Reluctant Paradise council incumbents win seats as write-ins
PARADISE -- New faces were expected at this week's Paradise Town Council meeting. With elections held the previous day and no names on the ballot, this left the elections open to write-ins.
Incumbents Cole Evans and Karen Rinderknecht were re-elected, and both have accepted the jobs.
There were 29 write-ins on this year's election. The top four vote-getters were Evans with 48, who took the first seat, followed by Rinderknecht with 37, Bruce Obray 25, and James Sundberg 12. Both Rinderknecht and Evans have been on the council for the last 13 years and had not planned on running this year. Each wanted to devote more time to family and allow someone else the opportunity.
"I really wish there were other qualified people who would have run," Evans said. "I have really enjoyed being a council member but it's time for others to be involved." Evans said this will be his last term.
"I'm honored to have been re-elected," Rinderknecht said. "This job has allowed me to be involved in the community of Paradise and has been very personally gratifying." She has been in charge of Trout and Berry Days, and is also the council member who advocated making all building in Paradise handicap-accessible by receiving money from the American Disability Association.
"I haven't ever seen this many write-ins. I think the community is getting more involved," said Maryann Olsen, city clerk. "We had a very high number of voters turn out this year, almost half of our registered voters."
In other business, the council discussed whether the lines on the town's tennis courts should be repainted as an Eagle Scout project. This project would allow Scout Ryan Werner of Paradise to complete his Eagle Scout rank. However, Mayor Lee Atwood felt there were other projects that would not only be more beneficial to Paradise but also to Werner. Snow removal is an ongoing problem for Paradise. With winter getting closer, the search for a new truck seems to becoming impossible. The council noted that the budget is depleted after the purchase of a new ambulance last summer.
"I suppose that we could use the ambulance to plow the snow since it already has lights on top and new snow tires," joked council member Aaron Cranney.
At the next council meeting, the agenda will include presentations
by the Affordable Housing Program, and the 21st Century Program, a program
set up by the governor to discuss changes in the millennium with towns