Hark wins fifth term as Hannibal mayor

Voters head in to the Emmette J. Shields Post 55 polling place Tuesday afternoon in Hannibal, Mo., to cast their votes in Tuesday's election. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)
Posted: Apr. 2, 2013 9:45 pm Updated: Apr. 16, 2013 10:15 pm
Mayor Roy Hark at Tuesday night's City Council meeting. (H-W Photo/Maggie Menderski)

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Incumbent Roy Hark received nearly 75 percent of the vote Tuesday to earn a fifth three-year term as Hannibal mayor.

Unofficial election results showed Hark received 1,598 of the 2,131 votes cast. Former Third Ward Councilman Lou Barta garnered 439 votes and Monica Williams received 90.

"I have all the faith in the world and in the people of Hannibal," Hark said. "I thought the people would continue to support me."

Hark said promoting Hannibal is among his most pressing duties as mayor. He enjoys visiting with tourists and encouraging outsiders to come to America's Hometown.

During his 12 years as mayor, Hark said he has worked with councilmen to drive change in the community. He's excited about the recent downtown sidewalk project, the Stardust Drive extension and additional baseball fields. He anticipates that Hannibal will see more growth in the next three years. He looks forward to working with City Manager Jeff LaGarce in upcoming street and economic development projects.

"There's more that can be done in the next three years," Hark said. "I've got a good council and good leadership."

Barta said he was disappointed by the low voter turnout. He intends to support the community from outside of city government. He plans to encourage change through organizations such as the Central Park Neighborhood Association and Renaissance Hannibal.

"Myself and (my) supporters will continue moving forward and doing what we can for not just the old neighborhoods but Hannibal in general," Barta said. "There's a lot of good people that want to do a lot of good things for Hannibal."

Barta said he has no current plans to pursue election in 2016, but he wouldn't rule it out entirely.  

Second Ward Councilman Mike Dobson defended his seat by collecting nearly 74 percent of votes. He earned 340 votes to challenger Jennifer Foster's 120 votes.

In his second three-year term, Dobson plans to continue supporting the Main Street sidewalk project and the Paris Avenue expansion. He also hopes to explore the possibility of economic expansion and creating more jobs in Hannibal.

"It'll give me an opportunity to see some of the things through that we've already started," Dobson said.

Fourth Ward Councilman Jamie Locke and Sixth Ward Councilman Barry Louderman ran unopposed.