By Jeff Shultz
Cheers could be heard in the halls of the Garvin County Courthouse Tuesday night as approximately 10-15 county firefighters gathered to hear the news the one-quarter cent sales tax to support the county’s depleted fire departments passed by an overwhelming margin.
“They’re all ecstatic here,” said Rush Creek Fire Chief Richard McCarty, trying to speak on the phone above the roar of cheering.
The Rush Creek Fire Department is one of 12 county fire departments that will benefit from the one-quarter cent sales tax earmarked specifically for firefighting in Garvin County.
According to unofficial results from the Garvin County Election Board, the measure was never in doubt as it passed with over a 70 percent of the county voters giving the sales tax proposition a nod of approval.
“We worked hard for this and I think it will be something that will have a positive impact for generations to come,” McCarty added.
Pernell Fire Chief Brent Balentine agreed with his fellow fire chief, noting he never doubted the measure would pass.
“I talked to a lot of people in this county and the largest majority of them said they were voting for it,” he said. “I never doubted for one minute it wouldn’t pass.”
“The residents of this county will be real proud of what we will be able to do with this money in the years to come,” Balentine said.
Both McCarty and Balentine thanked the voters who voted for the measure.
“I know I speak for the other fire chiefs in this county in saying ‘Thanks’ to everyone who voted for it,” Balentine said.
In other election news, Debbie Whitehead won her bid for a seat on the Lindsay City Council. Whitehead, who will fill Seat #1 on the council, received the most votes in Lindsay’s Municipal Election, taking in 312 votes or 22.94 percent of the ballots cast.
Jane Pool won the Seat #2 spot grabbing 19.19 percent of the ballots, or 261 votes.
Pearlee Adams took 187 votes, 13.75 percent, to win the third council seat up for grabs in Lindsay’s election.
Republicans in Garvin County voiced their choice for the GOP nominee, giving Rick Santorum 35.80 percent of the Republican votes cast in Tuesday’s Presidential Primary.
Santorum also took the state’s vote over Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.