Hallsville mayoral election proved to be exciting last night with incumbent Ben Austene running against new comer Cheri Reisch.
Hallsville native, Reisch, won by 24 votes, a large margin for the village. She was a critic of the city's unpopular decision to condemn part of a local farmer's property through eminent domain. The city wants to use that property to apply treated wastewater.
Reisch spoke to supporters at the Bad Citizen coffeehouse and pub after the announcement of her win.
“This really showed the people got out and it was a beautiful day to go vote. And a lot of people voted absentee. So I just want to thank everyone for supporting me,” Reisch said.
The hot topics that were up for discussion by the mayoral candidates brought out new faces to the polls including 42-year-old James Green. “I believe that this is what this town needs, is someone that is for the people. So that is why I voted for her. I say that it’s the first time I’ve ever voted in my life and I’ve never seen anybody worth voting for up until now” said Green.
We tried to contact Austene but he did not return our calls for a comment on the results. Reisch promises to always be available to her community at all hours of the day.
A proposal to approve a $4.3 million school bond issue in Hallsville also failed to reach a four-sevenths majority vote. The bond had been expected to increase property taxes by 32 cents for every $100 of assessed valuation. School Board President Susan Daly says though she is disappointed, the results were understandable.
“Well, we knew it was going to be a tough battle to get it to pass,” Daly said. “Anytime you have to raise taxes it’s always hard to go to the people and say, you know, ‘We need to raise your taxes.’”
Superintendent John Robertson says if the board decided to try and propose the bond issue again in the future, it would need to communicate more with the voters.
“What we would need to do is probably have some public meetings or forums and find out what it was about the issue that the public felt unsure about,” he said.
The proposal stated the fund would have gone to improve district buildings.