Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

After Year, Fire Director Runs Again

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

After Year, Fire Director Runs Again

Article excerpt

The paint has barely dried on the campaign signs of three candidates seeking a seat on the Cottleville Fire Protection District Board of Directors.

All were on the campaign trail just a year ago, when the number of directors on the board changed to five from three. And all of the board members had to run for office again.

In last April's election, the candidates receiving the most votes were elected to the board. The one receiving the most votes received a five-year term, and the candidate with the least got a one-year term. The latter was John Guerra Jr., who now is vying for a six-year term on the board.

The other two candidates in this year's election are Henry L. Graham and Charlie Thompson, both of whom ran in 1995 but failed to make the cut.

The election is April 2.

Graham was elected in 1989, served six years as president of the board and then lost his bid for re-election. He had been a volunteer firefighter for 20 years with the district, serving as captain and as fire-prevention officer.

Graham said he is running again because several people had asked him to run. "People in the community have a lot of trust in me and thought they needed me up there," he said.

Graham had favored a five-member board because he thought it would end the frequent stalemates and constant bickering among past members. He said he can bring some valuable experience to the board.

Thompson has never won an office, but he served on the board, as treasurer, for the County Rescue Life Divers. He worked for the fire district for 10 years, first as a volunteer and then as a paid firefighter. He is now employed as an ironworker. Thompson said his insight into the inner workings of the department would be beneficial to the board.

He said the board is spending too much money and that he has plans to balance the budget and stretch the work force to better cover the area. Overall, Thompson said, the fire district is a good one, but he would like to help make it even better.

Guerra said the district's conflicts of a year ago appear to be over. …

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