The Chaska City Council officially certified the results of the 2019 Special Election, during its May 20 meeting.
Taylor Hubbard will officially join the council on June 3 to represent Ward 2.
State statute directs there be a seven-day period in which candidates can request a recount, City Administrator Matt Podhradsky wrote in a report to the council. Councilor Mike Huang, who was re-elected to Ward 4, recused himself from the action.
During the meeting, Podhradsky said there was about a 6% turnout in both wards 2 and 4. In total, there were 330 votes cast in Ward 2 and 226 in Ward 4. The total cost of the May 14 election was $12,500, which doesn’t include time staff spent on the election.
“These numbers are kind of embarrassing,” said Mayor Mark Windschitl. “I’m not sure we truly won anything by that small of a turnout.”
Windschitl noted the city has had to postpone its staff retreat and a meeting with the League of Minnesota Cities.
“It has slowed a ton of things down because we didn’t know where we were going to be,” he said.
“I had a gentleman stand here and tell me that it’s our job to do a special election — it’s not. We did things that aren’t in our wheelhouse to do,” Windschitl continued, adding city staff had to perform extra duties for it.
Councilor McKayla Hatfield said she didn’t regret her decision to call for a special election, but she was disappointed with the turnout.
“I am, for lack of a better term, disappointed and all those emails that flooded my inbox about this, that there wasn’t that same fervor from those people to get their neighbors out to vote,” she said, also commending the work of city staff to get the word out about the special election.
“We can only do so much. It’s really the residents that have to drive that and be part of the community,” Hatfield said.
“I really hope that we look back and we learned a lesson. I’m not sure that this is the way to go,” Windschitl said. “I’m happy we are full, we can move on and move forward.”
At the end of the meeting, Windschitl commended Hubbard and Huang on their wins.