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Bermel wins North Liberty council seat in special election
Bermel will serve on city council through the end of 2023
NORTH LIBERTY — Voters have elected Ashley Bermel to the North Liberty City Council.
Bermel, a real estate agent with Urban Acres Real Estate, won Tuesday’s special election with close to half the total votes. Bermel received 108 votes, according to the Johnson County Auditor’s Office.
Bermel said Wednesday she feels “extraordinarily fortunate to have this opportunity.” One of the first things Bermel said she’s going to do is set up meetings with other elected officials and community members.
“I'm excited to schedule meetings to be able to hear people out and to understand individuals’ concerns and make sure that I always remain available,” Bermel said “ … I think that really is the first step is to sit down and learn and listen.”
She said she’s excited to get involved with the discussion about the city’s budget, infrastructure and the city’s future master planning.
Bermel was one of three candidates on the special election ballot. Samantha Gulick received 65 votes and Robert Strickland received 48 votes.
Turnout was 1.9 percent of North Liberty’s 11,666 registered voters.
Bermel said she plans seek input from Gulick, Strickland and other individuals she has encountered during the campaigning process.
“My biggest goal is to remain as approachable and as available for discussion as possible because you can't lead unless you truly take the time to listen,” she said.
Bermel will serve the term through the end of 2023. The vacancy was created when Chris Hoffman became mayor and resigned from his council seat in January.
Bermel, 39, previously told The Gazette she was running because of her passion for making North Liberty affordable, safe, welcoming and livable for all.
Bermel has lived in North Liberty for seven years. She has witnessed the city’s growth and wants to ensure the city attracts and retains quality businesses that enhance the community.
“As a city councilor, one of my main focuses will be on housing and future developments,” Bermel said before the election. “Not only do we want to have options available for everyone, but quality options secure resident longevity and entice citizen collaboration.”
Bermel said she would also encourage the city to develop a relationship with a “sister city” to encourage volunteerism and collaboration. Bermel also mentioned creating a North Liberty Newcomer group to help new residents feel connected.
“Partnering with local businesses, we can introduce our city newcomers through a citywide open house of child care options, regular meetups and free activities,” Bermel said.
Bermel joins RaQuishia Harrington, Brent Smith, Erek Sittig and Brian Wayson on the council.
Council members are paid $50 for each meeting attended, according to city code.
Results are unofficial until the canvass of votes by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, which is scheduled for Tuesday, March 22.
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