Incumbents re-elected to Blue Earth City Council
All of the incumbents for the Blue Earth City Council won re-election last Tuesday.
Mayor Robert Hammond easily defeated challenger Les Wiborg by 1,260 to 398. Hammond was seeking his fourth term as mayor. Wiborg is a council member and still has two years to serve.
Ward 3 councilman Richard Scholtes more than doubled the votes of either of his challengers. Scholtes had 263 votes, while Paula Kelly was at 117 and Gary Meyer at 104.
Councilmen John Huisman (Ward 1) and Glenn Gaylord (Ward 2) were both re-elected and had faced no opposition.
Huisman had 486 votes and Gaylord 523. There were 10 write-in votes for mayor, 15 in Ward 1 and 16 in Ward 2.
Mayor Hammond says the election went pretty close to what he had expected.
“After going door-to-door I had spoken to about two-thirds of the residents of the city,” Hammond says. “It gave me a good idea of how the vote was going to go.”
He says many of the citizens told him they were happy with the direction the city has taken.
“They understand the challenges we (the council) face,” Hammond says. “They thought we are addressing community issues and are taking care of problems.”
Hammond credited the fact that the council has kept the public informed on big projects such as the pool, public safety building and water tower.
“People know we have looked at options and done these in a fairly cost-effective manner,” he says. “There were no surprises.”
The next big problem the council needs to tackle is streets, Hammond says, pointing out most citizens like the direction the city is taking, it is just not happening fast enough.
Councilman Les Wiborg says he called Hammond on election night and congratulated him on the win.
“I want to thank all the people who supported me during the campaign,” Wiborg says.
“I will continue to serve the people of Ward 2 as a councilman,” he adds. “I want to continue to help the people of Blue Earth in any way I can for the next two years.”
A total of 1,724 citizens voted in Blue Earth, out of a total of 1,900 registered voters. That put the local voter turnout at 91 percent.