ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Hillsboro voters won’t have many choices to make when they receive their ballot for the city election on Tuesday.
The only contested race on the ballot will be for mayor, which pits incumbent Delores Dalke against challenger Sonny Collins.
A write-in race has developed for an East Ward vacancy on the city council.
Dalke first served as mayor from April 1991 until April 1995, then from April 1997 to the present.
“I love my city and I love to see things happen and see us continue to move forward,” she said.
Dalke, who is owner of the Real Estate Center in Hillsboro, wants to help the city develop more moderately priced housing, work at economic development, and address the infrastructure improvements that must be made in the next years.
Collins, a two-year resident of Marion County, said he entered the race primarily to give local voters a choice.
“Mrs. Dalke has been a fine mayor, but people may prefer a change of pace,” he said.
Collins is a native of Midwest City, Okla. He studied journalism at Oscar Rose Junior College in Oklahoma and has worked in restaurant management for 12 years.
Collins said he would make an effective mayor because he likes to listen to others, enjoys travel and would push tourism in Hillsboro, and believes taxpayer money should not be wasted.
East Ward write-ins
Voters won’t know there’s another contested race by looking at the ballot. No one filed for the city council vacancy in Hillsboro’s East Ward by the Jan. 25 deadline. But after the deadline passed, three write-in candidates emerged: Byron McCarty, Matt Hiebert and Vince Driver.
McCarty retired in 2000 after 26 years with the Hillsboro Police Department and now works as a paraprofessional for the school system.
McCarty believes his experience as a city employee will be useful if he is elected and he hopes to be an advocate for them on the council.
He also wants to help downtown businesses.
“I think something needs to be done because they are the backbone of the community,” he said.
Hiebert is owner of Jost Plumbing and Heating and co-owner of Home Expressions.
He believes his contact with the public from day to day would help him represent their interests.
“When you’re working on the job, people come over and visit with you and you talk about a lot of different things.”
He also feels his professional experience would help the city as it upgrades its sewer system in the near future.
Driver served on the council during the 1980s. At the time, the council did not have a city administrator.
He retired a little more than a year ago from Circle D Corp., which he helped found some 14 years earlier.
“Knowing how the city works and then about business, maybe there are some ways I can help the city save some money,” he said.
The write-in candidate who receives the most votes will be asked to fill out the appropriate forms and then be declared the winner.
Several races are uncontested.
Leonard Coryea has filed for reelection to his West Ward seat on city council.
The following have filed for school board positions: incumbent Debra Geis for Position 1; Brent Barkman for Position 4; incumbent Doug Weinbrenner for Position 5; Eddie Weber for Position 6.
East Ward residents can vote at the Wohlgemuth Music Education Center on the Tabor College campus. West Ward residents can vote at city hall. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.