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Rexburg welcomes new Mayor Jerry Merrill

Jerry Merrill, former City Council member, became mayor after winning 1,367 votes in Tuesday’s elections, according to the Madison County Web page.

“I will bring a new, enthusiastic energy to City Hall and I hope to infuse that into the whole city,” Merrill said on his website. “I believe that residents, businesses and BYU-Idaho administration in concert with the city leadership can make great strides in ‘Moving Forward Together.’”

Merrill said he is looking forward to encouraging more economic growth in Rexburg and finding new ways to make BYU-I students and Rexburg residents feel more united.

“It will be interesting to learn about him since I come from Chicago,” Amy Linderman a junior studying family consumer science said. “The politicians here are very different and definitely much more conservative.”

Linderman said she started following  Merrill on her Facebook page to try and get to know him better.

Christopher Mann was about 240 votes behind Merrill, reaching a total of 1,122 votes, according to the Madison County Web page.

“The results of the election are in, and I came up about 240 votes short,” Mann said on his Facebook page. “Thank you friends for your support and kindness. I love my family, I love this town.”

Three City Council positions were also up for grabs. Jordan Busby, Sally Smith and Tisha Flora were voted in, each with about 1,500 votes, according to the Madison County Web page.

This election only had 23.8 percent voter turn out. A total 2,508 ballots were cast. There are 8,859 registered voters in Madison county, according to the Standard Journal.

Flora said she was almost sad to win the elections because she knew how hard it was to run for City Council and she was disappointed for the other candidates who ran for office.

Flora said some of her new responsibilities as a City Council member will include overseeing assigned committees and boards in the city and studying the issues on the agendas for City Council before the meetings take place.

Merrill said there are some key differences between the duties of the mayor and the duties of a city council member.

“The mayor is actually more in charge of overseeing the operations of all of the departments of the city, and making sure that everything is running smoothly, and making sure that we’re staffed properly, and that we have enough people to take care of the city’s business, and all of the things that need to be done,” Merrill said.

Merrill said the mayor also has the responsibility of directing and conducting the city council meetings.

Merrill said he thinks one of the biggest factors in his success in the elections was the fact that he has been involved in a lot of city events and programs in the 40 years that he has lived in Rexburg, including the Kiwanis club and the Madison Athletics club.

“And with my business, I think people felt like I have some common sense to make sure whether the decisions that we make are common sense decisions,” Merrill said.

Merrill said there are so many wonderful people in Rexburg and he is excited to try new things that will be enjoyable for those living in Rexburg.

“Christopher Mann is a good man, no pun intended,” Merrill said. “He would have done a fine job. I’m looking forward to taking the leadership of the city and doing some fun things, but if he had won, I would support that decision and support him as mayor.”

All candidates who won the elections will take office in January 2016.

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