Marble Hill election residency issue ‘not terribly clear-cut'

Thursday, March 29, 2012
Loyd Ivey

MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- The election for city officials in Marble Hill looked at first to be a shoo-in. One candidate had filed for each of the three open offices: mayor and one seat in each aldermanic ward.

Then businessman Loyd Ivey entered the race for mayor as a write-in candidate, stirring up speculation that he cannot legally run because he doesn't live full time in Marble Hill. Marble Hill ordinances state that a candidate for mayor must be a resident of the city for at least a year. Ivey says his primary residence is 102 Vine St., but he owns property throughout Bollinger County and says he has homes "all over the world" because of the international nature of his business.

Stuart Haynes of the Missouri Municipal League said defining residency is difficult.

"Residency is not terribly clear-cut," Haynes said.

Ivey produced a summons for jury duty addressed to him at 102 Vine St. His driver's license shows the same address, and so does his IRS return, he said.

"I know this town better than anyone else knows this town," he said.

Haynes said the burden of proof lies with candidate Michael Sowers. If the opposing candidate wants to challenge Ivey's ability to run, then it is up to him.

Sowers said he has no intention of challenging Ivey's legal ability to run. "But I do want to encourage the citizens of Marble Hill not to sit out on April 3 but go and vote for the candidate they choose," Sowers said.

If Ivey were to win, Haynes said, the board of aldermen would have the option of challenging his win, and it would likely end up in court. He mentioned some cases in which people's candidacy was challenged.

"We have the case of Kit Bond, who had not lived in the state for years but was still a resident," Haynes said.

Although challenged, Bond went on to become governor of Missouri.

"There are people in the military and people in college claiming their home as their residence but they don't live there," Haynes said.

Pertinent address:

Marble Hill, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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