Write-ins make Goddard BOE too close to call
By Travis Mounts
A number of important races and ballot questions were answered by voters on Tuesday, in an election primarily focused on city governments and school boards.
Voters in Garden Plain voted to create a new 1 percent sales tax in the city. This will include online sales from Amazon and other retailers.
City leaders have indicated the new revenue could be used for street repairs and replacing old water lines, in an effort not to increase utility bills. A city pool or park improvements are possible projects, too. About $90,000 per year is expected to be generated.
Sumner County voters approved extending a half-cent sales tax for another 10 years, passing the measure roughly 2-to-1. Created in 2010, the tax is used on health care services, including emergency medical services. The county does not operate its own EMS, but does help fund local EMS departments.
The Goddard School Board race was too close to call. The highest number of votes – 1,797 – went to write-in candidates. That is roughly 800 more votes than any single candidate on the ballot. There were several organized write-in campaigns.
It will not be known who received those write-in votes until the canvass on Nov. 12.
Haysville will have a new mayor, as current city council member Russ Kessler defeated incumbent Mayor Bruce Armstrong. Former city employee Rose Corby also was on the ballot but drew only 11 percent of the vote.
Four years ago, Armstrong narrowly defeated Kessler for mayor. Kessler’s win means there soon will be an opening on the city council in Ward IV as Kessler resigns that seat. Kessler will take over as mayor in January.
The Haysville City Council races were uncontested, with all four incumbents holding their seats. They candidates are Steven G. Crum (Warld I), Daniel Benner (Ward II), Pat Ewert (Ward III) and Danny D. Walters (Ward IV).
Current Goddard City Council members Michael Proctor and Brent Traylor won re-election. Former mayor and city council member Jamey Blubaugh also was on the ballot but finished a distant third in the race for two seats.
In Conway Springs, Theresa Lange and Sarah Mercer were the top vote-getters, getting significantly more votes that Landon Wiseley, the former police chief, and James Nichols.
Colette Watson, the lone incumbent in a crowded field for three seats on the USD 264 Clearwater Board of Education, was the top candidate. Lyle Berntsen and Kathleen Garrison also won, with Garrison defeating former USD 261 Haysville superintendent John Burke by 20 votes.
Also in Clerwater, William “Tex” Titterington, Crystal Walter and Tim Robben won seats on the Clearwater City Council. Current council member Chris Griffin appears to have lost his seat, finishing seven votes behind Robben. There were seven write-in votes.
In USD 261 Haysville, Jeremy Bennett kept his seat on the board of education. Kelley Ramseyer and Courtney Williams will join the BOE as new members.
There was one contested race in USD 356 Conway Springs. Curtis Winter garnered 60 percent of the vote to keep his seat and defeat Amber Hilger.
In USD 267 Renwick, Todd Horsch defeated Julie Koon for the remaining two years of the at-large term.
The election chart on Page A1 covers the area’s contested races. A number of other candidates were on the ballot in uncontested races.
In Cheney, Mayor Phil Mize is re-elected, as are council members Jeff Albers, Kassie Gile and Greg Williams. USD 268 Board of Education winners are Cody Ast, Julie Peintner and Rusty Slusser.
Garden Plain Mayor Kevin Hammond won another two-year term, and incumbents Tyler Bugner and Tracy Thul were re-elected without challenges.
Renwick School Board members re-elected without challenges are Thomas Peltzer, Ryan Hennes and Craig A. Nelson.
In Conway Springs, Daryle Smith will replace Jessica Gerlach as the new mayor. Gerlach did not seek another term, and Smith was unopposed.
Rick Dolley will serve another term as Argonia’s mayor. Scott Jones and Terina McCurley were re-elected to the Argonia City Council without any challenges.
Howard Yale will continue as mayor of Milan, and Kevin Davis and Roger Ray will be on the city council with five votes each. All five council positions were open, and 10 write-in votes were cast.
Larry Ford will be Mayfield’s mayor. Council members will be Cohl Davis, Kelly Ford, Cheryl Heimer, Jeff Mortimer and Steven Metzen.
Brad Farmer and Aaron Lange were re-elected to the USD 356 Conway Springs Board of Education.
Sarah Vineyard and Scott Jones were re-elected to the USD 359 Argonia Board of Education. There were no candidates on the ballot for District 2 Position 5. There were 22 write-in votes cast.
The Sumner County canvass is scheduled for Monday next week, but could be moved to next Thursday.