Jail initiative spurs higher turnout for April 5 vote

Marion County?s April 5 local election was considered one of the best turnouts in recent years, according to election officials.

Rhonda Toal, county election clerk, said most school/city races have voter turnout in the teens. But this year, turnout was 36 percent.

?That?s very good,? she said.

Probably the main reason for the higher than average voter turnout, said County Clerk Carol Maggard, was the sales tax question about increasing local sales tax to build a new county law enforcement complex.

After the canvass Monday, about 64 percent of voters were in favor of the half-cent increase in sales tax.

Peabody-Burns initiative

Along with the jail question, another special question received a favorable nod from voters in Peabody and Burns, concerning the method of electing board members in that school district.

USD 398 Peabody-Burns Superintendent Rex Watson said Friday that the district is divided into three voting districts with two board members elected from each district.

The seventh board member position is at-large, which means that person can live anywhere within the district boundaries.

Watson said the board of education voted last November to approve a resolution that would allow district voters to decide if the district should elect its board members by the at-large method instead of the current voting-district method.

The measure passed by a vote of 183 in favor to 136 opposed.

Citing disadvantages of the voting-district method, Watson said it was time-consuming to draw out the boundary lines and each district had to be include equal population to within 5 percent.

Another problem with the old method was not getting enough people to run. Inevitably, a viable candidate would come forward only to be turned away because of his address.

?Your address shouldn?t matter if you are interested in kids and the school district,? he said. ?We have 235 square miles of voting district with the voting district at Burns about 200 of those 235 miles.?

Contested races

In addition to changing the voting method for school board members, Peabody had one of the most highly contested races in the county involving the current mayor, Larry Larson, being challenged by Frank Doerrler.

The Peabody City Council incumbents faced opponents, with many having opposite ideas of how to help the city grow.

In the end, it was the incumbents who prevailed.

Larson received 162 votes to Doerrler?s 36 and council members David Scott with 117 votes Stephen Rose, 99, and Pamela Lamborn, 97, secured their places for another term. The other candidates running were James C. Philpott with 90 votes, Roxanne Dallke, 77, and Lewis Litton, 43.

Ramona had nine challengers vying for five seats. In the preliminary count prior to the canvass, Jeanette (Jeannie) Goza carried 25 votes, James Thomp?son, 20, Arthur Stroda, 32, Kathy A. Matkins, 13, Roy Marvin Rains, 27, Byron Noeth, 26, Nathen A. Bailey, 26 and Alan J. Svoboda, 33.

Although, Ramona?s mayor Brendan D. Daily ran unopposed receiving 34 votes with 14 write-in votes recorded.

In Ward 2 for the Florence City Council incumbent Trayce Warner received 37 votes to challenger Holly Pereillo with 29.

Goessel also saw seven candidate looking to fill three seats. Preliminary totals saw Rollin Schmidt with 82 votes, Dallas Boese, 72, and James Wiens, 55, winning in that race. Others candidates in the race included Robert A. McCourry, 44, Anton Epp, 16, Joel Ratzlaff, 20, and Jerry Stika, 19.

Lost Springs Mayor Tish Keesling defeated her opponent, Joyce Buckland-Rohloff, by a vote of 18 to 1, with nine write-ins recorded.

Hillsboro?s mayor, Delores Dalke, easily defeated challenger Teresa Marie Wright with a vote of 535 to 37.

The only contested school races were at Centre and Hillsboro.

In Position 1 of USD 397, Amber Peterson defeated Jesse Brunner by a close vote of 25 to 22, prior to the canvass Monday.

Chad Nowak in USD 410 Position 3 was able to secure his seat defeating Stephanie Moss 153 to 81.

Unopposed results

In the Durham City Council race, four candidates filed for five open seats. Verlin L. sommerfeld and Arnold Sommerfeld both had 18 votes, Gary Unruh, 19 and Tom Harmon, 6.

In Lehigh City Council races, no candidates filed for either the mayor?s position or any of the five open council seats.

Lincolnville City Council has three open positions, but only one candidate, Joseph Vinduska filed, getting 30 votes.

Lost Springs had a similar situation with only one candidate Joseph Zinn filing, but four other seats were open. Zinn had 13 votes, but four write-in were recorded on ballots.

In Hillsboro, Robert Watson in Ward 1 and Marlene Fast in Ward 2 ran unopposed. Watson had 237 votes in his district and Fast got 292 votes.

Other results included Tampa Mayor Tim Svoboda with 35 votes; Tampa City Council members Ty Peterson and Russell Kerbs securing the two seats with 31 and 33 votes respectively; USD 397 board position 2 was unopposed with Mark Heiser getting 73 votes; USD 397 board position 3, also unopposed with Terry Deines receiving 48 votes.

Other uncontested races saw Steven Jirak with 257 votes for Position 7 on the USD 397 board; Bruce Burke with 255 votes in USD 398 District 1-4 and Terril L.Eberhard, 284 votes.

In the Peabody School District, none of the board members were challenged. Bruce Burke had 255 votes, Terril Eberhard, 284,Glendon Parks, 251 and Anthony Zappone, 277.

The same situation happened in the USD 408 and USD 410 races. In Marion, Christopher Sprowls took 748 votes, Jeremiah Lange, 760, Ronald Duane Kirkpatrick Jr. 744, and Sarah Cope, 738.

In Hillsboro, other than position 3 with Nowak being challenged by Moss, no other board members were challenged. Preliminary results showed Debra Geis with 221 votes, Mark Rooker, 202, Joe Sechrist, 246, and Roderick Koons, 742.

In USD 411, Maynard Knepp had 220 votes in position 2, Daniel Miller, 218 in position 3 and Eric Schrag, 213, for the at-large position.

Directors for the Cottonwood Valley Drainage District saw John ?Rocky? Hett with 83 votes; Willard Hett, 95 votes, and Darvin Markley, 75.

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