Gervais poised to name next mayor
After Gervais' first three-candidate mayoral race is a recent memory, the results are beginning to crystalize in favor of a victor.
Upon Marion County's Nov. 6 ballot update, candidate Annie Gilland holds a 32-vote lead over next-closest rival Robb Ladd, giving her a 4-point lead in the race to replace seven-term mayor Shanti Platt.Gilland led the field with 286 votes, followed by Ladd at 254, with Tilda O. Flores garnering 198 votes as incoming ballots slowed to a trickle several days after the Nov. 3 voting deadline. While Marion County's next election update was scheduled to come Tuesday, it appears likely that the 28-year Gervais resident will become the city's first new mayor since 2006.
"I am grateful to all who voted for me," Gilland said. "I will do my very best to put people of Gervais and their needs first. My door will always be open to them."
If her lead holds, Gilland will become the second member of her family to hold the city's lead elected position. Gilland's father, Ron Foote, served as the town's mayor more than two decades ago, and also served on the city council. Gilland feels the time is right to follow that legacy.
"I've always been heavily involved in the Gervais community. However, now that my son, Randy, is a senior, I feel like I finally have the time to dedicate to such a position," she said. "I'm acquainted with the many needs of or our small town and am especially passionate about helping our youth and seniors. I've worked for the Gervais School District and the Gervais Market, which has allowed me to establish many relationships within our community."
Gilland sees Gervais as a growing community in need of a more focused plan to accommodate that growth, especially regarding businesses.
"The city needs to improve its reputation when it comes to working with businesses," she said. "We need more input regarding city budgeting, parks, ordinances, and other municipal functions."
The prospective mayor-elect will work with a city council that saw a slight turnover in the election, with council president Michael Gregory falling short of winning his sixth-consecutive term.
Gregory, who first was elected to office in 2000, was the senior-most elected official in Gervais but finished with the least votes in a four-person race for three open four-year terms on the council.
Incumbent councilors Baltazar (JR) Gonzalez and Micky Wagner garnered the most votes, with 456 and 350 ballots cast in their favor, respectively. Challenger Pamela Foreman followed closely behind with 344 votes, while Gregory garnered 295.
Fellow councilor Diana Bartch, who was appointed to fill the seat of former councilor Wes Leiva earlier this year, will retain her seat as the lone candidate to fill the term's final two years.
Gervais 2020 Election
Andrea (Annie) Gilland — 286 (38.75%)
Robb Ladd — 254 (34.42%)
Tilda O. Flores — 198 (26.83%)
City Council, four-year term (top three win)
Baltazar (JR) Gonzalez — 456 (31.56%)
Micky Wagner — 350 (24.22%)
Pamela Foreman — 344 (23.81%)
Michael Gregory — 295 (20.42%)
City Council, two-year term
Diana Bartch — 561 (100%)
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