended classes at Central Missouri State University. He is now the golf course superintendent at Indian Rock Golf Course.

Community Involvement: Helped with the rebuilding of the Laurie softball field.

Family: Recently married to Lauri on Jan. 16
Vote For Me Because: I am a 14 year resident of Laurie with 14 years experience as the Indian Rock Golf Course Superintendent.  I possess a strong work ethic with particular attention to detail.  I am direct, but open minded, and feel that my level headed way of thinking, common sense, and problem solving skills, make me a great candidate for this position.  I appreciate the opportunity for running for Alderman and look forward to working closely with community leaders and patrons.
I am running because:
I believe in supporting our local businesses in order to help them thrive and succeed.  I feel that it is important to explore the reasons why various businesses have closed or relocated to different areas.  We need to work together as a community to find a solution and incentives to keep local businesses operating at a profitable level and to bring new businesses into our area.
What is the most critical challenge for the city?
Budget planning is going to be a key element in making our community appealing and successful to both local area patrons and our new and returning families and friends.  I am confident that my budgeting experience over the past 14 years as the Indian Rock Golf Course Superintendent will be essential in the development of a workable budget for our community.