HARTINGTON — Several seats will be available on local village boards as incumbents recently made their final decisions with the passing of the filing deadline.
In Fordyce, all three village board seats are available as incumbents Doug Stevens, Charles Kramer and Roger Becker did not file for re-election.
In Belden, incumbents Janice Wobbenhorst and Robert Patefield filed to retain their seats while Don Surber declined to run again. Christopher Aldrich is a new candidate for the Belden board.
In St. Helena, two out of three incumbents filed to retain their seats: Carmen Tramp and Clair Wieseler. That leaves one seat up for grabs as Jody Albrecht did not file with the County Clerk’s Office.
In Magnet, one incumbent filed for re-election, Miriam Albrecht. Dennis Schmuecker did not file for another term but Chris Albrecht has filed for his spot.
In Wynot, one incumbent filed while the other did not. Terry Pinkelman wants another term and Kathy Promes did not file.
In Coleridge, both incumbents George Hefner and Kelly Hammer wish to remain in office.
The village of Obert never seems to have anyone file.
“We can’t get anybody to run so we have the same ones all the time. It’s a lifetime sentence,” Gene Olsen, Obert’s village chairman, said with a smile. “Once you get on, you never get off.”
The board contains four members plus Olsen, while the total population of Obert is only 22. Village Clerk Evelyn Nelson said members meet monthly.
She can’t recall the last time they had an election. If someone moves from the village or dies, the board appoints some one, she said.
New candidates have until Monday, Aug. 1, to have their name placed on the general election ballot for a village board seat.
If the Aug. 1 deadline passes with no candidates to fill the board seats, there’s still an opportunity for those seeking office to file an affidavit with the County Clerk’s Office to be a write-in candidate, said County Clerk Dave Dowling.
“In the past, a lot of the positions were filled by write-in votes because we had to count all write-ins for Village Board races,” Dowling said. “However, now the law has changed a couple years ago and we only count write-in votes if the affidavit is filed.”
If no new candidates file and no candidates file as a write-in, then the current village board would appoint someone to fill the open spot, he said.