KEARNEY — Familiar faces will continue to lead the city of Kearney after voters handedly supported the reelection of Kathy Barger for First Ward alderman with nearly 63% of the 412 votes cast Tuesday, April 6. Second Ward Alderman Dan Holt ran unopposed in his reelection bid, winning another term as well. Based on unofficial results from Clay County Election Board, both will serve another two-year term. “I’m very excited,” Barger told the Courier-Tribune after her win Tuesday. Barger said the city has a lot of work to do and she is grateful for the opportunity to serve once again and thanked voters for placing their trust in her. “I think the support was overwhelming, and I am humbled by that,” she said. Use tax While candidates were celebrating their wins, they were also marking a loss as the city’s use tax effort failed. Unofficial results show Kearney voters said “no” to the measure by nearly 67% of the 760 votes cast. If approved, the effort would have meant purchases from out-of-state vendors delivered to a Kearney address would be taxed just as an item purchased in a Kearney store is. Proponents of the measure said passage would have meant an equal playing field in terms of taxes charged to online purchases and those in brick-and-mortar stores. Both Barger and Mayor Randy Pogue said they were disappointed with the use tax question result. Pogue said the tax is “extremely vital” to Kearney and, if the Board of Aldermen approve to do so, it will brought back to voters on a later ballot. Barger said she feels having another tax issue on the ballot, Metropolitan Community College’s question about expanding its footprint into the Kearney district, did not help the city’s effort. With roughly 33% of voters in favor of the use tax measure, Pogue said a bit more effort to better educate the 18 to 20% more of voters needed for passage needs done. “We’ve got some more work to do,” he said.

Kathy Barger

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