Three candidates face off for Ward 1

Eldridge and Marcum

On Tuesday, Ward 1 voters will choose one of three candidates to represent their ward on the Lebanon City Council. Stephen Marcum, Ken Eldridge and Tanner Hunt are all vying for the position currently occupied by Esther Hurney, who did not file for re-election. (Editor’s not: Tanner Hunt did not respond to the questionnaire despite numerous attempts to get him in this article).

Prior to the election, the Lebanon Daily Record asked each of the candidates the following questions:

What experience do you bring to the role of City Council member?

Eldridge: Since moving here in 1994 with my family, I have been serving the Lebanon community with honesty and commitment.

  • Member of Heritage Baptist Church.
  • Served in the Army National Guard
  • Served on Lebanon R-3 School Board
  • Served on a committee to help Laclede County become a Certified Work Readiness Community by demonstrating our skilled workforce.
  • Served as President of the Lebanon R-3 All Sports Booster Club founding board.
  • Served on Babe Ruth and Mighty Mite Football boards.
  • Coached youth basketball, football and baseball teams from 1996 to current.
  • Serve as the Vice President of Lebanon Parks & Recreation Board.
  • Serve on the Human Resource Development Center Board for the Hillcrest Education Center, which helps students develop essential skills needed for workplace success and higher education.
  • Awarded the Citizen of the Year service award by Lebanon Chamber in 2007.

By day, I am the Human Resource Officer at First State Community Bank. My service in working hand in hand with the community, military, coaching, and (my) career in human resources, have given me the experience to work well with others in order to be successful. With your vote, I will objectively represent Ward 1 constituents and the City of Lebanon.

Marcum: I served our country for years and, after my retirement, had the desire to serve my hometown. My military experience has made me blunt and honest, which doesn’t always work with the political establishment. Still, I have found ways to serve. I sit on the board of S.C.A.N. (Supporting Children with Additional Needs) as the vice president, as I believe the children of this town are its future. Even the children with special needs are a part of it. I sit on the board of (an) EEZ (Enhanced Enterprise Zone) for Laclede County, because the new business growth and current company expansion are both vital components of Lebanon’s overall health and quality of life. I was also appointed by the mayor to take his seat on the Planning & Zoning Board when he was elected last year. I’ve learned through that experience that the location of a business affects citizens positively and negatively, so it is important to give people the chance to voice their concerns.

As a council member, what would you consider to be your responsibilities to your constituents and the City of Lebanon?

Marcum: My greatest responsibility to my constituents is to give them as much of my time as possible. They should be able to contact me directly. I promise to give them a voice in decisions that affect Lebanon.

Eldridge: I will listen to my constituents and present their issue to the council and/or City Administrator with the necessary follow-up. My record of serving Lebanon since 1994 reflects my honesty and commitment to Lebanon. I will objectively oversee the effectiveness and performance of the various issues, programs and ordinances that come before the council, all while fostering positivity.

What issues would you like to see the City of Lebanon tackle in the future?


  • Focus on increasing quality of life while being good stewards of our tax dollars.
  • Foster closer partnership with all leaders of the community to collectively improve economic growth. How do we retain and expand our current businesses and begin attracting new industry?
  • Increase focus on constructive and promising opportunities for our youth.
  • Assure our (firefighters) and police have the necessary resources and staffing to safely and effectively protect our community.
  • Start a partnership program with the community to focus efforts on keeping properties well maintained and trash free. A clean city is an attractive city for prospective growth.

Marcum: One of the first things Lebanon needs to do is talk to its staff. The people who work for the City are on the inside and see things daily (that) we cannot (see) from the outside. Morale continues to be low, and this affects the entire town. We need to tackle the inside problems and listen to the people on the ground. I want a more employee-focused governing body. We need more working-class people elected to our City Council.

It is not until something bad happens that we notice how important certain jobs are or how dangerous they can be. Our city staff needs the best training we can possibly provide. It is important for to train for situations, understanding that just because it hasn’t happened here doesn’t mean it will not.

Another issue I want to address is the lack of maintenance on our City. We spend money on lights and signs to be put on sidewalks that are cracked and have grass growing through. This is the same thing as buying a new vehicle because your current one needs an oil change. We painted Route 66 on the road to show our pride in it but let it fade to almost nothing. We cannot continue committing resources to projects without proper follow-through.

I’ve heard it said this campaign season that we need to be positive about our town. That is true to an extent. I love this town and want the best for it. However, light needs to be shined on things we can improve. We can’t pretend like some aspects of our town are fine when they are not. I may not get elected, but I will continue to serve. I am a husband and a father of two young children, and I care about Lebanon’s future. Lebanon honored me with a Key to the City for the sacrifices given to our country while serving overseas in Afghanistan. Allow me to show my appreciation by serving you in our hometown.


The Lebanon Daily Record

100 E. Commercial St.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-9131