By BOB SHRALUKA
While no primary election will be held in Adams County this year, it should be remembered that both political parties have until July 5 to fill vacant spaces on their ballots.
At this time, four members of Decatur City Council — Republicans Ken Meyer and Matt Dyer, Democrats Charlie Cook and Bill Crone — have no opposition for the November vote. Nor do Mayor John Schultz and Clerk-Treasurer Phyllis Whitright, both Democrats.
The only person assured of having an opponent in November is Democrat Barb Engle, the sole at-large member of city council. She is being challenged by Republican newcomer Cam Collier.
Again, though, keep in mind that candidates can still be "slated" in empty ballot spots through July 5. Just a few months ago, county Republicans came up with two exceptionally strong candidates after the primary — DuWayne Herman and Stan Stoppenhagen — and both wound up winning their county council races, knocking off incumbents.
So none of the unopposed candidates in Decatur are counting their chickens at this time. That includes the unopposed candidates in Berne and Monroe.
As of last week, neither party chairman appeared to have anything going as far as new candidates.
"No, not right now. But you never know, someone may come forward. So we'll see," said Engle, the Democrats' chairwoman.
"It is possible that we may slate a few more candidates for the races coming up in November, but it is not a certainty," Republican party chief Rob Noetzel said. "If we can either identify someone or someone steps forward, who like our current candidates can do the job better than the person currently holding the seat, then we'll slate them in. If in our estimation they can't do the job better, then we won't slate them because it wouldn't do the community any good if we did."
Voting scheduled here
While there may be no primary election this May in Adams County, voting will still be held in Decatur and some surrounding areas as the North Adams Schools referendum goes on the ballot.
The North Adams board in January voted to place a measure on the primary election ballot that would impose a property tax rate not to exceed 20.45 cents on each $100 of assessed valuation — equivalent to an additional tax load of $204 annually on homes valued at $100,000. The referendum would generate $1.25 million annually for seven years.
Adams County Clerk Gayla Reinhart said voting will take place in 10 Decatur precincts plus five others; all, of course, fall within the North Adams district.
Voting will be simple: "yes" or "no."
The clerk said each precinct will have the usual five workers: two clerks, two judges and one inspector. Some savings will be realized, she added, in trimming the usual four weeks of early voting to just one.
By the numbers
• One of the more surprising success stories in these parts has been the parks and rec department's Dads and Daughters Dance staged annually at Riverside Center.
First held in 2005, the dance this year attracted 99 girls, by far an all-time record. Several of the dads brought more than one daughter, but the total number of participants had to be 150 to 175 people.
• Last weekend's prom dress giveaway was another success story, with 40 dresses handed out Sunday at First United Methodist Church, where the event was moved to accommodate more people. The first two years it was held at the church's Hope Chest downtown.
Kara Martin, who along with her sister, Kelly Colclasure, organized the first event, said they "would have liked to have given away more than 40, but we're thrilled that 40 girls have dresses to go to prom. We had a lot of young ladies donate dresses and I am so thankful to each one of them and all of the woman who volunteered to make the event possible."