By: Tara Blue
On April 2, 2024, Southern Boone voters approved both Question No. 1, a $11.6 million no tax rate increase bond issue for the high school expansion construction project and Question No. 2, a 20-cent levy transfer to help increase salaries for teachers and staff.

Voters were overwhelmingly supportive of question 1’s vocational and agricultural wing, two new art classrooms, a family and consumer science classroom, parking lot improvements, and roof repairs at the high school, with 73% voter approval.

“We are incredibly grateful to the voters for their continued support of the school district by passing this latest bond issue,” said School Superintendent Dr. Tim Roth. “As we have seen with previous bond issues over the years, this investment will not only modernize our building facilities but also make some much-needed improvements and repairs to the high school along with providing a safer learning environment for our students.”

Work at the high school will begin this summer with remodeling two sets of restrooms and other cosmetic improvements and repairs being made inside the building. Design and engineering for the vo-ag wing construction project will be taking place now through November of this year. Bidding for the project is expected to be in early 2025 and construction will occur from Spring 2025 to Summer/Fall 2026. Future updates on the project will be available at

The race for the two open Southern Boone County R-1 School Board positions was close, with voters electing Jeremy Galloway (873 votes) and April Georgetti (852 votes). Heather Brown came in third with 848 votes.

The school district completed the process of filling the vacancy left by the passing of board member Crystal Branch. The district reviewed applications submitted for the position and interviewed the board’s top two candidates, Joe Miller and Heather Brown on Tuesday, April 9th. The board appointed Heather Brown to fill the seat.

Boone County voters were also strongly supportive of Proposition 1, a freeze on certain increases in the property tax liability for senior citizens, which passed with 68% support. The Boone County Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday, April 18th at 1:30pm to gather public input as they draft a policy to implement the senior tax freeze program. See p. 7 in this week’s paper for more details.

Hartsburg voters re-elected Tim Hentz and Bruce Begemann to the Hartsburg Board of Trustees.

Ashland voters re-elected Mayor Dorise Slinker with 55% approval. Slinker wishes to thank his family and friends for their support, and says that now the election is over, we can “focus on our future by coming together as a community in a positive manner to address concerns.”

Slinker says he plans to “discuss with the council the idea of forming community advisory committees to examine specific areas of need, while emphasizing full transparency throughout the process. Ashland has been in a state of explosive population increases, and we must be proactive in our approach to smart growth for both residents and businesses.”

Former mayoral candidate Loren Plank says he is “grateful for the support of our campaign” and is looking forward to continuing to serve Ashland in any capacity he can. Plank says his “commitment to Ashland and its residents remains steadfast”, and that his focus on enforcing local ordinances to protect minors from adult entertainment was “not an attack on any group or an attempt to promote intolerance”, but to “bring attention to lapses in ordinance enforcement under the current administration.”

Plank says his campaign did not sanction the pamphlet that one resident was independently distributing door-to-door, but the concerns in the pamphlet are valid community concerns that should be met with open discussion and not dismissal.

Rick Lewis was re-elected as Ashland Ward III Alderman and Kristen Colbert was elected as Ashland Ward II Alderwoman.

No candidate filed for Ashland Ward I Alderman and there were 26 write-in names. Brenda Ravenscraft won the vote with four write-ins, but it is unclear at this time if she is eligible and/or will accept the seat.

Ernie Wren and the Southern Boone School District also contributed to this article.