Citizen's Party candidate Hal Wing emerged the victor Tuesday in a mayoral race that pegged him against City Councilman Calvin Bird.
The race was considered by many to be one of the most hotly debated campaigns in recent years.The large voter turnout, nearly 40 percent, was an indication to Wing that residents are ready for new leadership and a new direction for the city. Election results are complete but unofficial.
Mayor Delora Bertelsen and council members Gordon Smith and Glade Creer did not seek re-election. All three were members of the city's Progressive Party.
After a brief vacation in Phoenix, Wing said he is going to come back and find out what makes the city tick. "I am going to learn as much as I can about how this city works." He also said he would like to ride in the city trucks with department heads and see exactly what they do.
Wing's platform included his resolve to find out about the city's financial problems, and to make employees and officials fiscally responsible. He believes the city is steeped with a heavy bond debt and is in desperate need of an economic tax base to fill city coffers.
Just one week before Bird's nomination as the Progressive's mayoral candidate, he tendered his resignation as a member of the council - effective Jan. 1. Although some close associates are asking him to rescind his resignation, Bird said Tuesday night, "I will still carry through with the resignation." There is still a question as to how his seat will be filled. His resignation will be effective Jan. 1, but the new mayor and council will not be installed until Jan. 2, giving the current mayor and council the option of appointing Bird's replacement.
In the council races it was the women leading the men. Citizen's candidate Keri Lynne Gordon garnered the most votes, with lifetime resident and Progressive candidate Dianne C. Carr coming in second. Just 19 votes separated Carr from third place finisher Steve Curtis. Wing indicated the Citizen's Party is considering calling for a recount on the Curtis votes.