By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
Just over 10 percent of the population of Ward 1 voted in Tuesday?s special election to choose a City Council representative from a field of three candidates.
According to the unofficial results of the election, Danielle Pettit-Majewski won the vacant seat with 54 votes and will serve the remainder of Kerry Janecek?s term as Ward 1 representative. The term will run through Dec. 31, 2019. Candidate Mark Kendall received 36 votes and candidate Dave Mueller received 25 votes. The Washington County Board of Supervisors will canvass the vote on July 17 and if approved Pettit-Majewski will be sworn in during the city council meeting later that evening.
?I feel very honored to get to serve Ward 1 and the City of Washington,? Pettit-Majewski said. ?There is so much about this community I love and I just hope to bring a different perspective to council. I think it is really helpful when you have a diverse council that can look at things from different angles.?
A longtime fan of politics, Pettit-Majewski said she had decided to run as she believes people can make a great difference in government at the local level. When she saw Janecek had resigned from the Ward 1 seat earlier this year she saw an opportunity to help.
Pettit-Majewski, who is the director of Washington County Public Health, gave great attention into ensuring her profession would not conflict with her role on the city council. Before she decided to run she spoke with Washington County Attorney John Gish, who advised her to keep a separation between the two roles. She said that her contact information will be available on the City of Washington website for her constituents, but asks them not to contact her with council business while she is working at the health department. Pettit-Majewski stressed the importance of being able to compartmentalize the roles she will play with the groups and to be objective in both.
As the city moves forward, she feels her perspective of the community will provide assistance to the council in making decisions. In her role as public health director, she said she sees a broad spectrum of the community and hopes to bring the perspectives to the council.
?I?m excited to work with people who have other areas of expertise to see how we can come together and solve problems,? she said.
Her first order of business is to become informed on the issues the council is currently working on. She said that she wants to be sure to have all the information before attempting to make decisions on city issues. Since running for office, she has been studying city council documents. Pettit-Majewski stressed the importance of getting all the information and asking the tough questions before making a decision.
She has not decided if she will only serve the remainder of Janecek?s term or if she intends to remain on the council longer. As the time gets closer she will re-evaluate the issue and decide if she will run for the office again.