Kertesz Wins Vacant Seat, Voters Reject Ordinance

By: GPK Media

The Truth or Consequences March 12 special municipal election successfully resolved the city commission’s deadlock over the appointment of a replacement for the late Commissioner Freddie Torres, and also clearly established that community members did not support a proposed Citizens’ Initiative Ordinance, which aimed to curtail the city’s present solid waste management program.
With a total of 740 ballots cast, commission candidate Stephen Michael (Mike) Kertesz emerged victorious from the March 12 election with a total of 377 votes, outpacing his opponent, Terry G. Taylor, who garnered a respectable 363 votes in support of his campaign.
The unofficial tally included 37 absentee ballots, 260 in-person early voting ballots and 443 ballots cast at the polls on election day.
In this decision, local citizens have settled a disagreement among the city commission members and assured the board will now include a full contingent of five voting members for the remaining year of the Position-3 term.
Voting on the Citizens’ Initiative Ordinance (#629) was decidedly against the measure, rendering a final count of 576 votes against the proposed ordinance, to a total of 143 cast in favor of the initiative.
Included in the preliminary count on this issue were 35 absentee ballots, 251 in-person early voting ballots and a total of 433 ballots cast at the polls on March 12.
City clerk Mary Penner and municipal court Judge Beatrice Sanders will formally canvass the election’s results Friday morning, March 15.