BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Fort Madison businessman Tom Schulz will hold onto the 2nd Ward seat on Fort Madison’s City Council.
Schulz defeated challenger Jerry Hamelton 79-35 in Tuesday’s Special election. Schulz won the absentee race 30-8.
Wintry weather and possible election fatigue resulted in less than 10% of eligible voters casting ballots in the race, a figure that didn’t sit well with first-term councilman
“That’s just terrible,” Schulz said of Tuesday night’s voter turnout. “When this all started I said 50 votes is going to decide who get this seat on the council, and it did.”
Schulz said he’s glad the election is behind him and now he wants to get to work for the people of Fort Madison.
The 2nd Ward seat will be on the ballot again in November. Schulz was appointed to replace Councilman Robert Morawitz who died in September. Hamelton also interviewed for the position
Donna Amandus ran unopposed and received 21 votes to hold onto the 3rd Ward seat she was appointed to fill last month.
Schulz said over the next 11 months he wants to work on building partnerships within the city and creating a loyalty to Fort Madison retail, and Lee County.
“I just want to start looking at ways to put together some partnerships to grow this town and bring some business here. That’s my focus,” he said.
“Not to charge people more money. But bring more people and more business and spread this out over a greater number of people.
“And try to save as much money as we can. We’ve got some tough times ahead. But we’ve got to get people to shop here, and in Lee County and online and keep those revenues local.”
Hamelton said he has every intention of running again November when the 2nd Ward seat is on the ballot again.
“I’ll try again in November when the seat is up. By then the increased utility bill taxes Tom voted for will have effected people,” Hamelton wrote in a text to Pen City Current.