Seitz Responds To Buchta’s Comments In Herald Story

JASPER (NNDC) – Jasper mayor Terry Seitz, who’s quest for a second term in office remains in limbo, has responded to comments made by a current city council who may be put in position to determine whether or not Seitz gets a second four years in office.

The Dubois County Herald published a story Thursday after asking most of the current sitting councilmen for their opinions on possibly having to break the tie between Seitz and Democratic challenger Wayne Schuetter.

Most of those who talked with the Herald voiced their uneasiness about being put in the position of having to decide the election.  This is the first time in the history of Dubois County politics a municipal election has resulted in a tie, putting the local election process into unchartered waters.   Most of the councilmen expressed disappointment of the low turnout (36%) for the election.

The only local election on record that ended with a tie was back in 1950.  Then Democrat Jennings Hoffman and Republican Ray Kieffner each received 186 votes in the election for Boone Township Trustee.

State statute is very clear regarding the resolution of municipal election ties today; and how the Jasper Mayoral tie must be resolved.   It appears the decision will come down to a vote of the current city council.

Dubois County Clerk Bridgette Jarboe says the election has been officially certified by her office and that city officials have been formally notified by her office of the results.

If the election comes down to a vote of the current council, current councilman Randy Buchta will have a vote even though he will not be on the council after January 1st.  the three-term councilman lost his re-election effort Tuesday.

In the Herald article, Buchta, a Democrat, said he would vote for Schuetter.  Buchta also shared with the Herald some of the reasons why he would vote for Schuetter saying, “There are so many things that go on behind the scenes that the public doesn’t know,” Buchta said. “(Seitz) has good intentions, but the way he goes about it isn’t right. I really believe that there were things going on that if the people knew, they would have voted against him; I guarantee you that.”

Buchta also told the Herald, he is “hating” the fact that he and the council are being put into a position of having to decide who will occupy the Mayor’s office come January.

Seitz in a statement sent from his campaign, responded to Buchta’s comments saying, “As a private citizen of Jasper I chose to enter public life four years ago to become mayor of the city I love. Along the way, each of my campaigns have been conducted respectfully and ethically.

After a first term in office I stand in the unprecedented position of being in a tie vote for re-election. The potential tiebreaking action is a vote by our Common Council.

In an article published by The Herald on Thursday, November 5, Councilman Randy Buchta made insinuations calling into question my integrity – not as a candidate – but as your Mayor. Charges such as these crossed a line from a campaign to an egregious assault on the city’s highest office. Unfortunately, these accusations insult not only me, but my entire family, and they cannot be dismissed lightly.

Perhaps Councilman Buchta is just disappointed he lost on Tuesday. Or perhaps he actually meant what he was quoted to have said.

Regardless, the allegations are defaming and I am calling for him to make a public retraction and to issue a public apology to me, my family, and the citizens of Jasper we both represent.”

No comment yet from Buchta on Seitz’s statement.

As of Wednesday evening, neither Seitz, nor Schuetter, nor their respective party chairmen have filed a formal recount petition.  That must be done by November 17th.

If a recount is not request, or if a recount also ends in a tie, the city council will have to break the tie in a vote which must take place by December 31st.

NewsNow Dubois County has been told a shooting match is not an option.


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