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Coin toss settles diking district race

A toss of a coin settled one race for Island County Diking District 3 commissioner.

Two of the three seats on the board were up for grabs in the February election. The Island County Auditor’s Office mailed out ballots to 16 property owners in the diking district, which oversees the dike on Dike Road off Dugualla Bay. Its territory includes a pond, which some call Dugualla Pond, whose level is controlled by the Navy.

The coin toss settled the race between Joe Cerullo and Rebecca Spraitzar, who both attracted six votes. They met in the Auditor’s Office on the day the election was certified, Feb. 20, for the coin toss. Spraitzar called “heads,” and it came up “tails,” so the position went to Cerullo.

Cerullo takes over the seat formerly occupied by appointee Bob Lang, who chose not to run for a full term.

In the other race, incumbent Joe Ducken received 8 votes to beat back a challenge by Dave Burbank, who received 4 votes.

The third commissioner is Bonnie Newkirk, who was not up for election.

Diking District 3 has had some issues that became public in recent years. Some fishermen have tried without success to gain access to the pond, and Bob Lang argued for more open public meetings and more definitive district boundaries, among other things. “I want public and legal actions, that’s all I’m asking,” Lang said before the election was finalized.

Spraitzar remains the diking district’s secretary. In an email announcing the election results, she urged Lang to “give serious consideration to changing your tactics to ‘constructive’ as opposed to ‘destructive.’ ... Carrots work much better than sticks when dealing with farmers.”

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