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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Skaggs and Taylor post substantial wins to retain city commission seats

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  • Incumbents Gary Skaggs and Jeff Taylor won re-election to retain their Pratt City Commission seats in Tuesday's election.
    Election results are unofficial until the Pratt County Commissioners canvass the votes at 9 a.m. on Monday, April 8.
    Vote totals for the city commission election were: Gary Skaggs-786; Jeff Taylor-717; Vic Graf-483; Nelson Burrell-402.
    Skaggs said he was real pleased with the results and was looking forward to another three years and helping steer the city to a future of growth and prosperity.
    He said he had teamed up with Taylor because they had similar aspirations for the town.
    The pair were surprised with their opponents late mailing Saturday and they had to scramble to come up with a response. Some hardworking volunteers delivered handouts from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and that was a key to election success.
    "I'd like to think their hard work is what helped us win the election," Skaggs said.
    During the next three years he wants to continue reducing the debt. Its under control and will be paid off in the future, Skaggs said.
    Among other goals were improving the downtown area, improving the Municipal Building and reducing the mil levy and tax burden. Those goals were part of why he and Taylor were elected.
    "I think our opponents put up a hard fight but I think we had a better message than they did" Skaggs said.
    Maintaining a balance between what the city needs and keeping the taxes down will be an ongoing issue. He is glad to have the chance to help with Pratt's future.
    "I'm honored that the community would ask me to continue on," Skaggs said.
    Taylor was glad to get all the support especially the 30 some volunteers that went out Monday night with the informational brochure in answer to the "Pratt Tattler" that was handed out Saturday. He said the volunteer's effort and the negative publicity of the "Tattler" stirred people to action.
    "I think the negative publicity got a lot of people out to vote," Taylor said.
    He was also impressed with the number of voters who chose to get out and vote on a cold, wet, rainy day with only one contested campaign in the city.
    Taylor said he had waged a positive campaign and has always tried to do so because candidates have to live with those people in town so it's not a good idea to burn bridges.
    "Everyone is important no matter what their point on the issues," Taylor said.
    Taylor said he wants to help the city continue with the sustained economy. In the first quarter of this year, the city is $57,000 above in revenue over the same time last year and 2012 was a record year.
    Page 2 of 3 - Among his ambitions for the next three years is to get another comprehensive 10-year plan for the city. The commissioners will need a lot of input from a big cross section to put the plan in place.
    He also wants get moving on the Sandy Creek addition by the Maple Street extension. Taylor wants to get the plat finished, get the zoning done and get infrastructure started because the city needs a new housing area within the city to get more homes on the tax roles, expand the tax base to help ease the tax burden.
    Candidate Vic Graf said he appreciated everyone who got out and supported. He said he was honored that people had called him to run. Graf said he had not thought about running again in the next election.
    Candidate Nelson Burrell said since he is interested in making the community better and not destroy it, he would run for commissioner again.
    He appreciated all the support he got and thought the campaign went well. He said he didn't know who put out the "Pratt Tattler" but it woke people up and enlightened them about the outrageous way commissioners are spending the taxpayer's money.
    "If they (citizens) want an economical place to live in, they have to vote out the people who are spending their money like it's going out of style," Burrell said.
    Burrell said he went door to door and saw a lot of homes that needed repair but couldn't afford to pay for it. He said he had read statistics that one third of the families in Pratt are impoverished. Those residents can't enjoy they way they have to live in the city, Burrell said.
    As for the future, Burrell said he hopes the people in the community can last the next couple of years.
    "With the way things are going down the tubes nationally and in the state, I just hope we can survive and not put too much burden on our tax payers," Burrell said.
    The commissioners need to wake up and talk to all the people not just a select few. That will make things better for the citizens, Burrell said.
    Other election results
    In other elections, candidates for USD 382 Board of Education, USD 438 Board of Education and Pratt Community College Board of trustees were all running unopposed so all were elected.
    Besides the City Commission race, the only other contested positions in the county were the mayor of Cullison, the Cullison City Counsel and the Iuka City Council.
    In the Cullison mayor race, incumbent Don Rose won the election with 15 votes to challenger Dee Hutchins 8 votes.
    Page 3 of 3 - In the Cullison City Council race the five winners and vote totals were: Mike Slief-22, Bobbie Booi-21, Ted Stahl-21, Gloria Patrick-18 and Donna Rose-17. James Niblett got 6 votes and was not elected.
    In the Iuka City Council race, Gerald Tucker-20, Brad George-19, Warren Briggemen-19, Tom Helsel-18 and Keith Backman-18. Lee Van Slyke received 2 votes and was not elected. Marsh Giggy was the only candidate for Iuka mayor.
    In the other third class city races: Kyle Waters took the Byers mayor position with 2 votes while Ginny Poschen and Amelia Ballantine had 2 votes apiece for Byers city council.
    Eric Bronson won the Coats mayor position with 8 votes while the coats city council candidates results were: Mildred Eubank, Tiffany Ailstock and Josh Rathgeber all had 8 votes, Randy Cole had 7 and Patsy Fittro-Knowles had 6 votes.
    In the Preston mayor race, Les Ferguson had 19 votes with 6 write-ins. The Preston city council members are Jesse Mercer with 20 votes and David Tritt and Jacqualyn Metcalfe each gathered 19 votes.
    The Sawyer Mayor election went to Louis Green while the city council vote getters were Dee Weber, Eric Mason and Lothair Dauner each with 8 votes, Randy Kumberg with 7 votes and Lisa Clifton with 6 votes.
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