LANCASTER – Council Members-Elect Marvin Crist and Ronald D. Smith were sworn into office Tuesday after the Lancaster City Council unanimously adopted the results for the April 8 General Municipal Election.
Crist and Smith were re-elected to four-year terms on the council.
Councilwoman Sandra Johnson said Crist and Smith’s re-election means that the council can continue to move forward as a city and as a community.
“It’s so rewarding to be able to know that we will be able to continue on the road ahead as we have and continue the progress we have been doing,” Johnson said. “You both are a class act; thank you both for coming home.”
City Clerk Geri K. Bryan told members of the council that the city received 761 provisional ballots in addition to ballots received by eight o’clock on election night. The provisional ballots included vote-by-mail ballots dropped off at the various precincts, according to Bryan.
“The number of ballots cast at the precincts, except for the vote-by-mail, was 2,599,” Bryan told the council. “The number of vote-by-mail ballots cast in the city were 5,984. Provisional ballots that we counted were 286 for a total of 8,869 ballots cast.”
Bryan reported that the total percentage of voter turnout was 11.9. She compared it to Lancaster’s 2012 General Municipal Election, which received a 14.5 percent voter turnout. Bryan said the difference in turnout was because the 2012 election included a mayor’s race in addition to the two open council seats.
At Tuesday’s meeting Crist was also re-appointed as the city’s Vice Mayor by a vote of 4-0, with Councilman Ken Mann absent.
Later in the meeting, Crist mentioned that City Council candidate Michael Rives was noticeably absent from the meeting as a member of the public. Crist said Rives was involved in a minor traffic accident, but that “he sent congratulations to myself and Mr. Smith,” Crist noted. “So thank you, and I hope you feel better.”
Candidate David Paul spoke during Public Comment, congratulating the two newly-seated council members for a “great election.”
“Councilman Smith, I love that press conference we had a few weeks ago, and it wasn’t until that moment that I realized what a part of the community you are – what an impact you’ve had,” Paul said.
Paul also addressed Crist, saying, “Marvin, I know how many hours a week you devote to this city, and I don’t think anybody that ran against you realized how hard they’d have to work if they actually won,” he said. “So you’ve saved them from that.”
According to the city’s website at cityoflancasterca.org, Crist was first elected to the City Council in April 2010, and appointed Vice Mayor in December 2012. And Ron Smith was elected to the council in 2006 after serving five years on the Lancaster Planning Commission.
Facing seven challengers in the April 8 race, Crist finished first with 4,052 votes, followed by Ron Smith with 3,874 votes.
Johnathon Ervin finished third with 3,125, even though he gained the most votes at the polls. Where he lost ground was with the votes by mail.