By SCOTT AUST
Just 42 votes separated the top four candidates for the Garden City Commission on Tuesday night, and just three votes separated third place from fourth place.
Tallies won't be official until the vote is canvassed Monday, but unofficial results had newcomer Janet Doll finishing with 604 votes, incumbent Chris Law with 593, and Troy Unruh with 565. Incumbent Melvin Dale, who was appointed to the commission in January, just missed the cut, finishing fourth with 562 votes. Retired teacher Harold Starr finished in fifth with 135 votes.
Three seats were available. By finishing in the top two, Doll and Law will receive four-year terms on the commission, while Unruh will serve a two-year term.
Doll was shocked about receiving the most votes and struggled to comment on the win.
"The whole race was very, very close," she said.
Doll said she was excited about the prospect of being on the commission and looked forward to working with city staff.
"I feel our city staff is outstanding, and we've been fortunate with previous commissions and how they've handled growth. I think our city is ready to become bigger and better," she said.
Law, who just finished a two-year term, said there were a lot of good candidates this year.
"I thought any combination of the four or five could take it. You could throw any combination out there, and they were all viable," he said. "I know all the people running and thought they could all do a good job."
In coming months, Law said, he looks forward to being a part of additional retail growth in the city and in helping bring in more non-retail type development.
"I think there's some real opportunities for that, and I'd like to see it come to fruition," he said. "We've got a lot of good people working on that."
Dale, who has been on the commission for just three months, was a bit disappointed he didn't do as well as he thought he would.
"I really don't know what I could have done different," he said. "I canvassed the town pretty good, beat on a lot of doors, put out a lot of signs, talked to a lot of people. I guess it just wasn't there. The others did just as much. I guess it's the way it plays out."
Unruh was excited when told of the election results, and said he looked forward to getting more involved in city business.
"I'm grateful for all the people who supported me," he said. "I'm excited about serving on the commission. I want to make sure I complement what's going on already."
Unruh said the close election shows there were good candidates this year.