Ken Lee 404
George Saraf 181
Scott Morgan 384
Levi Scott 373
Frank Owens 283
Teresa Witt 238
Joe Atkins 234
It was the incumbents’ night at the polls as Mayor Ken Lee retained his seat along with current councilmen, Scott Morgan and Levi Scott.
Lee garnered 404 votes to challenger and former mayor George Saraf’s 181.
Final counting of provisional votes on Wednesday showed Scott with 384 votes, Morgan with 373 and former councilman Frank Owens with 283, enough to put him back on the council.
Teresa Witt had 238 votes and Joe Atkins had 234. Altogether, there were 561 votes cast at the polls on Tuesday, with 31 absentee or early ballots and six provisional votes.
There were three seats up for election when Ken Baxley decided not to seek re-election.
“I’m glad to be back,” said Owens. “We’ve got some stuff we need to do, and it might be on the way already. In at least four years, we need to get that police department back to where people think the best of them, not like it’s been in the last year or two.
“And maybe (Chief Mike) Bohannon is the right man for the job. I hope he is.”
Owens also said he planned to work on the city’s zoning and on improving relations with the county.
“Maybe we can meet with the county and actually talk like both sides have got good sense instead of like a bunch of kids,” he said. “And that’s been happening for years and years, since we started fighting the water, eight or nine years ago.”
Scott said Owens will be an asset to the council.
“I think with the council we’ve got now, we can continue on with the progress we’ve been making,” he said. “I think Frank will be an asset here. I served with Frank before and he was good to work with. He listens, and that’s the key.”
Before and after the results were announced, Lee and Saraf talked and laughed amicably.
“I’m very proud of the outcome and very honored to be able to serve the citizens of this city again for another term,” Lee said. “I’m looking forward to getting busy right away. We’ve got a lot to do and I’m sure over the next four years, we’ll be able to accomplish a lot of beneficial things for the citizens of this city. I’m very honored.”
Saraf, who lost his seat to Lee in the 2005 election, said: “I’ve been in Rincon since 1968 and I got involved in politics in the late ’70’s. I ran for office in ’81 and it’s been a run ever since. And a lot of the major stuff that’s gone on in the city, I’ve had a lot to do with.
“I don’t have any problem with Ken Lee. I didn’t want to see him run unopposed, so I tried to see if I could beat him out, that’s all. You know, the mayor in Rincon doesn’t have a whole lot of power anyway. He’s got veto power, and if he’s got four people at the table on his side, he’s got power. But you’ve got to have consensus of council to get anything done. You’ve got to learn how to work with the people at the table, or you ain’t going to get it done.”
Poll worker Kia Westmoreland Reese said voting was “steady all day” at the Hinely Center polling place. Out of the 4,376 total registered voters in Rincon, she estimated that as much as 15 percent of them weren’t even in the city anymore.
Voter turnout was just over 7 percent.