Last week’s elections prove that every vote does count

\Call the Tune\ by Mike Anthony

\”Call the Tune\” by Mike Anthony

Last week’s elections proved more than ever that every vote counts.

Consider the closeness of many of the races that were decided April 5 by some of the narrowest margins of victory we’ve ever seen in south county.

In Lindbergh, six candidates were seeking election to three seats on the Board of Education.

Incumbents Kathy Kienstra and Don Bee were elected to their second three-year terms on the school board.

Also elected to the school board was former Democratic state Rep. Vicki Lorenz Englund. Just 319 votes separated Englund, who received 3,711 votes, and fourth-place finisher Joseph Sartorius, who garnered 3,392 votes, according to the unofficial election results.

The Mehlville Board of Education had nine candidates vying for three seats in last week’s election.

Elaine Powers, Rich Franz and Mark Stoner were the top vote-getters. Just 145 votes separated Stoner, who received 3,802 votes, and the fourth-place finisher David Wessel, who garnered 3,657 votes.

In Green Park, a mere 10 votes decided the outcome of the city’s Ward 2 aldermanic race.

Incumbent Tim Thuston won election to his third, two-year term on the Board of Aldermen with 98 votes while challenger Vicki Gamache received 88 votes.

In the Mehlville Fire Protection District, Board of Directors Chairman Aaron Hilmer narrowly won re-election over challenger Michael Klund.

Hilmer was seeking his second six-year term on the Board of Directors. He was elected to the fire board in April 2005 after running on a reform platform with Bonnie Stegman, who currently serves as board treasurer.

In last week’s election, Hilmer prevailed over Klund by 213 votes. Hilmer received 7,418 votes while Klund garnered 7,205 votes.

A third candidate, R.L. Praprotnik received 527 votes.

Praprotnik announced in February that he was withdrawing from the race and supporting Hilmer though his name remained on the ballot.

Regardless of your feelings about whether Hilmer or Klund is the best candidate to serve on the MFPD Board of Directors, the closeness of this race and some of the others last week proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that every vote counts.

We in the United States have the constitutional right to vote in free and open elections. But it goes much further than that. While we have the right to vote, we also have a duty to vote.