Commonwealth Journal

November 15, 2012

Recanvass doesn’t satisfy some Eubank commissioners

By BILL MARDIS, Editor Emeritus
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  

A recanvass of votes in the Eubank city commissioners’ race November 6 found no errors in Pulaski County voting but some members of the commission are not satisfied.
Curtis G. Todd, who requested the recanvass after losing his seat, said he will file an open-records request with the State Board of Elections to look at the precinct roster at the Eubank precinct.
“I want to know how many voters were eligible to vote in the Eubank city election and how many signed in to vote,” Todd told County Clerk Ralph Troxtell.
A spokeswoman at the State Board of Elections indicated she has not dealt with that type of open-records request and is not sure if precinct rosters are subject to public scrutiny. She said at midafternoon Thursday no open-records request had been received from a Eubank candidate.
Todd, who has been a member of Eubank’s governing body since 1998, also discussed two other options: Petitioning Pulaski Circuit Court to recount the ballots (deadline November 16) or contest the election in circuit court within 30 day after the election.
Edward Ray Hicks, who was reelected, and Alton Fulcher Jr. who, like Todd, lost his seat, as well as losing candidate George Dunne, were at the recanvass Thursday morning in the county clerk’s office.
All declined comment when a reporter asked why there are so many candidates with so much passion over positions that pay each commissioner $50 a month? Eubank traditionally, has had a stable political atmosphere signified by the fact Mayor Frey Todd is the only mayor the city has ever had. He was town board chairman when structures of city governments were changed in the mid-70s, and has been mayor ever since. Eubank is a 6th-class city with a mayor-commission form of government.
Prodded about the political atmosphere, Hicks responded, “It’s not the money, it’s the mouth.” He didn’t elaborate.
Todd filed the request for a recanvass Tuesday just hours before the 4 p.m. deadline. He was one of eight candidates for the four-member commission and fell eight votes short of regaining his seat for another two-year term. Todd, with 52 votes, and Alton Fulcher Jr., with 54, were the two incumbents who failed to be reelected.
Hicks, with 67 votes, and Connie Belcher, with 63, were reelected to the commission. Newcomers Larry D. Wheeldon with 78 votes and Bill R. Jones with 59 will join them in January.
Other candidates in the race were Aaron Belcher, 50 votes, and George Dunne, 10 votes.
Most of the city of Eubank is in precinct No. 25. There are voters in No. 25 who do not live in the city limits.
A subdivision in the northern Eubank corporate limits extends into the Waynesburg No. 2 precinct in Lincoln County. Troxtell emphasized the recanvass by the Pulaski County Board of Elections dealt only with votes cast in Pulaski County.
Todd –– no kin to Eubank Mayor Frey Todd –– said he wasn’t concerned about the Lincoln County votes because of the small number of Eubank residents who live there.
According to the Lincoln County clerk’s office, Todd got 2 votes in Lincoln County.