Maryville City Council candidates

Ashlee Hendrix, Dannen Merrill, John McBride are running for Maryville City Council.

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Ashlee Hendrix

Ashlee Hendrix

Spouse: Mark Hendrix

Children, age, school: Zoey Hendrix, 4, Leet Center

Current job: Senior Graphic Designer

Degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in broadcasting from Northwest Missouri State University

Other relatable boards or positions: Wesley Foundation Board, president; Alpha Sigma Alpha, head adviser; Maryville Public Arts Committee, secretary; Downtown Maryville; promotions committee, Ally Affinity Group, president

Q: What made you want to run for City Council? 

A: I wanted to help bridge the gap between campus and community. I want to improve race relations for our city and be a sounding board and ally for small business.

Q: If elected, what would be your top priority? 

A: My top priority would be helping promote Maryville and our small businesses. I would like to hire a city communications director who focuses on promoting Maryville tourism, and businesses on social media. Our businesses had a rough year and they should receive a hand up. The city would benefit from tax dollars spent from out-of-town visitors. I also think this position could help host listening sessions when the city has up-and-coming projects and serve as a resource for people who don’t feel the city is listening to them.

Q: Based on the information currently available to you, when would you recommend the City Council re-evaluate the city’s mask ordinance, and what factors would you take into account while forming your opinion? (Note: This question was asked before the City Council rescinded the mandate on Monday.)

A: I think now it’s time to evaluate the mask mandate and bring it down to a recommendation because the cases are so low. I personally will wear a mask when necessary but will not force my friends and neighbors to wear one when it is not their preference. The Nodaway County Health Department has said that they anticipate 40 percent of the county will vaccinate, which will not allow us to reach herd immunity. They also don’t recommend a mask mandate for Maryville. It’s time to work toward normal.

Q: Do you support the construction of a new water treatment plant, which city officials have estimated could cost between $26-32 million, in order to address the ongoing taste and odor issues present in the city’s drinking water?

A: The new GAC adsorber will hopefully tide the city over to address taste and odor issues while they work toward building a new water treatment plant, which I am in favor of. The plant wasn’t originally designed for a lake water treatment plant, and the technology inside the existing plant are old and not functioning as it should. We will definitely have to look for ways to fund this issue, working with area partners, working with the state, there are a lot of stakeholders involved to make this project successful.

Q: What else do you think voters should know about you?

A: I’m the right candidate for the job because I can stand in the gap where we have issues in this town and help diffuse the tension. Listening to people is my superpower. I value people and their opinions, even if we don’t agree. We have to get back to talking to one another face-to-face and finding a compromise. Maryville is a unique and wonderful place to live, and our lives can be enhanced if we start looking at each other like teammates. 

 


 

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Dannen Merrill

Dannen Merrill

Fiancee: Taylor Deen

Children, age, school: None

Current job: Partner at Marsh, Espey & Merrill, P.C. – Certified Public Accountants

Degrees: Bachelor of Science in Public Accounting, Bachelor of Science in Emergency & Disaster Management – Both from Northwest Missouri State University

Other relatable boards or positions: The American Legion Boys State of Missouri, treasurer and executive committee member; Maryville Downtown Improvement Organization, treasurer

Q: What made you want to run for City Council?

A: Our community faces mounting infrastructure issues and a plan needs to be made to address them in a timely manner. That plan is going to require a thorough analysis of the city’s finances. As a CPA with experience in local governments, I am uniquely qualified to bring a needed skill to the council. Also, as a small business owner, I want to be a voice for other business owners in our community.  

Q: If elected, what would be your top priority?

A: I plan to make infrastructure investments the focus of my time on council. I will do this by taking a close look at the city’s budget and find ways to move more funding towards our streets and drainage. The recurring water quality issues will need to be addressed and will present large budget issues. I also want to have a positive impact on small businesses by implementing programs that encourage and incentivize investment.

Q: Based on the information currently available to you, when would you recommend the City Council re-evaluate the city’s mask ordinance, and what factors would you take into account while forming your opinion? (Note: This question was asked before the City Council rescinded the mandate on Monday.)

A: This pandemic has brought uncertainty and fear into our hometown. At one point, all data available led the current City Council to pass a mask mandate. Our community has done its part to follow that mandate and act responsibly. In recent months, Nodaway County has seen a steady drop in positive cases and hospitalizations per the Nodaway County Health Dept. website. We have also made great strides in vaccinating citizens with over 3,000 individuals receiving doses per the Maryville Forum piece by Nate Blackford on March 18th. With those factors in mind, I would move to end the mandate upon being voted into office. 

Q: Do you support the construction of a new water treatment plant, which city officials have estimated could cost between $26-32 million, in order to address the ongoing taste and odor issues present in the city’s drinking water?

A: I do. Our current plant was nearing the end of its useful life in the 1990’s when the city switched water sources and the plant has been patched together ever since. As we have seen in recent years, Mozingo Lake presents source water issues that our existing plant is not built to handle. The sooner we start the process, the sooner we will have a new water plant for citizens today and future generations. 

Q: What else do you think voters should know about you?

A: I am proud to call Maryville home and happy to live in a city that shares the same Conservative values that my family and I hold dear. Being the son of a Missouri State Highway Patrolman and younger brother to four former law enforcement officers, I have a deep respect and appreciation for our men & women in blue. I am an experienced professional excited to bring specialized skills and a teamwork mentality to the council. I am humbled by the support I have received so far and would appreciate future support of the voters on April 6th.

 


 

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John McBride

John J. McBride

Spouse: Denise

Children, age, school: Seven children, nine grandchildren

Current job: Traffic Coordinator at Nucor-LMP

Other relatable boards or positions: “Breaking Chains Concerts,” event coordinator; “Ark of Freedom,” board member

Q: What made you want to run for City Council?

A: Taking inventory of what issues were confronting our town and praying with my wife on the decision to step forward and try and make a difference that reflected the will of our community.  This was something that has been on my mind for about 2 years.

Q: If elected, what would be your top priority?

A: My top priority would be our current water system and the antiquated equipment our operators have to work with.  Secondary but equally important would be getting back to a scheduled assessment and repair of our cities road systems and drainage systems. 

Q: Based on the information currently available to you, when would you recommend the City Council re-evaluate the city’s mask ordinance, and what factors would you take into account while forming your opinion? (Note: This question was asked before the City Council rescinded the mandate on Monday.)

A: I have never been in favor of the current mandate. I believe there have been enough studies done and information available that disprove the efficacy of masks vs. not wearing them.  I would be in favor of immediately removing the current mandate and allowing the citizens of Maryville to make their own choice as to whether or not they wear them.  I believe mandates such as this create a slippery slope in regard to government overreach now and in the future. 

Q: Do you support the construction of a new water treatment plant, which city officials have estimated could cost between $26-32 million, in order to address the ongoing taste and odor issues present in the city’s drinking water?  

A: Yes.  A new water system wouldn’t just be to eliminate the taste and odor issues but to bring our city to a place where we have modern equipment and capacity to get the job done and get it done efficiently.  Continuing to bandaid the current system does nothing but kick the can down the road for our younger citizens, kids and grandchildren. 

Q: What else do you think voters should know about you? 

A: I want to be transparent and would like the business of the city to be transparent. 

If elected I plan on continuing to keep an open dialogue on my candidate Facebook page with the citizens of Maryville.  Not only to share what is going on in the city but to provide an avenue for people to voice their concerns and ask questions. 

As I have stated in many of my communications, I am a Christian conservative and a veteran—most of my views and beliefs are public.  

My hope is that the citizens of Maryville find the candidate that best aligns with their priorities and direction and votes for that person. I would be honored to serve if elected. 

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