Sue Hoffmeiser, left, is shown with poll worker Bill Wendling. Altamont residents faced decisions on sales taxes, school board, and township issues.
By Nathan Scholes
Altamont residents joined voters from around on the country on Tuesday, April 4, heading to the polls to appoint local representatives and settle county issues. Voter turnout across the county was approximately 29 percent, which is within range of typical county turnout in spring elections.
In the crowded school board race, incumbent Darren Feldkamp was the leading vote-getter, amassing 792 votes. Alan Shumaker and Ross Cornett will be seated, as well, having gathered 628 and 550 votes, respectively. Clint and Laura Reardon were also on the ballot, but were only able to secure 457 and 422 votes. Each voter was to choose three from the group, with winners earning a four-year seat. Current board members Rodney Schultz and Jim Holland will be stepping down.
In a separate race over a vacated two-year seat, Kerry Wolff prevailed over fellow Mound Township residents Adam Huston and Alan Kollmann. Due to board bylaws and township limits, all three chose to run for the two-year seat, as Mound already has two representatives on the board. This seat was filled before the open four-year seats, meaning that if a Mound Township resident won this race, a Mound Township resident could not earn a four-year seat, even if they collected the most votes. Wolff received 479 votes, compared to Huston’s 307 and Kollmann’s 275.
Tax issues also were addressed by voters, including the much-discussed county schools facility sales tax. The measure was rejected by county voters, 3983 to 2853. The proposed tax would have added an additional one percent sales tax on select items, with the raised funds being allocated for county schools infrastructure and building projects. The Altamont Board of Education had vowed to abate property taxes collected for the payment of bonds back to tax payers. The sales tax had no expiration date.
The other tax issue on the ballot was a quarter-percent county sales tax to be used for “public safety.” This tax was defeated by an even wider margin than the school tax, 4957 to 1831. The proposal would have expired in four years, or earlier if decided by the county board.
No Mound Township races were contested. Bernadine Blakely will return to her seat as township supervisor and Joan Simcox retained her seat as clerk. Don Ziegler, Charles Scholes, Marlin Will, and newcomer Tom Roepke will serve as trustees. Rodney Schultz secured in the position of highway commissioner.
Serving Mocassin Township will be Jeff Wendling as supervisor, Roy Wendte as clerk, Doug Hammer as highway commissioner, and Leo Stuckemeyer, Willard Kopplin, Daron Stuckemeyer, and Adam Holste as trustees. No races were contested.
Dennis Vaughn won the position of West Township highway commissioner over Mike Miller, 111-68. Scott Beal returned to his role as supervisor. Iris Ashbaugh will serve as clerk, while Wendell Alwardt, Michael Runge, Bradley Suckow, and Mark Holland will serve as trustees for the township.
Candice Smith ran uncontested and will be seated as the Jackson, Mound, and West Township multi-township assessor.