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City sales tax fails, Shelton is top vote getter

Posted on Monday, November 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Fayetteville voters rejected a proposal to raise the sales tax, an incumbent alderman lost his bid for re-election and a former mayor was the top vote getter in the city board race Tuesday.

Also on the city ballot was the referendum on raising the sales and use tax in Fayetteville from 2.5 to 2.75%, or from 9.5 to 9.75% overall, including the state’s portion. That referendum failed by almost a two-to-one margin, with 1,568 people voting against and 804 voting in its favor, according to unofficial returns. City officials have said that without the increase, city property tax rates could increase by as much as 42 cents next year.

In races for aldermen, former Mayor Gwen Shelton was the top vote getter with 1,347 votes, while incumbent Danny Bryant came in second with 1,048 votes. Challenger Michael Whisenant secured the third seat with 1,004 votes. Incumbent Michael Stewart lost his bid for re-election, coming in fourth with 984 votes. Homer Thompson was fifth with 761 votes, while Jerry Milstead rounded out the slate with 615 votes.

In the city school board race, incumbents Joyce Eady, with 1,498 votes, and Alice Palacio, with 1,215 votes, were re-elected, while political newcomer and long-time educator Sarah Raby won her first bid for a seat on the school board, garnering 1,481 votes for a second place finish. Raby’s husband, Jack, who has served on the school board for 12 years, did not seek re-election. Charles T. (Tim) Womack finished a close fourth in the race with 1,189 votes.

Results are to be certified later this week by the Lincoln County Election Commission.