Council Seats fail to attract candidates

 

Write-ins will play a major role in the upcoming City of Dillon elections, with City Council seats in three of Dillon’s four wards failing to attract any candidates by the June 27 filing deadline.

Incumbents Harvey Lake (Ward 1), Randy Gustine (Ward 4) and Ray White (Ward 3) chose not run for reelection. But with no one else filing to run for those seats, voters in those wards will have to write in someone’s name if they wish to cast a vote for a City Council representative in the Nov. 5 election.

“Being on City Council has been a good experience,” said White, who was appointed last year to fill a Ward 3 seat, “but it’s time to move on.”

Lynn Westad proved the only sitting councilperson up for reelection this year not looking to move on, as well as the only candidate to file to run for the Ward 2 seat she currently holds. 

Each of Dillon’s four wards is represented by two City Council members. Ward 1’s Bob Cottom, Ward 2’s Dan Nye, Ward 3’s David Spehar and Ward 4’s Derek Gore will not face reelection in November.

As reported last week, Dillon’s mayoral race attracted two candidates—local businessman Mike Klakken and incumbent Marty Malesich.

Now in his 12th year as Dillon’s mayor, Malesich said he was running again because there were still important projects he wanted to see finished, including the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

Klakken finished second in the 2009 race for mayor as a write-in candidate in the general election against Malesich and Tom Straugh, who had qualified for spots on the ballot by finishing 1-2 in a field of five primary candidates.

“Being a small business owner has taught me the difference between working for the government or a large business as compared with small businesses,” said Klakken, co-founder of the Dillon computer repair and bookkeeping business Aces, Inc.

“I understand how important each dollar is and will work hard to get the most I can for each tax dollar. I know the inner workings of the City’s finances and the Enterprise accounts. I know and am prepared to put in the time and hard work to represent the citizens of Dillon,” added Klakken, who served as a Dillon City Councilperson from 2004–08 and for four years on the city’s Finance Committee, two of them as its chair, as well as two years as chair of the city’s Water and Sewer Committee and one year as Judicial Committee chair. 

The suspense will likely be limited on Election Day in Lima, where only incumbents filed to run for city office. 

Sitting City Council members David M. Brown and John M. Stosich were the only two candidates to turn in the paperwork for the two Lima City Council seats scheduled to be contested in November, and Lima’s four-term mayor, David D. Olsen, emerged as the only candidate to file for mayor.

“I kind of enjoy being mayor—I can’t tell you exactly why I enjoy it, but I do enjoy it. But then again I guess you’d have to enjoy it to keep it up as long as I have,” said Olsen, who first became Lima’s mayor in 1997.  

“And I do feel that I’ve helped do a lot for the community. We’ve got a new rest area, a sprinkler system for the cemetery and town park, along with fencing and new landscaping and horseshoe pits in the park. We’ve got a new million-dollar water system—it’s one of the best in state, all gravity fed. We’ve built a new town hall through grants and volunteer labor.

“Of course, you’ve always got somebody trying to bite you in the butt,” laughed Olsen, who hopes to see the renovation of Lima’s railroad crossings soon added to the list of accomplishments. “But I think we’ve been able to do a lot for the community.”