After the canvas was completed, official election results show Blake D Cevering and Sara L Fawson were elected to be the two new city council members. Cevering received 2,045 votes and Fawson received 1,952. The total votes for city council amounted to 6,705. Julie Anderson received 1,356 votes and Ryan Barker received 1,352. Mayor Brent Taylor ran for reelection unopposed and won with 3,249 votes. Cevering, Fawson, and Taylor will be sworn in on Jan. 2, 2018.
Anette Spendlove, the city recorder and elections officer, reported on the completion of a canvas of all votes cast. This year’s elections got a 42.2% voter turnout. 3,610 ballots were sent in by mail and 190 were submitted at polling places. There were 38 ballots that were not counted. Of those, 14 had a late postmark, 13 were unsigned, 10 signatures did not match the person’s’ signature in the database, and one not counted was classified as “other.”
Spendlove said if signatures do not match, they call the number they put on the ballot, contact by email, or mail them a letter. City Attorney John Call said, “My wife’s signature didn’t match so we got an affidavit in the mail for her to fill out and send back.” Satterthwaite, seeking clarification, said, “If someone wanted to challenge an election of if the count is close… you could determine if they were valid signatures.” Spendlove replied with, “There are guidelines for a recount.”
Taylor said they are implementing depreciation budgeting into the official city code. The provision incorporates budgeting money to repair and replace city assets. Councilman Lynn Satterthwaite said there is a provision the money can’t be spent for other reasons. Call explained, “It makes it clear how important this program is to the city moving forward.”
Call said there are certain things you can do to bind a future council that make things more important and more difficult to change. “This code provision says only the council is allowed to take money out of the depreciation funds and allocate it to something other than what it was collected for, meaning water depreciation funds fund water projects. If you needed to borrow from that to give it to another project or fund somewhere, it would take a unanimous vote from the council to do so.” He continued, “[The council] still get to control their budget, they just have to come together to form a solution.”
Brett Hamblen said he wonders how helpful doing a count of the deer in the city would be if they don’t have numbers to compare them against at a different time. “I’m not sure one survey is going to really appease people one way or another. Who is to determine what is a problem or not?”
Additionally, Hamblen said he would like to see a dog park that will be open year round. The dog park he likes to use is used dually to retain storm-water. “The person that was there checking the gates told me that he was instructed he had to lock it when the water was there for safety concerns.” Hamblen said there has been water in the lowest part of the area even on the hottest days of the summer. He said it was closed during the majority of the winter which is too bad because dogs love to run in the snow.