Voters recall Chadron mayor, vice-mayor

Voters recall Chadron mayor, vice-mayor

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Chadron voters decided to recall Mayor John Chizek and Vice-Mayor Steve Duncan Tuesday, in a hotly contested election that saw heavy canpaigning by both sides.

Unofficial totals show 690 voters favoring recall of Chizek to 474 voting to keep him in office.

For Duncan the total was 626 voting to recall and 521 voting to retain him on the council.

The total included 191 absentee voters, and amounted to about 34 percent of the community's 3434 eligible voters, according to figures from Dawes County officials.

Interest in the election was high, and County Clerk Cheryl Feist said she considered the turnout high for a special, one-issue election.

Chizek and Duncan have been criticized on a number of issues since early spring, when a group calling itself Concerned Citizens submitted petitions seeking removal of City Manager Sandy Powell.

An investigation into Powell's actions later found that she had not acted improperly on 17 specific issues, but the Concerned Citizens group criticized the findings, and said that Chizek had improperly influenced the result.

The group also charged that Chizek had improperly denied citizens the opportunity to speak before the council.

The election results won't be final until Friday, when the county election board will canvass the results. About 15 provisional ballots are not yet included in the voting totals, said Feist.

After the results are certified, the remaining three Chadron City Council members will have to select new members to fill out the remaining portions of the two men's terms. They will also have to select a new Mayor and Vice-Mayor, as both positions are chosen by a vote of the council.

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