Lutz declines recount

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 30, 2007

Wanting Ironton City Council to be able to get on with business, Council candidate Mike Lutz has asked that a recount not be performed on his behalf.

“I have accepted the results of the race as they stand,” he said.

Lutz and Councilman Chuck O’Leary were within seven votes after the results of the Nov. 6 election were made official.

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Because the votes were within a margin of one half of one percent, state law requires an automatic recount.

The trouble is that the recount is going to take place Monday, Dec. 3 and City Council is being sworn in, as per the city charter on Dec. 1, which falls on Saturday.

Without an official winner, neither O’Leary nor Lutz could be sworn in.

Lutz said he didn’t want that and it isn’t that he is uninterested in being on council.

“I’m accepting the results so the board of elections doesn’t have to do the recount and they don’t have to pay for the cost of a recount,” he said. “I want council to be able to get ahead with their business without any distractions leftover from the elections.”

There is a chance that Lutz could end up on City Council anyway. The city charter states that if there is a vacancy on the council, members can appoint someone to fill the open seat.

And while the charter doesn’t specify how they chose a councilman, traditionally it has been the person who received the next highest amount of votes for the position in the last general election. There is an open seat because Councilman Rich Blankenship won the race for city mayor.

“I am hoping they do ask,” Lutz said. “My intentions are still the same, I want to serve Ironton and make it a safe place to live, work and do business.”

Lutz said if the recount wasn’t automatic, he wouldn’t have requested one.

“I trust the system,” he said.