St. Marys City Council's two newest members, Nedward Jacob and Gregory Gebauer, presided over their first official meeting on Tuesday evening. During the meeting, council was split in half as to how to fill the vacant seat on the council. The seat was vacated by Gwen Auman, who relocated her residential address outside the City of St. Marys.
Councilman Dan Hepner said that between Jacob and Gebauer, the two received 54 percent of the vote, with Auman coming in third. The fourth-place vote-getter was past council member Tom Farley, who received 22.5 percent of the vote.
"By appointing the fourth-place candidate, we recognize better than 76 percent of the voters," Hepner said.
Mayor Sally Geyer said she believed council should advertise the position and if Farley was still interested in serving on the city council, he could submit his information.
Hepner said that by advertising, "You're simply dismissing the 22 percent that did vote for the next top vote-getter."
"And by appointing him, you're dismissing the majority of the people who did not vote for him," Gebauer added.
"This is an area that's interesting to get into," said Councilman Dick Dornisch. "What we do have is we have a legal person who won the third most votes. We have a name that shouldn't have gotten any votes. As far as I'm concerned, I can erase that entire series of votes because it's obvious that people that voted for that person (Auman) did not know they were voting for a person who could not serve."
"That's not necessarily true," Gebauer said. "People might have cast that ballot in opposition of the other one, or any one of us that was on the ballot."