Fraser Rec recall candidates retain seats
February 17, 2009
Three board members sent up for recall on Tuesday retained their seats by an almost 2 to 1 margin.
Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District board president Dan O’Connell received 1,277 votes to keep him in office; 761 voted to recall him.
Beth Sands and Pete Strohecker were retained by a similar spread – 1,242 voted “no” on the recall for Sands and 1,241 voted “no” on the recall for Strohecker. (See the At a Glance box for a complete tally of Tuesday night’s election results.)
“I feel hugely vindicated,” Sands said when she heard the results. “Now it’s time to get back to business. We have a lot to do.”
Andy Chasin ran for Sands’ seat as a “pro-rec center” candidate in case she was recalled.
Upon hearing the news, he said, “The people have spoken. I’m glad I was able to step up and do what was necessary if needed.
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“Now, I’m just ready to swim and work out at the new rec center.”
Strohecker heard the news while on vacation in Puerto Vallarta.
“I just hope things can get down to regular business,” he said. “It’s time to focus on the construction of the new facilities and I hope the other candidates who were running as alternatives will continue or start to come to rec meetings an start using their energy toward the successful completion of these projects.”
To many of the candidates on both sides of the recall, the next step is two-fold – complete the construction projects approved by voters in November and heal the community wounds created during the recall process.
“Congratulations,” said Kevin Davlin, who ran to replace O’Connell. “Hopefully, we can start mending this community back into one again.”
Voter turnout for the recall election was almost 50 percent, with 2,051 turning out to the polls or sending a mail-in ballot.
1,561 mail-in ballots were sent in and 490 people showed up to the polls on Election Day to vote using the electronic voting machines.
The streets had been dry only hours before the polls closed, but by 7 p.m., the snow was falling by the inch and the drive to Hot Sulphur Springs was a slow one.
Designated election official Todd Holzwarth’s cargo was the last of the ballots from that day’s recall election.
Holzwarth and election officials arrived in Hot Sulphur shortly before 9 p.m. and results were available by 9:35 p.m.
The results released on Tuesday night are an unofficial tally.
The official results will not be certified for at least a week after the election, said Grand County Clerk Sara Rosene.
According to state law, when mail-in ballots are used, voters who did not sign the return envelope must be contacted to give them a chance to sign. Or, Rosene said, if the signatures don’t match voter registrations, voters must be contacted to have his or her signature verified. Voters with no signature, or questionable signatures, have a week from Wednesday, the day after the election, to sign a certified letter.
“We sent out notifications to voters (who need to sign or re-sign their ballot envelopes) as soon as we got their ballots,” Rosene said.
Four provisional ballots were also turned in on Election Day and must be verified in order to be counted.
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