PALMER — Edna DeVries will serve another term as Palmer’s mayor.
The incumbent edged challenger Jim Cooper by only three votes. DeVries finished with 267 total votes in the race that was made official Friday afternoon at Palmer City Hall. Cooper, a former Palmer mayor, finished with 264 votes.
Jill Valerius finished with the most votes in the four-way race for a pair of three-year seats on the Palmer City Council, earning 263. Richard Best, a former council member, is also back on the council after receiving 257 votes. David Fuller lost his seat, finishing with 161 votes. Challenger Lisa Albert-Konecky was fourth in the race with 145 votes.
Another incumbent, Steve Carrington, will also return to the council, winning the race for the seat with a two-year term. Challenger Lee Henrikson finished with 235 votes.
The vote for term limits was an overwhelming yes, with 408 votes. There were 114 votes for no to term limits.
The mayor and council races were too close to call until Friday. A total of 419 ballots have been counted, and 141 still could be considered Friday afternoon before the races become official.
As of election night, DeVries has 37.6 percent of the vote. Cooper had 34 percent. DeVries led Cooper 209-190 on election night. Cooper held a seven-vote lead when the first batch of results were released at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Best (212) and Valerius (190) added to their advantage as late results poured in Tuesday. Fuller (119) and Albert-Konecky (97) trailed election night.
Carrington (212) extended his lead over Henrikson (166) Tuesday night.
Late Tuesday night, Best was happy to see the number of votes he had received, but discouraged at the low voter turnout in the city of Palmer. Only 8.78 percent of registered voters, 419 of the 4,772 within city limits.
“It’s a little bittersweet. Again, we find ourselves with a diminished participation level and that’s always disheartening,” said Best.
Best noted the economic difficulties suffered at the state level, and was thankful that Palmer has often remained frugal over the years. Best hopes to manage the needs of the citizens and the resources that the city can provide over his three-year term.
“I’m pleased to be serving the community of Palmer again on city council,” said Best.
This is a developing story. Continue too see frontiersman.com for more.