The Great Bend City Council consists of eight members, with two representing each of the four wards. Every two years, one seat in each ward is up for election.
In Tuesday’s general election, three of the four wards were in good shape. There was one candidate filing for each, including: Alan Moeder as the sole candidate in Ward 1, replacing Jessica Milsap who didn’t re-file; Jolene Biggs who re-filed for Ward 2; and Cory Urban who re-filed for Ward 3.
However, there were no filings for the Ward 4 seat. It was filled by Andrew Erb, who did not re-file.
The vote totals as of the end of the night were: Moeder, 405 with 18 write-ins; Biggs, 852 with 25 write-ins; and Urban, 581 with nine write-ins.
As for Ward 4, 49 write-ins had been tallied as of Tuesday night, but County Election Officer Donna Zimmerman said there were more write-in votes that needed to be counted. Election officials will come back at that Wednesday morning with fresh eyes.
The final results may not be ready until Wednesday afternoon.
If there is no clear winner, the vacancy will be filled through an application process, City Attorney Bob Suelter said. Applications will be sought, and the mayor will appoint a committee of council members to review them, hold interviews and make a recommendation to the entire governing body.
Vote totals remain unofficial and don’t include provisional ballots, those cast by voters who moved within the county or changed names. The vote counts won’t be certified until they are canvassed Monday morning by the Barton County Commission, acting as the Board of Canvassers.
According to a charter ordinance approved by the council recently, the mayor and newly elected council members take office at the first council meeting in January following their November election.
Biggs is an account executive of Insurance Planning in Great Bend.
Urban is employed in the oil industry.
Moeder is owner of Moeder Plumbing, Heating and Air.