Hawley wins Vergennes city council runoff

VERGENNES — Former longtime Vergennes City Manager Mel Hawley defeated former city Alderman David Small in Tuesday’s runoff election, 427-379, for a council seat that carries a term that runs through this March.
Turnout was about 39%, even higher than the Sept. 22 election in which Hawley originally defeated Small by one vote, 339-338, for one of four council seats on the ballot that day. Vergennes City Clerk Britney Aube said a number of voters came in and registered during the course of the day and then cast their ballots. 
A recount on Sept. 25 uncovered a Sept. 22 hand-counting error and produced a 339-339 tie between the two candidates, and city officials scheduled this Tuesday’s election to add the missing seventh member of the Vergennes council. 
The council could not meet at all following the resignations of four members this past summer, actions that came after a controversial July 16 council meeting. It had been operating with four members since the Sept. 22 election.
Hawley will swing into action quickly: The council is set to discuss the employment status of City Manager Dan Hofman at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in what is scheduled to be the third closed-door session on that topic in nine days. 
The candidates were both at the polling station in the city’s fire station on Tuesday evening and treated each other with respect and humor as votes were counted. 
The Independent will publish a complete article on the election in print on Thursday, with remarks from Hawley and Small. 

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