1 of 2 Fairfield city council seats too close to call

11:50 p.m Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 Fairfield & Fairfield Twp
Ron D’Epifanio

Only one thing is clear after Tuesday’s election in Fairfield: former mayor Ron D’Epifanio will return to city council as an at-large member.

The rest, however, is dependent on how many provisional ballots will be counted in the official run in about a week-and-a-half.

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Less than four-tenths of a percentage point separate the second-place finisher, Chad Oberson (19.87 percent), third-place finisher Bill Woeste (19.5 percent) and fourth-place finisher Terry Senger (19.48 percent). The top three vote-getters earn a seat on the board.

The Butler County Board of Elections will approve provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 7 general election on Nov. 20.

If the total is within a half percent after the provisional ballots and any outstanding absentee ballots are counted, then an automatic recount will be ordered.

Incumbent Mike Snyder finished fifth with 17.6 percent of the vote.

Chad Oberson.
Bill Woeste.

D’Epifanio, who stepped down four years ago as mayor due to term limits, said his first objective is to learn to work cohesively with the rest of city council. He’s also concerned with property maintenance issues and wants to “come up with plans to keep millennials in the city.” 

“It’s time to go to work,” he said.

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Oberson, if he maintains one of the three seats on council, said he wants the city to exceed its 25 percent rainy day fund, and possibly get it up to 26 percent or 27 percent.

“We receive a lot of money and we spend a lot of money. I want to see how much money we can save,” Oberson said. Getting to a higher rainy day fund percentage will only help the city’s borrowing power and bond rating, he said, which is already the second-highest at a Aa1, according to Moody’s.

Oberson said he also wants to develop a plan to attract and keep millennials in the city.

Woeste said if he maintains one of the three at-large seats on council, he’ll “certainly be excited to be able to serve again.”

“I didn’t get too high or too low by being outspent (by his opponents),” he said. “My competition had hundreds and hundreds of signs, but I was hoping the people recognized what I had done for the past four years.”