Municipal election ballots will be sent out next week and for most people, their ballots are going to look pretty thin.
Ballots will be mailed on Oct. 19 and must be returned to Madison County Clerk and Recorder Peggy Kaatz Stemler by 8 p.m. Nov. 8. This will be an all mail ballot election.
Throughout the county, municipalities struggled to find willing candidates. Only Ennis voters will have to make a decision in a competitive race. There, voters will also choose whether or not to support a library levy for the Madison Valley Public Library.
Four of the five seats on the Ennis Town Commission are up for re-election – John Bancroft, Pat Clancey, Audra Bourk and Becky Vujovich. Bourk and Vujovich were both appointees. Bourk to the position held by Diane McPhetres and Vujovich took over the spot held by Susie Baldwin.
All four commissioners have filed for re-election. However, Clancey has filed for Vujovich’s two-year spot and Vujovich has filed for one of the four-year terms. The lone challenger in the Ennis election will be Amanda Newell who has filed for a four-year term.
Ennis voters will also consider a 12,000 a year levy for the Madison Valley Public Library.
The money is needed to support ongoing programs at the library as well as prepare the facility for a growing population in their service area, said Madison Valley Public Library board of trustees chair, Mary Carlson.
“The reason it came up is we as a board of trustees are concerned about the future and maintaining the library services as they are,” Carlson said. “We are making an effort to plan ahead and have funds available so that if there is something we need to do or would like to do in terms of adding programs or adding staff we can do that.”
The library is currently open 44 hours a week, including Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The staff consists of a fulltime director and three part-time staff members. The library’s budget is about $92,000 a year.
The current library was remodeled about three years ago with funds raised through grants and donations, Carlson said.
The remodeled facility has also come with an increase in community programs including a children’s story time, summer reading programs, book clubs and technology upgrades, she said.
The programs and services the library offers are popular with patrons and need to continue, said Becky Vujovich, town commissioner and library board member.
“All these things cost money and we’re striving to have not just a good library, but a great library and for us to continue to do that we need a little bit more money,” Vujovich said.
The levy would only apply to Ennis residents and raise taxes $9 a year on a $200,000 home.
In Sheridan, three of the four seats on the town council are up for re-election and only Nick Pairitz filed to run. Pairitz is already serving as a replacement for Todd Young, who moved last year. Long-time town councilors Erin Rossiter and Mark McLaughlin are both up for re-election. However, neither filed for their spot.
The will mean that Kaatz Stemler will have to count write-ins names in an effort to fill the remaining two seats.
In Twin Bridges, Bill Kinoshita and Annette McLean both filed for re-election. Kinoshita filed for the remaining two years of Verta Dorseth’s seat, which he was appointed to earlier this year. Patricia Hayes, who would have been up for re-election, resigned her council seat in June. No one filed for her position.
However, Joneta Wetzsteon has filed as a write-in candidate for the election.
The ballot in Virginia City will be blank, as no one filed for the two open seats. Scott Petersen and Chuck Sturgill are both up for re-election, but neither man filed.
William Doyle has filed as a write-in candidate in this election.