News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

November 14, 2008

City Council plans business as usual despite court decision

TERRE HAUTE — It will be business as usual for many city officials despite a decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals on Thursday regarding the results of the 2007 mayoral election.

In a 2-1 ruling, the court ruled neither former Mayor Kevin Burke nor current Mayor Duke Bennett should occupy the seat and that a special election should take place to determine who should fill the position.

“The most important thing is that we continue to do the business of the city and to wait for the next official step and try to set aside speculation about what might happen and play the hand we’re dealt,” said City Council President Todd Nation, D-4th.

Nation said the decision was not expect to affect council business, a sentiment echoed by many of his colleagues.

“I think that from my perspective, being a freshman councilman, coming in here you realize how much your fellow councilmen and your fellow elected officials care about the city, those that win and those that lose,” said councilman John Mullican, D-6th. “So I don’t have any doubt that somebody who goes through the rigors of a campaign really wants the best for the city, so no matter how it comes out, we as a council will work as hard as we can to keep everything stable and I’m confident that whoever inherits the job will work hard to maintain stability and get us through this tough fiscal challenge that we face with our budget in the next few years.”

Though Bennett won the race by 110 votes last November, Burke challenged his win stating he was ineligible to run because he was in violation of the Hatch Act. The law limits federal employees and employees of not-for-profits that receive federal funding to run for any political office.

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