One vote separation

One person’s vote can make a difference.
By one vote, the incumbent Uniopolis mayor was re-elected to his fifth term Tuesday night.
Uniopolis Mayor Bill Rolston received 44 votes and his opponent, Marilyn Fleck, who served on Uniopolis Village Council 43 votes, a difference of one vote and a little more than 1 percentage point, according to unofficial results from the Auglaize County Elections Board,
After the results were announced Tuesday, Bill Rolston, who has served as the village’s mayor since 1993 when he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of the previous mayor, said he expects this to be his last term.
He said there are still a few projects he would like to see through and he is hoping the economy is not too much of a deterrent in reaching those goals.
“I want to continue to help however I can,” Rolston said. “I enjoy helping people. Some things I may not agree with, but I do what I can for the town.
“I live here and its my life,” he said of Uniopolis.
Citing improvements made to the village sewer system, the annexation of 10 acres and demolition of outdated buildings, Rolston said he has worked hard during his time in office.
He vowed if re-elected to focus on village finances and finishing street work as finances allow, as well as bringing water treatment and natural gas into the village.
The 65-year-old began serving the village even before his tenure as mayor began, serving first as a village council member beginning in 1990.
Prior to the election, Rolston said he felt his experience made him the best candidate for the position.
He congratulated Fleck for the strong run she had against him for the position.
At 68, Fleck served as a member of the village’s council from 1994 to 2003 before stepping down due to an accident. In June, she returned to the council after being appointed to fill a vacant seat.
On Tuesday night, the retired nurse said she of course was disappointed by the results, but was waiting to see how provisional ballots may change the close numbers.
“I am honored that 43 people had that much confidence in me to vote for me for mayor,” Fleck said.
Fleck said she ran because people had mentioned to her that it was time for a change. She was pleased the race was so close and that she got so much support.
With a couple years left on the council seat to which she was appointed, Fleck said she plans to continue making a difference in the village there.
While she has no plans to make another run for mayor, she said she would serve on council as long as she is able.
“The village does need work and I’m going to keep working on it through council,” Fleck said. “Uniopolis is very important to me.
“I’ve lived here 47 years,” she said. “My husband and I raised our three sons here.”
With grandchildren now growing up in the village, Fleck said it remains important to her.
“I came here in 1964 and I’ve lived here ever since,” Fleck said. “It’s a good place to raise a family.”
She said she enjoys serving on council and listening to people’s concerns, to see if she can help solve their problems.
In running for mayor, Fleck said she was dedicated to the village and vowed to make herself available day or night to residents.
She planned to spend limited village funds efficiently, making improvements to the village while staying in budget and focus on finishing projects that are started.
There are three provisional ballots to be counted by Nov. 23.
In other Uniopolis races, Elaine Wenning was elected to serve on council with 75 votes. She was running unopposed.
Mary Webb, with 69 votes, and Karen Spencer, with 56 votes, were both elected as members of the Board of Trustees of Public Affairs for the village. They faced no opposition.