Monday, June 27, 2022

After a series of resignations, Belville fills board with returning officials

(From left) Commissioner Chuck Bost, David Long, Mayor Mike Allen, Commissioner Ryan Merrill, and Morgan Mehler at Belville’s last regular meeting of the year. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Town of Belville)

BELVILLE — Following a string of resignations, Belville has a new board — and, for the first time in recent years, a majority of commissioners were elected, not appointed.

At the small town’s last regular meeting in December, two elected officials were sworn in and two returning officials were appointed, finally delivering elected representation to the town’s residents.

Before last week’s meeting, Mayor Mike Allen was the only sitting board member who had been duly elected to his seat. All other seats were filled by appointees.

Filling out seats

This November, each seat on the five-member board of commissioners was up for election. Mayor Allen, who has served the town as mayor since 2012, was re-elected to a two-year term after running an uncontested race in November.

Commissioner Morgan Mehler was the first-place finisher in this year’s election for an open seat he filed for. Mehler also earned the most votes for an unexpired seat in the town. At the town’s Dec. 16 meeting, Mehler chose the open seat he earned and will serve a four-year term.

Before the election, Mehler was filling out former Commissioner Joe Breault’s seat. Breault resigned in July 2018 for health reasons; Mehler was appointed the next month.

Before electionNew board 
Mike Allen, elected 2017Mike Allen, re-elected 2019
Donna Sheridan, elected 2017; died July 2018; David Long appointed August 2018Ryan Merrill, appointed, seat expires 2021
Joe Breault, elected 2015; resigned July 2018; Morgan Mehler appointed August 2018Morgan Mehler, elected for a four-year term, seat expires 2023
Pat O’Bryant, elected 2015; resigned February 2018; Kent Goodman appointed March 2018Chuck Bost, elected for a four-year term, seat expires 2023
Noreen Slattery, elected 2017; resigned August 2019David Long, appointed, seat expires 2021

Chuck Bost, a former town Commissioner who resigned halfway through his term in 2013, earned the second-most votes behind Mehler for the second open seat on the board. Bost was sworn in to serve a four-year term.

On the ballot, voters had to fill in write-in candidates to cast votes for an unexpired term left vacant by former Commissioner Donna Sheridan, who passed away in July 2018.

No one formally filed to run for the seat.

Election results for the seat show Mehler earning the most write-in votes; miscellaneous (an assortment of individuals) came in second; Ryan Merrill came in third; Chuck Bost came in fourth.

Merril campaigned for the town’s open seat but earned the third-most votes behind Bost and Mehler. The board opted to appoint Merrill to serve a two-year term to serve the unexpired seat that appeared on the ballot.

Belville Commissioners also appointed David Long — who did not file for election nor did his name appear as a ranking write-in candidate — to serve the remainder of former Commissioner Noreen Slattery’s term. Long was already serving the board through the late Sheridan’s seat. Now, Long will serve the remainder of Slattery’s term. Slattery resigned in August 2019.

Outgoing Commissioner Kent Goodman, appointed in 2018 to serve the remainder of former Commissioner Pat O’Bryant’s term, was named the town’s Community Liaison at the mid-December meeting.


Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee Still at johanna@localvoicemedia.com

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