Voters in the southern Wood River Valley came out Tuesday in strong support of incumbent leaders, sending four sitting city council members in Hailey and Bellevue back for another term.
Hailey City Council veterans Martha Burke and Don Keirn beat out newcomer Walt Denekas and Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Geoffrey Moore, respectively, to keep their seats.
Burke, a resident of Old Hailey, will serve her sixth term in office, winning 552 votes to Denekas’ 275. Keirn will serve his fourth term on the four-person legislative panel, after winning 538 votes to Moore’s 259. The terms are for four years.
Keirn, a 13-year veteran of the City Council, and current chairman, said he was not used to campaigning, since he had not been challenged before.
“I was pretty much a rookie on the campaign trail,” he said. “It was an enlightening and educational experience.”
Keirn said the Pizza and Politics political forum and candidate questionnaire published by the Idaho Mountain Express caused him to reflect on his achievements while also planning for the future.
“Walking all the neighborhoods of Hailey, as well as preparing ads and handouts, required me to take a hard look at what I have done for Hailey citizens and what I needed to do in the future if re-elected,” Keirn said. “I believe the citizens of Hailey who just re-elected me, as well as I, will benefit from what I learned during this campaign.”
Burke said she is grateful for what appeared to be heavy a turnout of voters on Tuesday.
“I am honored to be re-elected,” she said.
3 elected to Bellevue City Council
Incumbents David Hattula and Janet Duffy ran unopposed to keep their seats on the Bellevue City Council, and were both re-elected. Both candidates received 47 votes to earn another two-year term.
Hattula, the council president, will commence his third term in early 2014. Duffy will start her second term.
Bellevue Mayor Chris Koch expressed council members’ enthusiasm to serve with write-in candidate Lisa Phillips, who won the third open seat on the council with 29 votes.
“I have known Lisa for quite a few years and I feel she will step right in and do a great job,” Koch said. “She has been coming to almost every meeting and is ready to be part of the council.”
Phillips expressed gratitude for the opportunity.
“I wish to thank the citizens of Bellevue for the privilege of serving as a member of your City Council,” she said. “I accept the challenges and responsibilities that this office and public service bring. I look forward to working with my fellow council members, our able staff, and the people of Bellevue, all of whom care very much about what happens to our Silver City with a Golden Heart.”