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Special election starts from scratch


Posted 7/03/18 (Tue)

By Traci Papineau
Tioga City Attorney Liz Pendlay said Monday a special election is deemed the best route by the state attorney general’s office to address erroneous ballot instructions in the city’s June 12 election.
“People were shorted the opportunity to vote,” said Liz Pendlay.
“It wasn’t fair to the voters,” agreed Commissioner Tim Sundhagen.
It will take several months before two vacant seats are permanently filled -- 94-105 days, realistically, said Pendlay. The entire process starts over and even the top vote-getters must submit paperwork to be placed on the ballot, including Natalie Bugbee, whose name was the only one listed on the  city ballot.
Auditor Abby Salinas said the election will cost about $1,500, with most of the cost paying election workers.
The park board, as well, has voted to have a special election according to Commissioner Heather Weflen.
Temporary fill-ins
“They said that this is the only way you can resolve this issue?” asked resident Mike Holm, rather than just appoint a replacement for the seat recently vacated by Todd Thompson.
“Of the available options, it was certainly deemed the least problematic and the most curative,” responded Pendlay.
Sundhagen asked, “What do you hear? What does the public want?”
“Basically the people I have talked to thought this would just be an appointment based on the number of votes the write-ins got,” said Holm.
Since there is currently a quorum on the commission, Pendlay said an appointment to fill the vacant position is not necessary, but up to the commission.
Sundhagen made the motion to offer Tim Christensen the appointment to temporarily fill the vacant seat since he received the highest number of write-in votes. Bugbee seconded the motion, which carried.
If accepted, the appointment will last only until the special election is complete. 
According to Weflen, Nikki Davidson and Tara Mosley were appointed as temporary fill-ins on the park board.
Later in the meeting, all three women took their oaths.

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