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McNeece wins Menahga City Council seat with coin toss

Incumbent Menahga City Council member Kim Rasmussen and Maxine (Norman) McNeece shake hands prior to the coin toss that broke the tie between the candidates as City Administrator Janette Bower looks on. (Shannon Geisen/ Forum News Service)

A tie between Menahga City Council candidates Kim Rasmussen and Maxine (Norman) McNeece was broken Monday night with the flip of a coin.

Both women received 310 votes for the two-year council position.

After initially reporting that Rasmussen had 310 votes compared to McNeece's 309, the Minnesota Secretary of State updated the election results on Nov. 10, showing a tie.

Rasmussen said Bower was unable to get an explanation from the county for the fluctuation in votes or where the additional vote came from.

There is not an automatic recount provision for municipalities, according to City Administrator Janette Bower. A tie is determined by lot; in this case, by a coin toss.

On Monday, the two candidates agreed that Police Chief Scott Koennicke would flip the coin. McNeece called "tails" and it was "tails."

McNeece was certified as the winner by the Menahga City Council, which canvassed the election results prior to their regular meeting.

Rasmussen, who has served on the council for 18 years, could request a recount in writing, but she doesn't plan to.

"I don't feel bad about losing because I know Maxine worked very hard for those votes," she said in a phone interview.

Rasmussen doesn't intend to run for council in two years. "It's time to do something else," she said.

Of Menahga's 752 registered voters, 692 cast ballots on Nov. 8. Eighty-six were absentee and 606 on Election Day.

Water plant open house

The City of Menahga and Ulteig Engineers invites the public to view the new water plant from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17. Stop at city hall for before-and-after photos, tours of the plant and refreshments.