Flag contest ends in dead heat
“I have the flag contest results. You won’t believe it. It’s a tie,” County Administrator Jody McClintock told the Morgan County Commissioners on Thursday morning, July 15.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” Commissioner Tommy Swaim said, as Commissioners Stacy Dugan and Brenda Hutchinson stared at McClintock in disbelief.
The commissioners received 24 entries in the contest to design a county flag. Each commissioner picked their favorite design on June 3.
County residents then had a chance to vote for their favorite online or by paper ballot. The voting ended on midnight, July 14.
McClintock said Flag #1, designed by Douglas Hoyt and chosen as a finalist by Hutchinson, tied with Flag #2, designed by Linda Caldwell and chosen by Dugan. Each received 289 votes.
Flag #3, designed by Ronald B. Carey and chosen by Swaim, was a distant third with 115 votes.
Tongue in cheek, Swaim said the easiest way to settle the tie was to pick Flag #3.
The commissioners agreed to draw the winning design from a hat, and County Clerk Debra Kesecker drew Caldwell’s design from a baseball cap.
The commissioners decided to certify the results by recounting the paper ballots. Kesecker and Commission Secretary Ginger Johnson counted the ballots and came up with the same results reported earlier.
Explaining the process to tabulate the online votes, Building Administrator Aaron Robinson said, “The system was designed to allow one vote from one computer on one browser. Within reason, I attempted to eliminate any illegitimate votes.”
The new county flag will be raised at the courthouse grand opening celebration, which was tentatively set for Saturday, September 25.
Commissioner Dugan is in charge of the event. Milestone Construction and architect Silling Associates agreed to help fund the ceremony, she said.
CNB Bank has donated $2,500 toward the cost of the event.
The grand opening will be catered with free food and drinks and include tours of the courthouse conducted by county officials.
At their July 15 meeting, the commissioners also agreed to revisit a funding request from the County Solid Waste Authority. The Authority had asked for $32,000, which was unanimously voted down by commissioners on July 1.
“I told them there was no way in the world we can give them $32,000. I think we are going to have to revisit it. The code says we have to fund them,” Hutchinson said.
Grant writer Carol Yost brought several resolutions for the commissioners to sign in order to accept grants from the Division of Criminal Justice.
The county will receive grants of $44,807 for the Morgan County Drug Prevention Program, $36,001 for the Prevention Resource Officer and $20,740 for teen court.