Eagle voters resoundingly pass home rule, also pass keeping tobacco tax money

Palmer, Bodenhemier, Kerst win town council seats

Town Council (top three win seats)
  • Adam Palmer: 717
  • Ellen Bodenhemier: 563
  • Mikel “Pappy” Kerst: 499
  • Charlie Gundlach: 485
  • Yvonne Schwartz: 470
  • Maren Cerimele: 317
  • Kyle Hoiland: 389
  • David Gaboury: 338
Home Rule, Ballot Question 2A
  • Yes: 993
  • No: 372
Tobacco Tax, Ballot Question 2B
  • Yes: 929
  • No: 372

Eagle voters said loud and clear that they want to control their town government through home rule in Tuesday’s municipal election. Voters also supported keeping their town’s share of the county’s tobacco tax.

The turnout was substantial for a municipal election with 1,365 returned ballots.

Eagle voters, by a margin of 929-372, approved keeping a projected $600,000 in annual tobacco tax revenue in Eagle, instead of letting the county government have it. Countywide voters passed a $4 tobacco tax on packs of cigarettes and 40% on all other tobacco taxes.

When the final tally of mail-in ballots was counted just after midnight Tuesday, Eagle voters also resoundingly approved going to home rule, 993-372. The town’s new home rule charter maintains the town board composition of six members elected at large and a mayor, and it changes the name to the town council.

Voters elected three town council members: incumbent Mike “Pappy” Kerst and newcomers Adam Palmer and Ellen Bodenhemier.

Support Local Journalism

Scott Turnipseed ran unopposed for mayor. The town council will fill his seat for the fourth new town council member.

“I agree with everyone I’ve spoken with in our community who have said that this is a solid field of strong candidates and there’s really no ‘wrong’ answer,” Palmer said. “This election will bring some new blood to the board and I’m confident we’ll be in good hands.”

Kerst, the only incumbent in the town board field, called it the COVID Campaign. He returned from a trip in time to campaign and knock on doors around Eagle, but quarantine and social distancing nixed those plans. Instead, he strolled around town and talked to people from a respectable distance.

COVID and local businesses were on people’s minds, Kerst said.

“The question I was most often asked was, ‘How can we help these businesses?’” Kerst said.

Bodenhemier said she’s grateful for the opportunity.

“It is with deep gratitude that I thank my friends and neighbors for supporting me with a vote to successfully pursue the role of trustee in Eagle. I am humbled to be given this opportunity. I will fill the responsibility with integrity, resilience and perseverance, always keeping the best interest of our town in my head and heart. Thank you Eagle,” Bodenhemier said.

“Win or lose, it’s been a great experience,” Kyle Hoiland said. “For those that were not elected, good job on making the effort to lead this town. There are still plenty of opportunities to be a part of the town and make a difference. I hope we all continue to make that effort. For those who were elected, congratulations. Now the work begins.”

Support Local Journalism