By Katie Dahlstrom
Residents of Clinton’s third ward chose Ed O’Neill as a council representative Tuesday, denying Councilwoman Bev Hermann’s bid for re-election.
O’Neill received nearly 61 percent or 596 of the 980 votes cast in the Ward 3 race. Hermann received 384, or 39 percent.
Hermann was seeking a second term as the Ward 3 councilwoman.
“I wish the very best to the third ward and Mr. O’Neill. I hope he will consider the city as a whole ahead of his own prejudices and opinions as he contributes to decisions that affect everyone,” Hermann said.
Of those decisions, O’Neill said straightening the city’s finances would be a particular focus. He would like to implement a finance committee and have monthly financial reports available at meetings.
“Through these four to five weeks, us candidates have been doing a lot of talking. Now we have to start doing the walking,” O’Neill said. “We need to take a different approach to these finances.”
This will be O’Neill’s second time on the council; his first as the Ward 3 councilman. He served as an at-large councilman from mid-2003 to early 2006, when he left his position early to take a job with the Clinton Regional Development Corp. He ran for mayor in 2011 and was defeated in a run-off election by now Mayor Mark Vulich.
Beyond his own election to the third ward seat, O’Neill said he was happy to see the two ballot measures for sewer and street funding fail.
“I think the new council can come up with something better than raising taxes,” O’Neill said.
He believes coming up with something better will take teamwork and the change voters chose Tuesday when they elected new council members.
“It was going to take pretty much a clean sweep to change things,” O’Neill said.