The Odessa Record -

Town hall meeting hears candidates


October 10, 2019

Terrie Schmidt-Crosby

The candidates running for office in the Nov. 5 general election sit on the podium in the Old Town Hall Monday evening: Marlene Kramer, Tami Smith, Vickie Iverson, Mike Igo, Bill Crossley and Amy Hunt.

The candidates running for local town government positions were given the opportunity Monday evening of this week to tell the citizens of Odessa what they wanted to do for the community if elected and how they intended to do it. The event was well organized by Jackie (Thiry) Allen and Patty Martin and involved assistance from high school students and community members. Citizen turnout very nearly filled the room to capacity.

Jackie (Thiry) Allen and Patty Martin worked hard to put on an event intended to educate the voting public and give the candidates the opportunity to put forth their views on the many challenges facing Odessa's small-town way of life. They approached the school to find volunteers to help with details like timekeeping, organizing the questions submitted by the audience (eliminating duplicates and/or inappropriate wording, ensuring that all who wished to submit questions were allowed to do so, etc.) and making sure all candidates had equal opportunities to respond.

Each candidate was given a limited time in which to make an initial statement. Then the questions were read by the moderator, Clark Kagele, some directed to a particular person, some directed to all the candidates. The candidates all were firm in their desire to help the town toward a better future, although few concrete proposals were shared.

There was no mention at all of the elephant in the room; no one asked why three of the candidates had a week earlier announced the withdrawal of their candidacy. The Record's staff was able to catch up with only one of those former candidates, who stated that the rumors and untruths being bandied about by persons unknown would have made it most difficult to be a productive member of the council or mayor's office for the several months it would take to quash the rumors and correct the untruths.

Terrie Schmidt-Crosby

The moderator and timekeepers sat in front of the podium, while audience members filled the rest of the room.

As The Record reported last week, the ballots have already been printed. The names of those who withdrew are still on the ballots and people can still vote for them. Some confusion may surround the candidates for council position #5. On the ballot, current incumbent Marlene Kramer faces challenger Bill Pichon. Pichon announced in a Facebook post that he wished to withdraw from the race, prompting Mike Igo to begin campaigning as a write-in candidate to oppose Kramer.

Also on the ballot, Marcus Horak is the challenger against incumbent mayor Bill Crossley. Horak, too, announced via Facebook that he was withdrawing from the race. Joe Schlomer, challenging Amy Hunt, who was appointed to her position after a council member resigned, also says he posted his withdrawal notification on Facebook.

So all of the candidates who filed for office are still on the ballot and can win their office by a simple majority vote. Those who wish to vote for Mike Igo will have to write in his name is the space provided for write-ins.


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