Three who campaigned together gain Talent council seats
Three candidates who united to campaign together due to common interests were elected to Talent City Council Tuesday with double-digit percentage margins over their opponents.
Incumbent Jason Clark and first-time council candidates Ana Byers and Derek Volkart won four-year seats on the council. Among goals the trio championed was bringing back residents who wanted to return to town after the Sept. 8 Almeda fire, which destroyed 700 residences in the city.
In 8 p.m. election results, Clark had 1,907 votes for 72%, compared with 27% for Ron Timen, who got 714 votes in the race for Position 6.
Byers had 64% of the vote against 36% for David Pastizzo in the race for Position 2, now held by Emily Berlant, who did not seek re-election. Byers garnered 1,721 votes versus 960 for Pastizzo, who is on the Planning Commission.
In the race for Position 4, Volkart received 63% of the votes or 1,655, compared with 36% or 973 votes for incumbent John Harrison. Volkart serves on the city Planning Commission.
Byers, Clark and Volkart held joint events and published campaign literature together.
“We reached out to a lot of the community with some events at the Depot Building doing interaction with folks to communicate,” said Clark. “Together we were united in our values and our approach. It made sense for us to come together.”
Volkart said he felt the trio’s positive message of restoration resonated with the community.
“I really didn’t know what to expect with the challenges presented to our city,” said Volkart. “I think (the election) is an endorsement of the concept of unity to restore our community.”
“I think the voters can see it’s time for us to unite and restore our community,” said Clark. “We have a lot of work ahead of us. We have a lot of strong values and good ideas to bring to the table.”
Harrison was elected to a four-year term in 2016. A number of people, including current councilors Stephanie Dolan and Daria Land, asked him to seek re-election. The three councilors have often voted together, opposed by three others, leaving the deciding vote to Mayor Darby Ayers-Flood, Harrison said.
Reach Ashland freelance writer Tony Boom at firstname.lastname@example.org.