Heads, Scott Merki.
Tails, Dave Duncan.
The room was filled with anticipation as Bath Town Police Secretary Barbara Cirigliano picked up the 1972 Eisenhower silver dollar that Councilman David Crosby provided for the tie-breaking toss on Monday morning, June 25.
Bath Council candidates Dave Duncan and Scott Merki had been waiting since the June 12 election for this moment. The two were tied with 65 votes each for the fifth council seat.
Cirigliano flipped the coin with her thumb, and when the coin landed on the floor of the council meeting room, Ike's face was looking up.
After three runs for town office, Merki had finally won a council seat. Duncan congratulated Merki and the two friends shook hands.
Then, Merki was sworn into office by Mayor Susan Webster. He will officially assume his role on the council July 1.
Merki is a high voltage air conditioner technician at Ed's Refrigeration of Edgewood, Md. and a longtime resident of Berkeley Springs.
His campaign concerns included the condition of town streets and completion of the water project.
Why a coin toss?
A special town council meeting to certify the June 12 election results was held on Monday, June 18.
Mayor Susan Webster, Recorder Garnet Marsh and council members David Crosby, Kenny Easton, Nancy Harvey and Dale Lutman were returned to office by voters.
Council met again on Thursday, June 21 to determine how to resolve the tie vote between Duncan and Merki.
Neither candidate requested a recount, which would have required the candidate to post a $300 bond to cover costs. The yearly salary of a council member is $300.
Town Clerk Margie Allyger contacted the Secretary of State to get clarification of procedures to handle a tie vote.
Council voted, with approval of both Duncan and Merki,
to decide the issue by coin
Council also decided that Merki should be the one to call the coin in the air because his name was listed first on the ballot. The position of names on the election ballot was chosen by lot earlier this year.