PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- Voters in Perryville will decide Tuesday if they want the position of police chief to be appointed rather than elected. Presently police chief Keith Tarrillion is one of fewer than 35 Missouri police chiefs who face election every four years.
Perryville city administrator Bill Lewis said the city is encouraging passage of the ballot issue as a vote of confidence for Tarrillion.
"We would like to retain him on a permanent basis," Lewis said. "He is just an exceptional young man. I've been in this business 30 years in different cities and I have never run across anybody I felt was as competent in this position as Keith is."
Tarrillion said he is pleased with Lewis's and the city's assessment of his work, but said he believes the change would be good for the entire community.
"With the way we are growing and the different changes in crimes occurring every day, I feel it's very important, whether I am hired or someone else in the future, that we always have someone with a law enforcement background running the police department," Tarrillion said.
According to the Missouri Revised Statutes, most fourth-class cities can pass an ordinance, following an election with a simple majority vote of the people, to appoint a police chief. Tarrillion said that most communities are opting for an appointed chief. There are 437 police chiefs across Missouri, he said. Within the past five years Herculaneum and Hillsboro voted to appoint their chiefs of police. Between St. Louis and Scott City, Tarrillion said, only Perryville and Fredericktown still elect their chiefs.
Tarrillion has been a member of the Perryville police department for 12 years, and has been chief for three.
In other election matters, only the village of Longtown, Mo., has a contested race of candidates to serve on the village board of trustees. Six candidates are vying for three positions: Robert Leible, Greg Bronenkant, Jim Hacker, Darrell Tanz, Rick Kinikin and Richard Shenette.
In Frohna, Mo., Stanley Petzolt is running for election in ward 1; Timothy A. Bohnert is running in the second ward.
Perryville's city races are also uncontested: Mayor Paul Dunlap is unopposed in his bid for re-election. Randy J. Leible is running in ward 2; Gary J. Schumer is running in ward 1.
In Altenburg, Mo., Thomas Meyr is unopposed in seeking re-election as mayor. Russell Miesner is unopposed in the first ward, and Michael Hughey is unopposed in Ward 2.
Name: Michael Hughey
Occupation: Preventive maintenance technician at Sears.
Family: Wife, Autumn; son Lance, 27; daughter Amber Overbey, 24.
Church Trinity Lutheran Church
What is the most important issue facing Altenburg? The biggest issue is the sewer system. It's been going on for a while. Hopefully we'll start construction on that this spring.
Name: Tom Meyr (Photo not available)
Occupation: Works for East Perry Lumber Co.
Family: Divorced. Twin sons, age 9.
Church: Trinity Lutheran
What is the most important issue facing Altenburg? We're working on a sewer issue right now. Hopefully this will get going in the next couple of months. We've been working on it for five years and had a lot of problems come up.