GREENFIELD — Incumbent Kerry Grass earned his third term on Greenfield City Council Tuesday night after he defeated challenger Donna Steele with about 60 percent of the votes to win the District 5 race.
After results funneled in at the Hancock County Courthouse Annex, Grass, a Republican, thanked his constituents for their support.
Grass, a lifelong Hancock County resident, already has served for eight years on the council, for which he currently serves as president and oversees the budget process. He said he’s eager to continue to make public safety a priority and to serve the 2,600 residents on the city’s south side whom he represents.
“I’m looking forward to spending the next four years listening to my constituents … and making Greenfield a great place to live and work,” said Grass, who received 249 votes to Steele’s 165.
As Grass worked to win the support of Greenfield citizens, he stressed the work the council has done under his leadership; he said he is most proud of balancing the city’s budget and strengthening local public safety initiatives by adding staff to the police and fire departments.
He touted city accomplishments, including the Potts Ditch tunnel relocation project, which is nearing completion, and the number of new and current businesses that have expanded in Greenfield during his tenure.
He said that during the next four years he’ll maintain the dedication and commitment to the city and its residents that citizens have been able to rely on during the past eight years.
Though Steele, an independent, lost the election, she said she feels positive about the support she received on the road to the polls and promised to stay involved in the community. Her run for elected office taught her a lot about Greenfield, and she’ll return to the organizations she’s part of with a renewed energy and new knowledge, she said.
“Nothing’s going to change for me,” said Steele, a first-time candidate who has lived in the county for about five years. “It has strengthened the relationships I have at the city level, so hopefully, it will make the work I do in the future even more meaningful.”
She said the results were a win-win for everyone. She got the chance to meet many of her neighbors and learn about the issues important to them; Grass was afforded the same experience, she said.
Both candidates spent most of their day at the courthouse annex meeting with voters and thanking them for their support and vote. After the results came in, Steele walked across the room to congratulate her opponent, and the candidates, each wearing shirts supporting their campaign, hugged.
Throughout the night, Grass was congratulated on his win by Republican Party faithfuls who wore T-shirts in support of him.
Those working for the county’s election office said the polls stayed pretty busy throughout the day. Nearly 415 residents casts ballots for Steele and Grass.
Local Greenfield resident Dorthy Vandenbark said she always votes, regardless of the race, and she was happy to vote in the city council race Tuesday.
“It’s important to vote. If you are going to live here, you need to vote for the one you think is right,” she said.
Greenfield City Council;District 5
Kerry Grass, R;249
Donna Steele, I;165