As part of its election series, the Fayette Advertiser is providing candidate profiles of contested races that voters will decide on April 3. Below are profiles of the Fayette and New Franklin Municipal Candidates.
Current Mayor and lifelong resident of Howard County, Kenneth O’Brian is seeking re-election. He is and has been owner and manager of O’Brian’s MFA for more than 40 years. After graduating from Harrisburg High School O’Brian received a Business Degree from then Central Methodist College.
Community involvement and volunteer service includes serving in 175th MP Battalion of 35th Infantry Division of the Missouri National Guard for 7½ years and 50 years in the Masonic Lodge.
O’Brian was Bulk Manager at MFA Oil in Fayette for three years, for three years was office manager of Glasgow Co-op, has spent years as a Fayette Alderman, and served nine years as Mayor of Fayette.
O’Brian believes in careful management, and says success will follow.
His future goals for the city include successful completion of the sewer project in Fayette and a remedy to the water problem.
O’Brian believes he should be re-elected because he is the most experienced candidate.
Married to his wife, Lola, O’Brian has three adult children.
Current Fayette Alderman Greg Stidham is an insurance adjuster. After growing up in Fayette, he received an MBA at Central Missouri State University.
A member of the Fayette Rotary Club and Faith Family Fellowship, where he serves at church treasurer and deacon, Stidham has served as an Alderman for the City of Fayette for the last four years.
Important issues Stidham sees for Fayette include economic development, establishment of a CID (Community Improvement District), the public swimming pool, and improvements to buildings on the square.
Goals Stidham would like to see accomplished in the future include brining new businesses to Fayette and increasing business for existing businesses. He would like to see occupancy of the Industrial Park spec building or sale of the building. Resolving issues with the city pool and developing vacant residential property round out his list of goals.
“Four years as Alderman has prepared me for the mayoral position” says Stidham. “Forty years in business with experience in budgeting, financial reporting, sales and marketing, human resources and supervising 100+ employees makes me the most qualified.”
Mayoral Candidate Brian Cummiskey spent almost 10 years as first mate on a river boat for Sun Transportation Company in Boonville before working at Monnig Galvanizing Plant in Glasgow. After recovering from a head injury, Cummiskey accomplished completion of his GED and two semesters of education at Central Methodist University. He has volunteered at KPIP-LP radio station in Fayette as on-air talent.
Cummiskey believes that it is important for Fayette citizens to feel pride in their community. Another important issues is finding a financially feasible way to fix the streets and sidewalks. He believes the city officials should feel an obligation for the betterment of the community and its people, and should work hard to achieve that idea. If these items are achieved, he says that would make Fayette a desirable place for new businesses.
“I feel that I should be elected because I have an incredibly strong will to persevere and overcome impossible odds and achieve what it is that I set out to accomplish” says Cummiskey. “I’ve done it in my life, and I would be honored to try to do it for the town of Fayette.”
Write-In Candidate for Mayor, Chris Boyler is a retired U.S. Marine with a Bachelor of Science in Business from University of Phoenix. He is a member of the Fayette Optimist Club.
Boyler believes it is important to bring business into the city. He says that everyone has a voice. If you want to see changes, you need to speak up and voice your opinion.
Another important issue for Boyler is support for Fayette youth. He would like to see more local activities for our younger generation.
Boyler believes the office of mayor should reflect integrity, accountability, leadership and commitment. He says he would never ask of anyone to do something he has not or would not do himself.
“I bring a renewed sense of purpose to the struggles that we face. Everyone wants lower taxes, but we need a steady revenue stream to accomplish it” says Boyler. “We need to inform people that we have three lakes that people outside of Fayette know nothing about.” He continues, “I am a problem solver, from my time in the military, so I know that we (collectively) have to make changes to what we do every day to make Fayette a more successful place to raise our kids.”
Boyler and his wife, Addie, have two children, Alexis and Grayden.
Please remember, Boyler is a Write-In Candidate for Mayor.
Fayette voters will see what appears to be a contested race for the Southwest Ward. Paden Squires dropped out of the race after ballots had already been printed. Hope Smith is running alone to represent the Southwest Ward in Fayette.
NEW FRANKLIN WARD III REPRESENTATIVE
Todd W. Baslee
Current Water Plant Superintendent, Todd W. Baslee is running in the only contested race in New Franklin; Ward III Alderman. A resident of New Franklin for the past ten years, his children are the fourth generation to live in their family home.
Baslee has a Bachelor of Science in Aviation from UCM and has served on the Boonville Airport Advisory Board and the Cooper County Public Health Board. Community minded, Baslee is a member of the Kiwanis; Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Association, serving as Secretary/Treasurer; Katy Bridge Coalition as a board member; and the Cooper County LGBTQ Alliance as a board member. He also belongs to the American Water Works Association, Missouri Rural Water Association and the Missouri Water Wastewater Conference where he serves as a board member.
Baslee believes New Franklin should be a destination point on the Katy Trail. He feels this would help bring in more tourists, bikers, and tax income. He would like for New Franklin to have more activities for tourists on a more regular basis, including attractions to bring people off the trail and into New Franklin to spend money.
With an increase in tax dollars, Baslee believes there is the possibility of more frequent paving of streets, or paving more streets at a time. A long-term goal he thinks everyone would welcome is paving Stagecoach Road. Baslee acknowledges this would be an “enormous expenditure” and would take years of saving.
He would also like to see a nondiscrimination ordinance passed city wide to ensure everyone would be treated equally and fairly.
“I have been involved in local government for 24 years and know very well the inner working of the government, the politics, the budget and the expectations of the people of the city” says Baslee. “I will be a voice of the people and not of myself, because I do not believe it should be my voice if I were elected. It is YOUR voice. This is about YOU!”
Baslee and his wife, Sarah, have two daughters, Emily and Olivia.Mike McGee
Current Ward III representative, Mike McGee is seeking re-election to the New Franklin City Council. A retired Lieutenant with the Missouri Department of Corrections, McGee has been a resident of Howard County for more than 30 years.
McGee has served on the New Franklin City Council for ten years, and has 25 years of law enforcement experience in Howard County. He has spent time quietly volunteering in the community. Along with providing assistance to the Fill the Patrol Car event, working to establish the new water system, equipment grants and new police station for the Police Department, McGee shares home-grown produce with senior housing residents and helps mow yards in the community.
McGee says the most important thing an Alderman can do is listen to and represent the citizens so their voice can be heard. He wants to strive to build a police department that makes New Franklin safe and wants to make a town citizens can be proud of.
McGee would like to work on gaining grants to help fix and maintain the roads and sidewalks of New Franklin. He would like to get citizens more involved in their community.
“I feel that I am perfectly suited to represent the citizens of New Franklin” says McGee. “having been a resident of New Franklin for over 30 years, I truly care about this city and its citizens. My knowledge of this city is vast. As your councilman, I will do all I can to build this city to be the best it can be.” He continues, “I am friendly and approachable and always willing to listen. Not only do I have the knowledge, but I have shown throughout the years that I can get things done. Thank you for taking time to consider me for re-election of the city council. I enjoy what I do for the city and the citizens of New Franklin.”
McGee and his wife, Tracy, have three children; Brandon, Amanda and Machaela.