116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SOLON - Political newcomer Lauren Whitehead has been elected to the Solon City Council.
Whitehead, 36, defeated Dale Snipes, 59, in a special election Tuesday.
Whitehead gathered 159 votes to Snipes' 88, for a 64 percent majority.
Whitehead is expected to take her seat on the council after the June 6 official canvass of votes.
The term runs through the end of the year, though Whitehead said she plans to run for a full term in the November municipal election.
'My hope is that people will participate in decision making more and feel more connected to our decision making,” she said Tuesday night. 'I think Solon is a great town, and it's only going to improve over time.”
The election came about after council member Mark Krall resigned. The City Council appointed Snipes, who had served on council previously, to fill the unexpired term. Tesidents petitioned, seeking the special election.
Whitehead said she hopes to focus on community engagement as a council member.
'I think that people are already listening, and the kind of active outreach that I've been doing has had a lot of positive response,” she said. 'I don't see that going away now that the election is over so I see only good things coming.”
The turnout for the election was 14.6 percent of Solon's 1,691 registered voters.
The special election was expected the cost the city $1,500.
'I'm feeling very excited as the turnout was amazing, and I thinks that just shows the community is super-engaged and excited for change,” Whitehead said.
Whitehead is an assessment specialist who writes standardized tests in reading. She has lived in Solon for six years, and she and her husband, Brian, have two children.
Solon City Council members are paid $375 plus $25 for each meeting attended.
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