Mont Alto government preserved by write-ins

November 06, 1997


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

MONT ALTO, Pa. - There were no candidates on the ballot for the Mont Alto Borough Council election Tuesday, but more than 40 percent of the borough's voters turned out for a write-in vote that guarantees the local government will continue to function.

The official vote count won't be available until after Friday, when the official canvass is taken.

The seats of all seven council members and the mayor were open. Four council seats were for four-year terms and three were for two years.

The three highest write-in vote getters were Paul E. Nunemaker, whose unofficial combined four- and two-year totals were 186 votes; Michael Gossard, 170 votes; and David Meeder, 129 votes.


All three had launched write-in campaigns.

According to Nunemaker, county election officials will send all eligible write-in candidates letters telling them which seats they can take.

"We'll be given a choice of how many years we want to serve. I plan on taking a four-year term," Nunemaker said.

Incumbent council members Tom Lowson, Mary Lowson and Robert S. Rock did not run, but all won enough votes to stay on the council if they choose to, according to unofficial results.

Tom Lowson, who serves as council president, also won the most write-in votes for mayor - eight - but he said he will not take the job. He and Mary Lowson, his wife, said they would stay on the council to continue some unfinished business.

Mary Lowson said she decided not to seek re-election because there were too many aggravations. She said things may be different now that new members are coming on.

Rock could not be reached Wednesday.

Incumbent Marlet Rhone ended up with enough write-in votes to be among the seven successful candidates to win a seat.

In the mayoral race, three people, including Rock, Peggy Dawson and incumbent Mayor Frank Gilreath, received four votes each. Gilreath has said he won't serve another term.

Staat Stiemest, Mont Alto election judge, said nearly 300 voters wrote in names. He said it was the biggest election in his eight years in office.

He also said it was one of the longest vote counts.

"It took until 1:25 a.m. to count the ballots, then we had to take them to the county courthouse in Chambersburg and we didn't leave there until 2:35 a.m.," Stiemest said.

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