GOLD HILL — Two City Council seats will remain vacant after longtime volunteers named as write-ins by voters in the May 18 election turned down the job.

GOLD HILL — Two City Council seats will remain vacant after longtime volunteers named as write-ins by voters in the May 18 election turned down the job.

Former Mayor Gus Wolf and Cheryl Joseph won eight and six votes, respectively, out of 53 ballots cast. A third resident, David Butts, garnered five votes. Dozens of others received one, two or three votes.

Wolf, who retired from city politics more than a year ago after nearly two decades in public service, said he wanted to remain out of politics to continue to focus on his business and family.

Gold Hill has a city council of six people, plus the mayor, when all its seats are filled.

In March, Wolf offered to serve until last week's election, when the seats could be filled, but council members declined the offer when Wolf said he would not stay on long-term if elected this month.

"I don't know why, but I always get written in. I guess they either love you or they hate you, but I'm not sure, usually, which it is for me," Wolf said with a laugh.

"All I know is that if I take it, I'll have to get a divorce and move out of the city anyway."

Joseph said she, too, would focus on existing commitments in the small town.

"I appreciate people's vote of confidence but I think my time spent with CanDo is where I want to spend my volunteer time," she said.

Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker announced the unofficial results Tuesday. Official results won't be released for up to two weeks while some ballot signatures are verified.

Under election law, the seat does not automatically default to write-ins who come in third and fourth. If the top two vote-getters decline, the city can offer the seats to others or leave them vacant until the next election.

The two vacancies were created in recent months by resignation. Councilwoman Kathleen Price moved out of town last winter. Councilwoman Judi Holdeman, following heated discussions over the termination of Public Works Director Bob Butler, resigned in April.

Walker said final certification of the election likely would take place by June 7.

Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. E-mail her at buffypollock@juno.com.