Editor’s Note: Election totals will not be final until official canvassing by the Brown County Commission at the Monday, Nov. 18 meeting.
Three votes is all that separated the opposite sides in the vote to impose a half cent sales tax countywide to support the Hiawatha Community Hospital,.
Final tally after counting all 18 precincts: No-1267/Yes-1264. Initially, the special question was losing by a substantial margin — 931 no votes to 575 yes votes after 10 precincts and absentee ballots had been counted. The final eight precincts brought the vote to within 3.
With a huge voter turnout at 42 percent — it was apparent Brown County voters had something to say. For months, the topic of a sales tax to benefit the hospital has created much buzz around town, on social media and in Letters to the Editor of the Hiawatha World.
What happens now?
“Wait for provisional ballots” is what HCH CEO John Broberg said. Forty provisional ballots will be counted at the Monday, Nov. 18 Brown County Commission meeting for the final canvassing and official count. Advance ballots postmarked by or before election day can be accepted until Friday, Nov. 8.
“I look forward to being at the counting of the provisional votes,” Broberg said.
Those votes could make all the difference in the world on this vote that is going around for the second time. Back in May, the same special question was defeated by just 29 votes. Hospital officials say they need revenue needed from this half-cent sales tax for equipment and facility upgrades.
Also on the ballot was a quarter-cent sales tax for Hiawatha city, which passed 513 to 403. This sales tax is for recreational purposes within the city and has no sunset. It is replacing the post lantern tax, set to expire.
In other election news, the Constitutional Amendment passed 1,195 to 1,112 votes.
USD 415 School Board: Incumbents Amy Kopp (1440/51 write-ins); Jeffrey Brockhoff (465/5 write-ins); Thomas E. Simmer (520/16 write-ins) and Ian Schuetz (598/75 write-ins) all ran unopposed and were re-elected into office.
USD 430 School Board: Incumbent Jason Selland (415/0 write-ins) was voted back in Position No. 2 and newcomer April Keo (292/7 write-ins) was voted into Position No. 1, vacated by Richard Lovelady.
For Position No. 3, incumbent Laurence Berger won with 257 votes, over Carrie Miller (181) and Gary Miller Jr (71). Rex Lockwood was voted into Position No. 7 with 484 votes over challenger Susanna Cooper’s 202.
USD 113 School Board: Kent Saylor ran unopposed (136/8 write-ins) and James A. Scoby brought in 120 votes over Ken Cannon’s 35 for Position No. 1.
City of Horton: Mayor Bryan Stirton (294/15 write-ins); Police Commissioner- Rex West (167) and Matthew W. Howell (159) with 3 write-ins; Parks and Rec Commissioner — Richard J. Lovelady (211) and James Stuart (123) with 1 write-in.
Everest City Council: Mayor Alfred Kimmi (73/2 write-ins), Charlie George (66) and Michael Monson (27/7 write-ins) and Brian P. Rodvelt (74/2 write-ins).
Fairview City Council: Charlie Brockhoff (49/15 write-ins)
Robinson City Council: Mayor Mark Lieneman (44/2 write-ins); Dorothy BeDunnah (36), Stephen D. Brown (37), Angie Muckey (29), David P. Taylor (38), write-ins (39).
Powhattan City Council: Mayor Lyle H. Chadwell (19/3 write-ins); Jim Foster (16), Luke Pollock (14), Faith Quilter (18), John B. Schuetz (14), Christopher Torkelson (16), Keith D. Williams (13).
Morrill City Council: Mayor — 27 write-ins, council members 127 write-ins.
Willis City Council: Mayor Lamar Shoemaker (7); Charlene Branch (7); David W. Hartley (7); Bonnie Jacobson (7); Delbert Jacobson (7), write-ins (3).
Reserve City Council: Mayor Courtney James Adamson (12/5 write-ins); Thad Harms (15), Karen L. Olson (14), Robert H. Phroper (17), John Ross (13), Jerry Sanders (12), write-ins (3).
Hamlin City Council: Mayor Michael Dyke (10), Michele Beldon (9), Elizabeth Luna (5), Kimberly Reed (7), Zachary Wren (10), write-ins (12).