Election aftermath begins city transition
It didn't take long for the transition to start at City Hall following last week's election where three new city councilmen and a new mayor were elected.
Wednesday morning, newly elected mayor Ken Hayes was at City Hall, meeting with City Administrator Larry Paine for two hours. Paine had arranged meetings with Hayes and Slade Dillon, the other mayoral candidate, in anticipation of the outcomes.
"We already had that (meeting) set up," said Paine. "No matter how it went, I was ready to meet with either one of them."
The "official" final vote count showed Hayes with 414 votes and Dillon with 338. For the four-year council positions, with the top two winning the seats, the final count showed Ken Wagner with 472 votes, George McCrary with 468, Carol Taul with 300 and incumbent Lee Whaley with 212. For the two-year position, Todd Cohen topped incumbent Eugene Nelson 473-283.
There were write-in candidates, as well. According to the Douglas County Clerk's office in the mayor's race, Michael C. Green had 14 write-in votes, incumbent Stan Krysztof had nine, Myra Glover had one and Rene Richard had one. Stanley Cook also received a write-in vote in the city council election.
Comparing vote totals from the last city council election in April of 1999 shows the interest level that this year's race brought. In 1999 Jerry Roberts and Ted Brecheisen Jr. won council positions with 316 votes apiece. This year's top vote-getters were Cohen and Wagner, with 473 and 472, respectively. Also in 1999 incumbent Marilyn Pearse garnered 226 votes to capture the third position ahead of Gary Walbridge, who had withdrawn from the race, but still received 211 votes.
But the voting is over. Now it's time for the new council members and mayor to prepare for when they take their places on the council May 7. Wednesday's meeting between Paine and Hayes was the first step.
"It was a productive meeting," said Hayes. "It gave me a jump on what I need to do as mayor. I was very pleased with how the staff wants to work with the new council."
Paine agreed with that assessment.
"I did feel like it was productive," he said of the meeting. "I'm expecting to have a very productive working relationship with the entire council and each individual member."
The newcomers met with the current council members Brecheisen and Pearse Tuesday night.
One of the first items for Hayes to address is the appointments to various committees. He is encouraging Baldwin residents to become active in the city's government. Specific committees that he's looking for volunteers for are public health and safety, public works and utilities.
"Citizens that are interested and feel that they have the qualifications to help the city should contact me," said Hayes.
His phone number is 594-3431.
Wagner also met with Paine last week and is excited about what the future holds.
"I'm looking forward to it," said Wagner. "I think it's going to be a great experience. I think Larry is looking forward to working with this council."