JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
One council position is contested in Jefferson City's municipal election on April 7.
A second ward seat will be vacated as J. Rick Mihalevich hits the term limit in that office.
Jefferson City's Second Ward covers a large part of the downtown area and includes the city's land north of the Missouri River, including the Jefferson City Memorial Airport.
Aaron Mealy, Mike Lester and Gregory Butler are the three candidates seeking a Second Ward seat.
More information about each candidate is listed below in the order that ABC 17 News was able to schedule interviews with them.
Mike Lester has been a Jefferson City resident since 2002 and worked for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services until his 2013 retirement.
Lester has served on the Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission and the Jefferson City Environmental Quality Commission.
During his tenure on planning and zoning, which started in 2009, Lester was involved in putting together the Capital Area Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan, the Historic Southside/Old Munichburg District and Neighborhood Plan and the Jefferson City Historic Preservation Plan.
Lester said one of his main goals was the expansion of affordable housing in the city.
Gregory Butler is a native of Chicago and has lived in Jefferson City since 2009. He's a graduate of Lincoln University.
Butler operates a digital marketing agency, which develops websites and manages social media accounts for businesses both locally and nationwide.
A main priority for Butler is government transparency and public awareness of municipal issues, he told ABC 17 News.
"There are a lot of voices in the community that I think have not been heard," said Butler. "What I want to do is help be their voice."
Aaron Mealy is a lifelong resident of Jefferson City who attended Helias High School, Lincoln University and the University of Missouri.
Mealy works for the Missouri Department of Social Services and volunteers with Missouri River Relief.
Assisting recovery efforts in the aftermath of the May 22 tornado inspired his run for city council, Mealy told ABC 17 News.
"Seeing how much help folks needed and seeing the response of our community and how everybody was so gracious and helpful really meant a lot to me," Mealy said. "I wanted to be a part of that in a different capacity and that's why I'm running."
Mealy said his priority on the city council would be economic development, which he said will be supported by the building of the bicentennial bridge and the development of Adrian's Island.
Other council seats
The other four council seats on the April 7 ballot are uncontested.
Ward Three Councilwoman Erin Wiseman, Ward Four Councilman Ron Fitzwater and Ward Five Councilman Jon Hensley were not challenged.
Ward 1 Councilman Rick Prather also reaches the term limit in 2020 and long-time Jefferson City realtor Hank Vogt was the sole candidate to make a bid for that seat before the end of filing.
The April 7 ballot will also ask voters to consider four changes to the city charter.