by Marianne Gasaway
Clear Lake School Board incumbent Chyrl Bergvig was returned to the board by voters, but challenger Greg Southgate narrowly claimed the second open seat on the board with a 13 vote victory over incumbent Tony Brownlee.
Bergvig, who was seeking a third term on the board, was the top vote-getter with 511 (35.19 percent). Southgate and Brownlee earned 473 (32.58 percent) and 460 (31.68) votes respectively.
“I was surprised and excited by the results,” said Bergvig, adding her thanks to district voters for their support. The retired educator told voters she wanted to continue to serve to see some of the district’s many projects through to completion.
“I was pleasantly surprised when the official results came through, everything was finalized and I realized that I had been successful,” said Southgate, who was sworn into office at the Board’s meeting Tuesday, Nov. 9. “At first I will be focusing on learning the role... A main priority I have is to really improve and expand the lines of open and honest communication within the school system and it’s stakeholders.
Brownlee was seeking a second term on the board.
“It’s been an honor to serve on the Clear Lake board,” he said. “While Tuesday’s result was not what I was hoping for, the school has made very strong progress these last four years. Everything happens for a reason. It’s a great opportunity to refocus and I’ll continue to serve anyway I can to help Clear Lake.”
In city races, Council representatives Dana Brant (At-Large) and Bennett Smith (Ward 2) were unopposed in their bids for re-election. Brant earned 688 votes and Smith had 275. Mayor Nelson Crabb was also unopposed. Crabb received 697 votes.