Clerk-Treasurer Marcie Conkle congratulates Mayor Todd Fiandt for winning a second term in Tuesday’s Garrett city election.

Referendum voters keep Hamilton schools open

HAMILTON — Hamilton Community schools will remain open after voters in the school district voted with a resounding “yes” on a referendum to continue to impose a property tax of up to 44 cents per $100 of property value to operate the schools.

The referendum appeared on Tuesday’s election ballot. The supplemental tax rate will continue for eight years and was deemed necessary to ensure the schools’ doors stay open.

The district’s current 44-cent operating referendum tax rate was approved in November 2012 and expires at the end of this year.

A total of 804 votes were cast in favor of the referendum, with 344 opposed.

Republican Ley elected next mayor of Auburn

AUBURN — Republican Mike Ley won election as Auburn’s next mayor Tuesday, capturing 56% of the votes to outpace Democrat Sarah Payne.

In the other only other contested race for city office, Republican Wayne Madden won re-election to the District 1 seat on the Auburn Common Council. Madden received 58% of the votes to hold off Democratic challenger Nora Schwartz.

Ley, 62, will take office Jan. 1, replacing Norm Yoder, who is retiring after 20 years in the mayor’s chair.

During his campaign, Ley emphasized his experience as a former building administrator for the city from 1986-1999. He said during his tenure with the city, he served as an assistant to Mayor Norman Rohm.

Payne, 42, campaigned on the strength of her experience with Auburn Main Street, an organization that has promoted several events and improvements in downtown Auburn. She works with the Parkview DeKalb Foundation, based at Parkview DeKalb Hospital in Auburn.

Garrett voters keep Fiandt as city’s mayor

GARRETT — With 61.4% of the vote, Garrett Mayor Todd Fiandt was reelected to a second term in Tuesday’s municipal election over Republican challenger Larry Getts. The final tally saw Fiandt earning 595 votes and Getts receiving 374.

Fiandt campaigned on accomplishments his administration has made with Garrett streets, sidewalks, parks and downtown and the addition of several small businesses in the city.

Getts ran a campaign pledging to create “a greater Garrett,” emphasizing park improvements and other amenities and engaging citizens in decision-making.

Handshoe leads GOP sweep of Kendallville

KENDALLVILLE — For the first time in 60 years, Republicans hold all the city offices in Kendallville.

Voters opted to keep a full roster of Republican leaders in Kendallville, selecting incumbents Suzanne Handshoe, Regan Ford and Amy Ballard for mayor, city council at-large and city council District 3, respectively.

Handshoe, whom voters are sending to her fifth term, defeated Democrat Tim Schlotter with 69.8% of the vote.

For council-at large, Ford locked in his fourth term, collecting 63.7% of ballots cast and defeating Democrat Tony Mark.

And in the 3rd District — which covers the area roughly between Wayne Street, Riley Street, Iddings Street and Allen Chapel Road — voters opted to give Ballard her first full term on the council with 68.3% over Sachiko Janek.

Hickman wins fifth term as mayor of Angola

ANGOLA — Angola’s voters are sending Democratic Mayor Dick Hickman back to City Hall for a fifth full term.

Coming up on the short end was Angola Common Councilman Joe Hysong, a Republican, by a 834-641 tally, or 57% to 43%.

At Democratic headquarters on the Public Square, a large crowd of Hickman supporters erupted when the vote tally was announced by Democratic Party Chairman Elten Powers. As Hickman embraced his wife, Lynne, he began tearing up, as did many of his supporters in the room.

Hickman has been in office since early 2001 following the death of Angola Mayor Bill Selman, who was in his third term as mayor. Selman was the first Democrat elected as mayor since the 1920s, the only other time a Democrat held the office, which was for one term. With Hickman’s appointment and subsequent reelections, the Democratic Party has held the seat for 28 years.

Graden to lead Noble County foundation

LIGONIER — The Community Foundation of Noble County announced Tuesday that its current leader is leaving for a job at a foundation in Kendallville, and a Kendallville banker is heading west to take over the lead.

The Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Noble County said Brad Graden has been selected as its new executive director. Graden will begin in the position later this month.

He will succeed former Executive Director Jenna Ott, who recently resigned to pursue a new opportunity as the vice president of programs at the Dekko Foundation.

A graduate of East Noble High School, and a long-time resident of Noble County, Graden works as a loan officer at Campbell & Fetter Bank. Before joining Campbell & Fetter, Graden coordinated professional development for the Huntington County Community School Corp., worked as the Director of Quality Programs & Assessment at Central Noble schools, and spent a short time as executive director of the Cole Center Family YMCA.

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