Morenci has a new mayor in office as challenger Bill Foster edged incumbent write-in candidate Keith Pennington by five votes.
Foster was successful by a narrow margin, 200-195, despite 25 votes going to Kebben Milliman and two for Jeffrey Moore. Morenci’s election board, working with write-in candidates, had some questions that were referred to the county clerk’s office, so ballots were recounted at the county office.
Morenci city clerk/administrator Renée Schroeder said there was one ballot with the name “Mark Pennington” written in, plus three ballots that correctly named “Keith Pennington,” but the voters failed to fill in the oval on the ballot to indicate a voting preference. None of the four ballots were counted, but even if they had been, Foster still would have taken a one-vote victory.
Had the vote ended in a tie, Schroeder said, the deciding procedure is very simple. The clerk takes two identical pieces of paper and writes “Elected” on one and “Not Elected” on the other. The two candidates each draw a slip from the box to determine the winner.
Pennington served two terms as Morenci’s mayor and 12 years as a city council member.
Morenci also has two new council members along with another who was appointed in September. Ron Apger retained his appointed seat, garnering 173 votes. Newcomer Robb Sweet led the way with 314 votes and another new member, Everett "Pete" Cool II, earned a seat with 166 votes. Sean Seger fell short with 137 votes.
Morenci's new members and mayor were sworn into office at the start of Monday's council meeting.
FAYETTE—Three Fayette incumbent council members—Mat Johnson, Rodney Kessler and Scott Wagner—were returned to office, but one additional member will need to be appointed when Julia Ruger's term expires at the end of the year.
Amy Metz was given 326 votes and David Brinegar 292 votes to fill a pair of seats on the Fayette Board of Education.
Two others were chosen among three candidates to fill additional seats starting in January. Robert Brubaker received 291 votes and former member Fred Stockburger received 228 votes. Incumbent Trent Dominique fell short with 210 votes.
MISC. FULTON—In Gorham Township, Trevor Hibbard (240 votes) and William McKinney (228 votes) were returned to office, topping challenger Lee Opdyke who polled 150 votes.
In Lyons, Julie Fenicle, Andrea Gleckler and John O’Neil all retained their council positions, leaving one vacancy in need of an appointment.
There were no contests in several other area elections. Incumbents Paul Holman and James Stubbins were the only candidates on the ballot for two Chesterfield Township positions, and Steve Gillespie and R.J. Lumbrezer were returned to office in Royalton Township. Royalton Township voters renewed a one-mill road millage, 182-65.
Three candidates were on the ballot for three Evergreen Board of Education seats: Julie Carter, Gregory Creque and Gary Pennington.