Hannibalians will continue to have a Mayor Hark for three more years, after James Hark was re-elected April 2 for a second term. Hark had earlier followed his father, Roy Hark, as mayor of Hannibal.
In Marion County, Hark was re-elected 1,729 to 481 over Lou Barta, with Ralls County vote totals of 22 to 14 also showing Hark the winner.
Alan D. Bowen was elected Fourth Ward Hannibal City Council member, with 125 votes. His opponent, Bill Hatton, received 98 votes. Bowen will serve a three-year term, replacing Jim Van Hoose, who did not seek re-election.
Mayor James Hark is eager to continue to serve Hannibal. “In the next couple of weeks, I will meet with the executive staff and put some things together that will continue to move Hannibal forward.”
After learning the election results, Hark expressed thanks “to the citizens of Hannibal for voicing their support for me through the election process. … It's always been a goal of mine to make sure we as a community work together and work for the betterment of our community and make Hannibal even greater than it is.”
Hark is confident his March 31 request to the State Emergency Management Association and Gov. Mike Parsons to have a flood emergency declared in Hannibal will be approved. “Every year we have applied, we have always received assistance from FEMA,” he said.
“I don't think we are going to have a large issue right now, but within the next couple weeks the river could come back up,” Hark continued. “I would rather err on the side of caution and be prepared for a full-scale emergency rather than wait and be behind the eight ball.”
The riverfront project is continuing despite the Mississippi River being in flood stage, Hark said.
“It most definitely will have an effect,” he said. “However, there is still pile driving going on. They are driving some steel into the ground (in the river) to be part of what holds the riverfront together and the moorings the boats can tie to as well.”
He said the high water will delay the project, which was to be completed this fall, adding the project is continuing, “even with the high water, but we will have a delay. It's inevitable.”