Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017

Sales tax passes in Fairfield

Measure fails in Batavia because of 50-50 tie
By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Nov 08, 2017
Doug Flournoy

Voters went to the polls Tuesday to select mayors, councilors and decide whether to continue their town’s 1 percent local option sales tax.

The tax prevailed overwhelmingly in nearly every town including Fairfield. In Batavia, voters were evenly split on the measure. The yes votes and no votes tied at 43 a piece.

Jefferson County Elections Clerk Abbie DeKleine said today the tie vote means the measure failed, because it needed 50 percent plus one vote to pass.

Since the measure failed in Batavia, the town will not collect a 1 percent sales tax, but the tax will be collected in the other towns where the referendum passed.

The number of registered voters in the six municipalities is 7,004. Of those, 934 (13 percent) voted in Tuesday’s elections.

 

Write-in wins Batavia mayoral race

Batavia was also noteworthy in that it was the only town with contested races. Even the mayor’s race, which was not contested on the ballot, drew a large number of write-in votes.

Incumbent mayor Tom Drish won the race with 50 votes even though he was not on the ballot. His votes were all write-ins.

Chris Davison, the only candidate on the ballot, received 32 votes.

Four candidates fought for two seats on Batavia’s city council. Those seats went to David Speas with 65 votes, and Lynda Ann Yochum, whose 34 votes edged out Deal E. Keasling with 28. Arlene Davison was not far behind with 25 votes. Thirteen write-in votes were cast in that race, too.

In the race to fill a vacancy on Batavia’s city council, Benton Cloke emerged victorious over Kimberly Davison, 47 to 38.

 

Local option sales tax passes easily

Fairfield’s local option sales tax prevailed by more than a 5-to-1 margin. Yes votes numbered 578, while no votes totaled 97.

The tax raised about $900,000 last fiscal year. According to the wording of the ballot measure, 50 percent of the tax will go to street repair, 25 percent will go to property tax relief and 25 percent will go to community betterment.

The last time the sales tax was approved, the language was slightly different. It said 12.5 percent of the tax would go to paying off the debt to buy the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, while 12.5 percent would go to community betterment.

The council agreed to change the language for the 2017 election because the debt is expected to be paid off in 2019 or 2020, and the result of this referendum would go into effect in July 1, 2019.

Fairfield’s referendum was different from the other five towns in a couple of ways. Fairfield’s sales tax was to go into three separate funds. In the other five towns, all the sales tax would go toward “any lawful purposes, including community betterment.” Also, Fairfield’s referendum did not have a sunset clause, meaning it will continue indefinitely unless the council puts it back on the ballot. The other towns included a sunset clause of 10 years, meaning they would expire on June 30, 2029 and would have to be reapproved by the voters in that jurisdiction if they were to continue.

Fairfield candidates enjoy stress-free night

Mayor Ed Malloy was re-elected for the ninth time, garnering 98 percent of the votes with 634 tallies, compared to 14 write-in votes.

Douglas Flournoy won re-election to one of Fairfield’s at-large council seats to earn a second term. Flournoy captured 530 votes (97 percent) to 18 write-in votes.

Paul Gandy won election to represent 2nd Ward with 182 votes (98 percent) to four write-in votes. Gandy will be new to the council. He will replace John Revolinski, who decided not to seek a sixth term.

Michael Halley sailed to victory in the 4th Ward. Halley received 98 votes (96 percent) to four write-ins. It will be Halley’s third term on the council.

The mayor and councilors will begin their terms in January.

 

Libertyville: More seats than candidates

Libertyville’s local option sales tax passed 16-7. Rodney A. Nelson won re-election as mayor with 26 votes to no write-ins. Residents were to vote for two councilors to fill four-year terms, but only one name appeared on the ballot, Tom Atwood’s. Atwood received 23 votes, and write-in candidates collectively received 14.

The top write-in vote getter was Scott Roulet with nine, so he won the other seat.

Voters were also asked to fill two vacancies on the council to finish the final two years of the seats’ terms, but no candidates entered the race. Twenty-eight write-in votes were cast for the two vacancies combined.

The two winners were Dakota Fields with 10 and Rebecca Miller with seven.

 

Lockridge

The sales tax received 21 yes votes and three no votes. Paul Corbin won re-election to be Lockridge’s mayor with 22 votes to no write-ins.

Voters chose three councilors, and their vote totals were: Richard Richardson (24), Danny Nelson (24) and Michael D. Renken (14). Six write-ins were cast.

 

Maharishi Vedic City

The sales tax was approved overwhelmingly in Maharishi Vedic City with 56 yes votes (95 percent) to three no votes. Robert G. Wynne will continue as the town’s mayor after receiving 55 votes to two write-ins.

Five at-large seats were up for grabs, and the five incumbents won them easily with no challengers. The totals were: Robert Chris Johnson (58), Steven R. Boss (57), Rogers Badgett (56), Maureen M. Wynne (54) and Tim Fitz-Randolph (48).

 

Packwood

Yes votes for the sales tax in Packwood numbered 17 while three no votes were recorded. David Dickey won re-election as mayor with 18 votes to no write-ins. Raymond L. Chambers and Virgil L. Chandler also won re-election on the council with 19 and 20 votes, respectively.

 

Pleasant Plain

Richard L. Pohren will serve another term as Pleasant Plain’s mayor after garnering 20 votes to no write-ins.

Residents were to vote for five at-large city councilors, but only four names appeared on the ballot. The four were: Donald J. Pohren (20), Larry D. Hook (20), Paul G. Kessel (19) and Carl K. Chandler (18).

Fifteen write-in votes were cast. Wyndi Rutledge won the fifth spot on the council with six write-in votes.

The sales tax passed by a 17-3 margin in its favor.

 

 

 

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