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‘Slow’ turnout marks city elections

Williamson, Rognstad, and Camp elected to Sandpoint council

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Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 10:00 am

SANDPOINT — It was slow going for many polling places Tuesday as Bonner County residents trickled in to vote throughout the day.

Turnout was varied across Bonner County’s voting precincts, according to Bonner County Clerk Ann Dutson-Sater. While exact numbers couldn’t be yet determined, activity at the polls ranged from an estimated 30 percent of voter turnout in one precinct and lower in others.

“For some of our precincts, it was pretty slow throughout the day,” she said.

A candidate-packed local election ended Tuesday with Shannon Joy Williamson, Shelby Rognstad and Robert Camp winning three empty Sandpoint City Council seats.

The race proved to be a tight one, with Williamson taking 486 votes, Rognstad taking 459, Camp taking 439, Bill Litsinger taking 343, Bill Aitken taking 311, Mose “Mo” Dunkel taking 266, Mark Remmetter taking 222, Frank “Christian” Schwab taking 85 and Bryan E. Dillon taking 84.

Clark Fork had a similarly busy election, with Chris Riggins taking the mayor’s office with 66 votes and Russell Schenck and Sharon Jeffers winning council seats. Altogether, council candidates Glenn Geignetter took 26 votes, Schenck took 55, Steven Spanski took 25, Lynn Reese took 19 and Jeffers took 57.  

Ponderay challenger Karen Engel will be taking a seat on the council after securing 27 votes. Incumbent John Darling also successfully reclaimed his position with 28 votes. In a narrow race, however, incumbent Steve Geiger lost his seat with 23 votes total.

As for Dover, William C. Strand and Neal Hewitt won the two open seats with 108 votes and 83 votes, while candidate David A. Darling collected 52 votes.  

Vernon Ray Fleisher, an uncontested candidate, took the mayor’s office of East Hope with 67 votes. Meanwhile, Tom Grimm collected 75 votes to win a council seat, as did Eileen Klatt with 64 votes. Candidate Ronald Seay secured 27 votes.

There were no surprises in Kootenai, which saw incumbents David Sundquist and Crystal Closson running unopposed to reclaim council seats one and two. Even so, 18 voters turned out to support Sundquist, while 17 did the same for Closson.

Hope and Oldtown had similarly predictable results with their unopposed elections. Joe Dean won the Hope mayoral election with 26 votes, while Carolyn Guldberg and Robert Lizotte took two open council seats with 24 votes and 26 votes. As for Oldtown, Anna M. Burns won eight votes and Bobby K. Jones won seven for two open council seats.

The trend of unopposed candidates continued in Priest River, with James L. Martin winning the mayoral election with 45 votes. Peggy S. George and Jeff Connolly also secured council seats with 41 votes each.      

As for balloted questions, a recreation district in Bay Drive received enough support to pass with nine in favor and six against. A levy for the Westside Fire District, on the other hand, failed to achieve the required two-thirds majority with 128 in favor and 111 opposed. 

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  • wilson posted at 7:11 pm on Mon, Nov 11, 2013.

    wilson Posts: 1071

    Now, before Mommy gets all upset about my comment on the junkyard, if you haven't seen it- don't comment. Nothing personal to Ralph, but we neighbors really do not like what this mess does to our property values. Does the owner have that much lack of civility ! Come on, get a big dumpster and clean it up! And why does the City allow that semi- trailer to mostly block the alley? BTW Mommy - we girls need to get to know each other better- Hmmm?

  • life is good posted at 6:45 pm on Mon, Nov 11, 2013.

    life is good Posts: 625

    OMG ! Is that mess ------- ? I don't understand why the city doesn't just condemn it and tear it down. It cannot be a healthy place to live in. Skunks and raccoons in that neighborhood are probably living in that lot. Doesn't the City have an ordinance against this stuff in neighborhoods?

  • wilson posted at 2:38 pm on Mon, Nov 11, 2013.

    wilson Posts: 1071

    It is my personal opinion, Mavity, that you need to clean up that eyesore in the neighborhood of Alder and Washington. Anyone who would let a mess like that confront your neighbors everyday can't expect much respect. I know, it is another Mavity, but what the heck - kids are never too old to learn how to be respectable.

  • Ralph Mavity posted at 7:21 pm on Sun, Nov 10, 2013.

    Ralph Mavity Posts: 65

    It's my personal opinion that SdptMom is quite perceptive when it comes to wilson. I agree with her first sentence posted on Nov 7 at 1:11 P.M.

    I disagree with her as far as Litsinger is concerned however.

  • C posted at 8:07 am on Sun, Nov 10, 2013.

    C Posts: 259

    Thank you for your response--I must have missed it. Perhaps a link to the voting guide for 2016. I would like to see a guided with: district lines map, polling places map/list, candidates, what they stand for and why they think they are the right person for the job. An analysis of any other referendums coming up for vote. Thank you for your efforts! PS. I will email this also, but wanted to post in case anyone else has good ideas.... If we can work together, we can make things better! ;)

  • SdptMom posted at 10:46 pm on Sat, Nov 9, 2013.

    SdptMom Posts: 170

    I agree whole-heartedly, Reddawn, with your comments. Wilson + OldCop with their frequent degrading comments must think it gets them the upper hand, but sadly its just the opposite. We teach our children to ignore bullies, so that's the best approach. Actually, the Rush Limbaugh types with their selfish interests are loosing ground across the country .. best seen at local levels. There's many good people who care about living in a community that's strong on education, kind toward pedestrians & bicyclists, protective of our environment, and one that's ready and willing to help people less fortunate. I believe that's largely who WE ARE here in Sandpoint and that's the type of City Council we elected. [beam]

  • posted at 3:41 pm on Sat, Nov 9, 2013.


    Hi there, it's Caroline Lobsinger, editor at the Bee. First of all, thank you for participating in our blog and being a part of the conversation. I just wanted to let you know we did publish a voting guide, which was in the Oct. 26, 2013, Daily Bee and which also was posted online. If you have any suggestions on what we can do better for future voting guides — or in their promotion — please let me know. I'd love to hear your suggestions. You can email me directly at clobsinger@bonnercountydailybee.com. Have a great day!

  • C posted at 6:17 am on Sat, Nov 9, 2013.

    C Posts: 259

    Interesting that the Bee poll says that 66% of readers planned to vote. If you take into account that some of those polled do not live in city limits, that is a very high percentage compared to the turn out numbers. Hmm. Not too surprising, I guess, since those who vote are morel likely to read the newspaper. A little disconcerting that so few in the city care enough about what happens to even try to inform themselves and then cast a vote. I agree that complainers have no right to complain if they do not try hard to learn the issues, the candidates, and go vote. I think the Daily Bee could do a much better job at informing the voters of the candidates and the issues they will be dealing with. It is sad when I often look to editorials/opinions to get a feel for local candidates that I do not know. Anyone else want to join me in encouraging the Daily Bee to publish a voting guide for 2016?

  • wilson posted at 12:25 pm on Fri, Nov 8, 2013.

    wilson Posts: 1071

    red- It is obvious your perception is lacking, also. Respect is usually shown to those who deserve it - otherwise, fair game!!

  • reddawn posted at 9:42 am on Fri, Nov 8, 2013.

    reddawn Posts: 1709

    As you see here the old men are doing their best to silence Sandpoint Mom with demeaning words. Thinking by doing this will silence her. Just remember old men, we might not be on here, however we are out in and around town. We will become stronger, and you are responsible for doing that, so continue on your lack of respect for our women in town. It only makes us more powerful!

  • MichaelN posted at 8:21 am on Fri, Nov 8, 2013.

    MichaelN Posts: 502

    Bill would provide a side of reasoning to the counsel. But, from the top down, we are a divided country and it will take a lot to tear down the party lines. Look at this little community and the party line fight just on this topic alone.

    Bill does a good job of walking the line and usually speaks only after having thought first. I hope the mayor appoints him, but I have my doubts.

  • Old Cop posted at 6:45 am on Fri, Nov 8, 2013.

    Old Cop Posts: 3259

    I do believe that SdptMom lacks her quota of perceptiveness and if it were doubled it would still fall far short of normal

  • wilson posted at 10:17 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    wilson Posts: 1071

    Mommy - just what do you have against fair and balanced? Do you not think that open minds and discussions wouldn't serve the people better than a dictatorship?

  • Corey Greve posted at 7:27 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    Corey Greve Posts: 920

    Life is Good, there were only three openings up for election. The fourth is up for appointment by the mayor. If she does the right thing, she will appoint the fourth most vote getter. If she toes the "party line" she will appoint someone who is aligned perfectly with her ideals, but not necessarily the one with the most votes from the public.

    Yes, I am well aware that the city council is not required to have a party affiliation.

  • Corey Greve posted at 7:11 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    Corey Greve Posts: 920

    Do you suppose that maybe a"progressive team" might be a bit unbalanced in the legislative process? I would prefer to see representation from all sides of an issue that can work together to hash out the details rather than a one-sided push for a single agenda.

    I do wish that a few more conservative faces would find their way to the council. I have been to many meetings where some seemingly obvious questions went un-asked.

  • reddawn posted at 3:24 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    reddawn Posts: 1709

    @SdptMom, Wilson along with all the tea party spend all the time lessoning to Rush L. He is the true hater of Women. When your kids are gone from home take a look at his last words of hate for Women. That is why you always see these old men talking down to you. In 2016 they don't have a chance to win, however we need to start now with the replacement of Congress and the House of more Women who are more capable of working together. Please get your friends to vote. I am pleased who won. My experience is that Sandpoint has a lot of Women who are Democrats, Christians Democrats, that is why the numbers are so low. Now we need to have a powerful Democrat run in this state, We are for education, education in all areas, starting our kids younger in sex education in order to empower them. Great comments, it is time for women to have a voice here who are progressive. Thank You!

  • wilson posted at 2:26 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    wilson Posts: 1071

    WOW !! What a sweetheart----

  • SdptMom posted at 1:11 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    SdptMom Posts: 170

    Wilson.. I detest you're sarcastic postings! And I know of other who feel the same. You do NO favor to Bill Litzinger endorcing him .. especially with "fair + balanced" line known to be from the idiotic Fox-NEWS talking heads. [angry]

  • wilson posted at 11:53 am on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    wilson Posts: 1071

    Litsinger would be a wonderful addition to the Council - can we say "fair and balanced" -- Mommy -- just try not to think - could hurt yourself --

  • SdptMom posted at 9:32 am on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    SdptMom Posts: 170

    Don't think Litzinger would do well with this Council. Not that he isn't a descent guy, but he's shown himself to be lots of TALK, lots about presenting his rather high'n-mighty position .. shows too much ego for working in a progressive team. Radio is a good fit for him.[smile]

  • RichardD posted at 9:08 am on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    RichardD Posts: 2931

    Low turnout indeed. Th citizens of this burg should be ashamed.

  • life is good posted at 8:45 am on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    life is good Posts: 625

    Congratulations to the new Council members - Now it is going to be interesting to see how they pick a replacement for Aaron Qualls - I wonder why they didn't announce that there were 4 openings -- probably a legal glitch - anyway, I suppose the most fair and ethical way would be to install the next biggest vote getter - seems that would best serve the voters best --

  • Colin Cox posted at 6:40 am on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    Colin Cox Posts: 62

    An amazingly low turnout considering how much critcism the city council gets on this web page. I guess its easyer to complain then step away from the computer and participate. The ballot allowed voters to choose three candidates so by my calculations 898 people voted. You get what you deserve.

  • SdptMom posted at 8:14 pm on Wed, Nov 6, 2013.

    SdptMom Posts: 170

    So pleased with election results which retain Shelby Rognstad and seat Shannon Williamson + Bob Camp to City Council. Feeling good about Sandpoint continuing to develop in a family-friendly, progressive manner. LUCKY US!!! [beam]