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Mayor, allies defeat critics

Bates wins with two-thirds of vote

Carl Bates
Carl Bates

MOUNT CARROLL – Mayor Carl Bates and his City Council allies won re-election Tuesday, defeating those who questioned the city’s handling of finances.

Bates prevailed with 472 votes, or 68 percent, to Alderman Bob Sisler’s 219 votes, or 32 percent.

For city clerk, incumbent Julie Cuckler defeated former Alderwoman Nina Cooper with 505 votes, or 74 percent, to 175 votes, or 26 percent.

In Ward 1, Alderman Doug Bergren beat City Hall critic Jeanne Schnitzler, getting 143 votes, or 64 percent, to Schnitzler’s 79 votes, or 36 percent.

In Ward 2, Alderwoman Doris Bork, a critic of the mayor, went down in defeat to Joe Grim. He received 100 votes, or 57 percent, to her 41 votes, or 24 percent. Wayne Knight drew 33 votes, or 19 percent.

In Ward 3, Mike Risko won in a landslide with 193 votes, or 67 percent, to city critic Percy Vesperman’s 95 votes, or 33 percent.

According to the county, 691 people voted in the mayoral race, about a third of the city’s entire population.

The campaign for mayor was heated, with letters to the editor about the race filling up Carroll County newspapers.

Sisler and his allies, Bork and Cooper, have squared off against Bates and the City Council majority.

More than 2 years ago, Bork and Cooper looked at payroll records and said they found that some employees recorded more hours on their time sheets than the time clock showed.

Their investigation angered the council majority, and Cooper lost her bid for re-election some months later.

After that, Sisler joined Bork and Cooper in questioning city finances.

Last year, Bork, Cooper and Sisler questioned the city’s handling of a loan to a nonprofit group. For a year, they noted, the group’s nonprofit status had lapsed with the state.

They also inquired why the size of the cemetery endowment fund went up and down, even though it received no donations.

More recently, the trio questioned the unexplained appearance of $8,000 in the school crossing guard fund in December. In 2008, the City Council eliminated that fund.

“Miraculously, 4 years later, the $8,000 showed up,” Sisler said at a recent council meeting.

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