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County Supervisors Canvas Vote, Break Curlew Council Tie

By Staff | Nov 17, 2011

Palo Alto County Auditor Gary Leonard, left, holds a box containing the names of Brent Cooke and Barbara Barrett as Keith Wirtz, right, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, draws a name from the box. The two had tied for the final seat on the Curlew City Council in last week’s municipal elections. Wirtz drew the name of Barrett from the box to fill the vacancy during the canvas of the votes on Tuesday, Nov. 15. –-Dan Voigt photo

A canvas of votes by the Palo Alto County Supervisors on Tuesday made no changes to the outcome of the Nov. 8 municipal elections around the county. The supervisors decided a tie for one position during their weekly meeting on Nov. 15.

Deputy Auditor Carmen Moser conducted the official canvas of the Nov. 8 elections with the supervisors, comparing the vote tallies with the master printout of votes cast at the various precincts around the county. No changes were found in any of the vote totals during the canvas of ballots. After certifying the canvas, the supervisors then turned their attention to breaking a tie in one election.

In Curlew, five council positions were open on the ballot, along with the mayoral position, but no candidates filed nomination papers for any of those positions. All the positions were filled through write-ins during the election, but in the balloting for the five council positions, the fifth council seat ended up in a tie vote, as both Barbara Barrett and Brent Cooke both received four votes each.

In accordance with Chapter 50.44 of the Code of Iowa, the supervisors placed the names of the two candidates on pieces of paper and placed them in a receptacle and Board Chair Keith Wirtz drew one name out to determine the winner. The name of Barbara Barrett was drawn, and was duly declared the winner of the fifth seat on the Curlew City Council.

In other business, the board met with Cinda Joynt, Outreach Coordinator and John Wilson, Interim Executive Director of Upper Des Moines Opportunity to review UDMO’s yearly report and request for funding for the upcoming fiscal year.

“For Fiscal year 2013, Upper Des Moines would request the same level of funding as in past years, $18,000,” Joynt told the board.

According to information provided by Joynt, for every $1 of county funding received, Upper Des Moines was able to secure $47.88 in federal and state funds to assist clients. In Palo Alto County during the past year, Upper Des Moines provided service and assistance to 1,156 individuals in 481 households.

“We are actually down about 16 households from last year, but up by about 20 individuals,” Joynt noted. “We’ve also had 198 requests for fuel assistance this year, and our allotments for that program are roughly half of what they were last year.”

The board thanked Joynt and Wilson and took the funding request under advisement to budgeting time.

Palo Alto County Engineer Joel Fantz presented the supervisors with a permanent easement and transfer of property agreement for right of way on the county road B63 project in Section 19 of West Bend Township. The board approved the agreement on a unanimous vote.

“With this agreement in place, we are working very hard to finish the final design details on the plans in order to get them submitted to the DOT in order to make a February letting date,” Fantz explained. “We could then see work beginning at the start of next year’s construction season, but with a state bid, we won’t have as much local control over working days and such.”

Fantz also reported to the board that the removal of gravel at the Johnson Pit north of Lost Island Lake was continuing, as were repairs to a bridge near Dorweiler Park.

“We are working to finish a county forces grading project southwest of Emmetsburg, and our crews have finished the tile work on the north bypass project,” Fantz noted. “The contractor has moved in on the north bypass to start their pipe work, and we have some fence removal work on the south bypass to get done before the snow flies.”

The board also acknowledged a drainage petition for work on the upper main of Drainage District 29 near West Bend.