By Lori Lindner
North Liberty Leader
JOHNSON COUNTY– Just 270 votes were cast in the Tiffin city council race, but they made up 19.72 percent of the town’s registered voters; it was a healthy turnout compared to some of Johnson County’s other small communities. Solon, for example, logged 4.5 percent turnout, while North Liberty only had 1.77 percent of its 10,015 registered voters turn in ballots, with the races in those two communities uncontested. Solon had three available council seats and just three candidates. Similarly, North Liberty had an open mayoral position and two council seats, but the only candidates on the ballot were incumbents Mayor Tom Salm and councilors Gerry Kuhl and Brian Wayson.
Tiffin’s contest was more rigorous. Incumbent mayor Steve Berner ran unopposed for his seat, but there were five official candidates for three open council positions. Returning to the council will be incumbents Jim Bartels, who earned 76 percent of the votes, and Jo Kahler, who garnered 61 percent. Mark Peterson, who previously served on Tiffin City Council, was the next-highest vote getter, with 59 percent and will return for a new four-year term.
Candidate Bruce Hecox earned a close 54 percent after Peterson. Royce Phillips, former Tiffin mayor and current city council member, received just 30 percent of the 270 votes cast and will be giving up his seat in December.