There will be two new members of the Clear Fork Board of Education next year, as write-in candidates Carl Gonzalez and Dan Freund were elected to the position in last Tuesday’s election.
The two will join the board after current members are set to vote on the school district’s proposed elementary school issue. Freund and Gonzalez bested the field of four candidates receiving 694 votes (32.19 percent) and 643 votes (29.82 percent) respectively. The runner-up Nick Kuelling took 436 votes in the race. The fourth candidate Ron Salkovick recieved 277 votes.
“I am really humbled that folks voted two great people onto the Clear Fork Board of Education,” Fruend said. “I’m looking forward to being a team member and doing everything I can to ensure a bright future for our kids.”
Looking forward to next term, the lifelong educator aims to involve community input into the board’s decision making.
“I want to keep an open and transparent process,” Fruend explained. “We need to include all the voices in the community and listen to everybody.”
Both Freund and Gonzalez previously stated they were in favor of constructing two new elementary schools.
Also new to an elected position is Bellville Council candidate Rich Osborn who ran for one of two vacant seats.
“I don’t want to be just a yes-man,” said Osborn. “I want to be an asset to the community but have my voice heard. I will say what I think is best for the village.”
The candidate wants to keep the community thriving in his upcoming term, while looking to keep the tradition of Bellville alive.
“I want Bellville to stay prosperous. It’s a business and has to run as such, but I want to keep that small town feel,” he said. “I think it is a benefit to the village. It’s what keeps people here.”
Also new to village government is Butler Mayor elect Ken Kinley who ran unopposed for the position. He is set to take over for Mayor Kevin Carr next year.
Several issues on the ballot for Bellville voters were also passed. The joint utility aggregation issue received 387 in favor of an aggregated electric program for village residents and 389 votes in favor of an aggregated gas rate.
The proposal places Bellville into a utilities aggregation contract with Aspen Energy Corp., which is designed to lower both villages’ gas and electric rates.
“Four or five weeks prior to implementation we will send out notices about the program,” Marc Hollinger senior consultant at Aspen Energy Corp. said. “By March or April we should be able to get a household price.”
Additionally village voters passed a 4 Mil tax levy replacement that is projected to bring Bellville up to $140,000 in tax revenue for street projects over the next five years.
The levy will be used to resurface and repair the village’s existing streets and bridges, as well as tackle new street projects.
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