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By Mike Scott
John Gaus has been appointed to the Kahoka Board of Aldermen to fill a vacant seat representing the East Ward of Kahoka. The opening was created in January, when former alderman Orlie Yoder moved out of Kahoka.
Gaus is a former police officer, and currently is employed by the Clark County Ambulance District.
Missouri state law gives Mayor Jerry Webber the authority to fill the vacancy, with the consent of the majority of rest of the board. Webber first nominated Gaus for the position on February 9, but there were objections that other interested parties, including Carl Hayden and Ruth Brotherton, had not been considered.
In response, the board agreed to an informal poll of East Ward voters. That poll was held at the office of the Hometown Journal, owned by the other East Ward alderman, Joe Roberts.
On Monday, March 8, Roberts reported to the council that Gaus had received 52 percent of the votes. Hayden and 34 percent, and Brotherton received 14 percent. There were a total of 23 votes cast in the informal survey.
“My original appointment still stands,” said Mayor Webber.
Webber’s opponent in the upcoming municipal election, Sandy Kleine, was the most vocal critic of the appointment present at the meeting. She questioned the informal polling time and process, which lasted only six hours on Friday, February 26. The exchange was sometimes heated.
“We stopped the last meeting to get peoples’ opinions,” answered Roberts. “We’re not going to please everyone.”
Roberts reminded everyone that no one had filed to run against him or West Ward Alderman Les Billings in the April 6 election.
“The bottom line is, 365 days from now, there will be another election. Please run,” he said.
Roberts added, “The only thing businessmen get of being on the board is lost revenue.”
Roberts made the motion to accept the appointment, seconded by Alderman Larry Young. It passed 3-0, and Gaus was sworn in by City Clerk Sandie Hopp, and took his seat.
“I’m just hoping to do a good job for the next year and I appreciate the support I have,” said Gaus, when asked for comment.