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Bessemer elects city council, approves proposals


November 6, 2019

Kim E. Strom/Daily Globe

Michelle Kupitz of Bessemer votes in the general election at the Bessemer City Hall Tuesday.

BESSEMER - Four city council members sought re-election in Tuesday's general election along with one new candidate and a last-minute write-in candidate - all running for one of five seats on the council.

The top five vote getters were incumbents Terry Kryshak with 231 votes, Mayor Adam Zak with 222 votes, Louis Miskovich, 208, and Linda Nelson garnered 164 votes. Newcomer Bill McDonald received a total of 102 votes.

There were 66 write-in votes. Jim Prezkop had launched a write-in candidate, but it was unclear at press time what number of those votes were for Prezkop.

Incumbent Rob Coleman did not seek re-election.

The Bessemer city council also asked voters to approve six proposals to amend the city's charter, many of them consisting of general updates. All of them passed.

Proposal 1, which received 240 yes votes to 67 saying no, will eliminate the section that provides "there shall be no standing committees of the council" and change it so that committees may be formed for specific functions with committee members being appointed by the mayor.

Proposal 2 allows for a more flexible spending limit for the city manager. Instead of the $1,500 limit set in 1971, the change would allow the council to determine the spending limit at its discretion. A total of 222 yes votes to 85 no votes.

Proposal 3 changes the number of meeting days of the board of review to three instead of four. Yes votes totaled 256 and no votes totaled 49.

The next four proposals are general updates.

Proposal 4 allows flexibility in who may perform record keeping by not restricting that task to the assessor. It was 224 yes, to 73 saying no.

Proposal 5 will establish a local officer's compensation commission which will determine the salaries of all local elected officials. A total of 206 yes votes compared with a total of 90 no votes.

Proposal 6 simply deletes the health officer and chief of police from the list of council appointments since the city no longer has these positions. The yes votes totaled 258 as opposed to the no votes totaling 39.

Proposal 7 updates the charter to reference only one ward since the city no longer has multiple wards. Yes votes totaled 256 and no votes totaled 42.

School board

The voters in the Bessemer Area School District approved a proposal to reduce the number of board seats from seven to five effective Jan. 1, 2021. The two extra board seats were voted for in 2016 and expire at the end of December 2020.

The changes received 227 yes votes and 132 no votes.

Election results will be official following the canvassing at 1 p.m. today.


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