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2 incumbents and 2 new members are sworn in during Bethel City Council meeting

The Bethel City Council has two new members: Teresa Keller and Mikayla Miller. Incumbents Mark Springer and Mary “Beth” Hessler will each serve another two years.

During the Oct. 10 regular council meeting, council members voted and certified the results of the Oct. 3 city election to fill the four seats.

The top four vote getters, in order, were Teresa Keller, Mark Springer, Mikayla Miller,. and Mary “Beth” Hessler. Afterwards, Mayor Rose Henderson administered the oath to all four newly elected members. Five city council members are now women.

The next step for the council is to elect a mayor and vice-mayor by secret ballot. There will be a special meeting on Monday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. During the meeting, council members will be appointed to various committees and boards per municipal code.

Voter turnout for Bethel has averaged less than 20% since 2011. The turnout for the Oct. 3 election was 9.76% of local eligible voters. Out of 4,026 registered voters, fewer than 400 cast a verified ballot. The last time voter turnout was this low was over a decade ago in 2012 when turnout was 7.49%.

After certifying the election, the council went into executive session to discuss financial and personnel matters.

Francisco Martínezcuello was the KYUK News Reporting Fellow from November 2022 through January 2024. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Journalism. He is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.