MAPLETON — Votes were still being counted early Wednesday morning when Mapleton Mayor Dean Allan decided it was time to go to bed.
A little after midnight, Allan received a phone call from the city offices letting him know that results from three of four precincts were in and he was well on his way to winning re-election.
"But they didn't have the fourth one," he said, "and the fourth district is where the group that opposes me (was expected to vote)."
That group is the Mapleton Coalition, which has been openly critical of the mayor and other city officials on myriad issues. When those final votes were counted, the gap between Allan and challenger Stan Sorensen was closer — but still not that close.
Allan received 988 votes to comfortably defeat Sorensen (693 votes) and earn a second term as mayor.
It was about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday when the city received results from its fourth and final precinct. Allan's 477-vote lead took the anticipated hit, reducing the final margin to 295 votes.
Allan said he sees his re-election as a vote of approval for his first four years of service.
"I think the community is pleased with the direction we've gone the past four years," he said. "A lot of good things have happened to the city, and we're in line to do some more good things."
One of those things, Allan said, is a new $1.7 million community center, which is expected to open in January 2006 and house Mapleton's police department, city administrative offices, library and senior citizens center.
The city is also working toward bringing secondary water to its residents, the mayor said, and planning for a future that could see the city grow from 7,000 residents to as many as 25,000 by buildout.
As for Sorensen, his bid to end what he calls an "aristocracy" in Mapleton fell short. Maple Street is the dividing line between the north and south, he said, and those in the south rule the city.
"They like things the way they are," Sorensen said. "They have their little kingdom down there, and they want to keep it that way."
Allan, who lives south of Maple Street, disagrees, saying he hasn't seen such a division.
"Mayors and the City Council don't sit on a bench and decide what they should do for one side of the city and not the other," he said.
Sorensen was also still upset Wednesday about confusion surrounding polling at Hobble Creek Elementary School. A miscommunication between the city and school resulted in a newsletter being sent home with students that incorrectly stated Hobble Creek would not be a polling area for the city elections.
"Who knows how many people it might have affected? We shouldn't have to ask questions like that," Sorensen said. "I can't tell you it affected one soul, but you can't tell me that it didn't. It throws a taint on the whole thing.
"I understand that politics is a contact sport. But if the playing field was level and I lost, so be it. But now we have to ask the questions: Was it a fair fight? Was the playing field level?"
Initial reports indicate that voter turnout at Hobble Creek was not negatively affected by the newsletter.
"The secretary at Hobble Creek reported to me that they had more voters there than they've ever had," City Recorder Camille Brown said Tuesday night.
In the race for Mapleton City Council, Brian Wall and Ann H. Tolley both earned four-year seats.