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Faber wins two races in one ward

Faber wins two races in one ward Faber wins two races in one ward

By Kevin O’Brien

Incumbent Brent Faber earned the highest vote totals in two separate races for the same aldermanic ward in Abbotsford, which means the city council will still have one vacancy to fill following last week’s election. Even though his name was not on the ballot in either race for Aldermanic District 2, which includes wards 2 and 5, Faber earned the most votes as a write-in candidate in both races. One of the races was for a full two-year term on the council, and the other was a oneyear term to replace former Ald. Jeremy Totzke, who resigned in 2019.

City administrator Dan Grady said he spoke to Faber, who has decided to accept the two-year term, meaning the council will likely appoint someone else from that area to fill the one-year term.

In the race for the two-year term, Fa- ber earned 13 write-in votes, which was 11 more than any other write-in recipient. Residents Jim Jakel and Mary Giffi n each received two votes, and one vote each went to Tim Rau and David Keech, along with former mayors Sue Sossaman and Dale Rachu.

For the one-year term, Faber earned five votes, compared to three for Kevin Flink, two for Giffin and one each for Doug Baker, Paul Erickson, Amy English and Jeremiah Zeiset.

The two empty spots on the ballot were the result of no one stepping forward with nomination signatures in January.

Faber did not turn in nomination papers to be on the ballot, nor did he declare his non-candidacy in December. No one else turned in papers to be on the ballot, so a two-term term was open to the writein candidate with the most votes.

Also in Abbotsford, municipal court judge Judy Kalepp, along with Alds. Lori Huther (Ward 1), Roger Weideman (Ward 3) and Dennis Kramer (Ward 4) all won re-election unopposed.

(Editor’s note: The term “Ward 2” is often used when referring to Abbotsford’s city council, but it is technically “Aldermanic District 2,” which includes Wards 2 and 5. Ward 5 was created after the 2010 redistricting, but residents in both wards are still represented by the same two members of the council.)

A referendum that would have allowed Colby residents to keep three dogs at their house without needing a kennel license failed, 235-135, last week.

The proposed ordinance change ended up on the ballot after city resident Paige Smith submitted a petition with 100 signatures last May as part of an effort to loosen the city’s dog restrictions.

Smith — who moved into the city with three dogs and had to keep one of them at a relative’s house — tried unsuccessfully to get the council to change the ordinance on its own. When that didn’t work, she used the state’s direct legislation law to try changing the city’s ordinance.

The issue first came up after Smith was told that she needed to pay a $250 fee in order to apply for a kennel license, which allows homeowners to keep more than two dogs as long as they meet certain conditions. City officials said the $250 fee is used to cover the expense of holding a required public hearing, notifying neighbors and having council members attend a special meeting. Smith argued that $250 was unaffordable and pointed out that most other municipalities in the area allow three dogs without a kennel permit.

In other news, Colby will not see any changes to the makeup of its city council, after two incumbents won re-election with the help of write-in votes.

Neither Ward 1 Ald. Steve Kolden nor Ward 3 Ald. Nancy O’Brien had their name on the April 7 ballot, but they each earned enough votes to secure new terms on the council.

In Ward 3, O’Brien got back on the council with just three write-in votes, compared to one each for Edward Staab, Alan Schmitt, Colin Stuttgen, Scott Decker and Vicky Calmes.

Ward 1, which includes the entire eastern half of the city, re-elected Kolden with 13 votes. Three write-in votes also went to fellow Ward 1 Ald. Mark Kaiser, who was not up for re-election this year.