THE SALINA JOURNAI NEWS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2001 k3 Election / Council draws fire T MIDWEST FLOODS FROM PAGE A1 And when the cards were revealed, Kruse's ace beat LeDuc's jack. Just before the noon deadline, LeDuc asked Kern for a recount. The ballots, counted by hand last week, will be recounted at 8 a.m. today. Kern said. Much interest in council Kruse said he wouldn't have asked for a recount had he lost because he can be just as effective as an outsider. Since September, he's been to city council meetings and has written letters to the local newspaper advocating change in the city council. Last September, Kruse and about 70 other residents of this 350-person town showed up for a council budget hearing, where an increase in the city property tax levy from 52 to 80 mills was under consideration. Residents were surprised about the increase. And resi- "They were so secretive and didn't tell the public until we started pushing them to be more open." Marc Bryant Greenleaf resident who won a oily council post on tiie controversy surrounding former council members dent Marc Bryant said he was upset council members hadn't fully explained their rationale. "When you get down to it, the money is not that big a deal. It was the way they went about it," said Bryant, who later won a city council post. "They were so secretive and didn't tell the public until we started pushing them to be more open." The public pressure forced the council to keep the tax levy almost the same — 53 mills. One result of the tax controversy was that 13 candidates fUed for the five seats on the city councU. A primary election was needed to narrow the field to 10. To date, Todd Wise is the only incumbent to win. Of course, LeDuc could be declared a winner in today's recount. New to the council are Bryant, Michael Hoover and Tony P. McGatlin. Incumbants Arlene Weimers, Duane Wilson and Carolyn Mullen were election losers. Reasons for unhappiness Kruse, 48, said that besides the property tax issue, he and others were unhappy that the council contracted with Mayor Dick Laflen for construction work. As the controversy began to brew, Laflen resigned, citing Gas / Cloud is a concern FROM PAGE A1 The cloud, which Webster said was "substantial" and estimated at about 400 barrels, was just about 200 feet from a flare torch Williams uses to burn off excess gases. "That concerned us very much," Webster said. "We couldn't get to it — we were very fortunate. We had a number of fire services there be cause if there had been an explosion we would have needed all those people." Just after 1 p.m., the wind stopped blowing and the cloud of ethane, propane and butane was visible, laying low beneath the rainy skies. Cloud breaks up Once the rain stopped and a light wind began blowing, the cloud dissipated quickly, Web ster said. By 4 p.m. emergency personnel were dismissed, the highway was reopened and Williams employees were allowed back to work. "It all worked out very well," Webster said. "We had no injuries and no fire." • Reporter Kara Rhodes can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 167, or by e-mail at sjkrhodes® saljournal.com health reasons. He declined Tuesday to comment. Election winner Hoover, 29, said former Mayor Laflen was doing work for prices lower than the council could find elsewhere. Also, he said some of those who complained wanted to bid for the jobs themselves. "I don't think we will get taxes down when we start bidding everything out," Hoover said. Also at issue is whether to employ a full-time emergency medical technician. Hoover is in favor; Kruse and Bryant said they see a need for the position but don't think the small town can afford it. Hoover points to an explosion at a local grain elevator last week that burned two workers to explain his view. "We had this grain accident last Friday One of those guys was severely injured. I'd hate to think what would have happened if he had to wait for an ambulance from Washington," Hoover said. DICKINSON jbljj) ^ THEATRES ^ 2 Convenient Ways To Get ShowtimesI • Call The Theatre Direct (listed below) OR • Visit us online at www.dtmovies.com Central Mall 8 (YBS) BZS-BIOS 2259 S. 9th St. SALINA, KB More rain could spell trouble for Red River By The Associated Press FARGO, N.D. — Crews scrambled to shore up earthen dikes Tuesday as forecasters warned that rain would push the flooding Red River and its tributaries higher than predicted. As flooding problems stretched from North Dakota to the Minnesota capital, the National Weather Service said the Red could crest at least a foot higher than expected in Fargo and Grand Forks next week. 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