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Vote ends with name pulled from jar

Incumbent Henry DeCorte has retained his seat on the Washington County Water district board.

Tuesday night, Janet Romero pulled DeCorte’s name out of a plastic mayonnaise jar containing ten scraps of paper, five for each of the two candidates, while audience members slapped their hands on their knees in a mock drum roll as the drawing.

DeCorte tied board secretary and candidate John A. Stark with 36 votes each after the November election was certified Tuesday, and the board was mandated to hold a drawing to determine just who would take the fifth and final seat.



Board members briefly debated as to whether the drawing should even be held, because DeCorte was on vacation in Yosemite and was unable to attend. Merv Lee, who was representing DeCorte at the meeting, asked for a postponement but reconsidered when the board voted to proceed after a lengthy debate.

“I’m a happy man now,” said Lee after the draw. “Henry just wanted to look John in the eye and shake his hand during the vote.”




Stark, the board’s secretary, was glad to see the contest end. “It got really dragged out, and I got real tired,” he said, noting he wasn’t particularly concerned about the outcome.

“I’ve been OK with it for weeks now.”

The election in the tiny town of Washington was the community’s first in at least 20 years. The Washington County Water District serves as the town’s only elected board, overseeing the town’s water supply which flows from nearby Canyon Creek. It also serves as the umbrella agency for the town’s volunteer fire department.

DeCorte joins new member Lyla J. Tracy, a retired gold mine manager, and incumbent George Price as the recipients of seats on the board, which includes Pat McIntosh and Linda Krausch.

The water board recently presided over the recent installation of a 600-foot, $300,000 steel flume to carry water from Canyon Creek to local residents, replacing a 90-year-old wooden one.

The rare election cost the town approximately $1,500.


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