Two Laddonia aldermen battling for mayor's seat

By: Dave Faries, Editor
Posted 3/26/21

Laddonia’s mayoral candidates are both familiar faces in the community. They are both currently serving on the town’s Board of Aldermen. And both own local businesses.

Glenn Jensen and Gary …

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Two Laddonia aldermen battling for mayor's seat


Laddonia’s mayoral candidates are both familiar faces in the community. They are both currently serving on the town’s Board of Aldermen. And both own local businesses.

Glenn Jensen and Gary Garnett are on the April 6 General Municipal Election ballot, running to replace mayor Josh Deimeke, who is not seeking reelection. As members of the board, they have been tackling the same issues for the past several years.

Chief among these are a sewage treatment plant that has been served with a number of violations by the state’s Department of Natural Resources and the city’s aging water plant. The board believes it has solved environmental issues associated with the sewage plant, but there are several corrections still to be made, such as bringing the fencing up to code.

As for providing residents with potable water, Jensen says, “we don’t know how much life the plant has left.”

Both candidates voted in favor of the Board of Aldermen’s recent plan to reallocate money from the water replacement fund to the water plant. This would cover remaining costs of digital water meters installed in the community.

“We see eye to eye on a lot of things,” Garnett said.

If they differ it is on the matter of growth. Many small towns across the country have experienced a decline in population and employment over the past several decades. Empty storefronts are a common sight.

For Garnett there are opportunities to grow, especially if the COVID-19 inspired trend of more people working from home gains traction.

“I saw things that could change,” he observed. “With people working from home, more people are moving to rural areas, escaping the city.”

Jensen notes that growth of any kind of scale is unlikely in the near future. However, the community can thrive if the city plans ahead to ensure that cost of living remains under control and issues impacting quality of life are dealt with.

Jensen believes that his strengths as a candidate for mayor come from his background in maintenance. He has spent the last 19 years as maintenance supervisor for the University of Missouri. Because of turnover, Laddonia’s Maintenance Department is staffed by new employees.

“Some are also new to city work,” Jensen points out.

If elected mayor, he says the city’s maintenance work would improve. He also explains that code violations would be fixed right away.

The water facility, however, requires a longer term solution. For Jensen, that involves retiring the plant and joining a cooperative water system to purchase water.

While there would be up front costs and the city may be required to borrow funds, over the long run he says the plan would reduce costs for residents.

Garnett agrees that the issue must be dealt with now. The two have been grappling with water and costs for several years.

“You have to answer to a lot of people and not all of them are going to be happy,” Garnett pointed out. “We’ve got a lot going on in Laddonia.”

Jensen owns Glenn’s Garage in Laddonia. He has also served as the city’s fire chief for the past three decades. And once a year Jensen is responsible for setting off the Fourth of July fireworks display that has made Laddonia a holiday destination.

Garnett owns Big Gun Kettle Corn — a popular feature during Fourth of July festivities — and has rental properties in town. He was born and raised in Laddonia and returned after he retired from his post as a firefighter in Moberly.


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