Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 23, 2014

Names drawn from hat to decide races

By DIANE VANCE | Nov 12, 2013

Libertyville’s Nov. 5 election ties were decided at the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors meeting today by drawing names from a hat.

Write-in city council incumbent/appointed councilor Randy Melcher’s name was drawn to fill a four-year term. Melcher had tied with write-in candidate Bob Glass at 4 votes each on the Nov. 5 ballots.

In a vacated Libertyville city council seat, incumbent/appointed councilor Carrie Fleig’s name was drawn this morning at the supervisors meeting. She and Bob Glass tied with 3 votes each on the Nov. 5 ballots.

As write-in candidates, Fleig and Melcher need to agree to serve.

The supervisors canvassed the remainder of the Nov. 5 votes outside of Fairfield. These were canvassed Thursday.

Two Fairfield City Council candidates, Patrick Bosold and Douglas Flournoy will need a run-off election Dec. 3 in Fairfield to determine who will fill the four-year term being vacated by Connie Boyer in January.

In other business, the supervisors voted 3-0 to not appeal the state’s denial of Jefferson County’s request to remain a stand-alone region for mental health services.

“The administrative judge denied our appeal,” said supervisor chairman Lee Dimmitt.

“We have two choices, accept the decision or appeal within 10 days of the judge’s decision. We can present no new evidence about our case. My desire would be to make a written appeal.”

Dimmitt also acknowledged and thanked Jefferson County Point of Coordination, mental health administrator Sandy Stever and supervisor Becky Schmitz, for their work on creating and submitting a plan to the state for approval.

“From day one I felt the cards were stacked against us,” said supervisor Dick Reed. “A lot has come out of this process [of the county working toward a stand-alone region]. It’s brought things together for us.

“But they’ve already made up their minds and I don’t have much faith, though I’m not trying to be negative,” said Reed.

Schmitz agreed.

“It’s time to move on,” she said. “The decision was based on criteria. Timing is now to make a decision to move forward.”

Schmitz recommend Jefferson County ask to join a coalition of southeastern counties — Henry, Louisa, Des Moines, Washington, Lee, Keokuk and Van Buren counties, which are in the process of approving 28E agreements with one another to form a mental health service region.

Stever said she would like to send a letter of appeal while also moving forward to explore joining the region.

Schmitz again said it would be smoother to approach those seven counties now, before 28E agreements are finalized than to wait until they are all settled.

“I don’t doubt the state will force a region to take us if we can’t be a stand-alone county/region,” said Dimmitt.

“But for good working relationships, it would be better to volunteer to become a part of the region and have a seat at the table for making decisions,” said Schmitz.

Reed wondered how soon the state would respond if the county wrote an appeal. The appeal letter would be due Nov. 14. No one at the meeting knew.

“I don’t think we should make this decision based on emotions, but on practicality,” said Reed. “When one has worked really hard on something for a long time, it’s hard to let go.”

Dimmitt wanted to know how mental health services would be different in Jefferson County if it went with a region.

“Not much different in services offered,” said Schmitz. “It would be different how it’s organized and coordinated.”

Stever said Jefferson County already offers the core services required; not all counties do.

Dimmitt said the county should drop the appeal and join the southeastern counties’ region.

Stever asked the board to send a letter to the seven counties, expressing Jefferson County’s intent.

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