ROCK CREEK — Though three standing village council members will roll uncontested into new terms in November’s election, the race has not produced a fourth candidate to seek the last available seat.
Officials at a Monday meeting agreed to organize an 11th-hour door campaign to support appointed councilman Brian Kinkopf as a write-in candidate.
But Mayor Pam Forristal learned Wednesday Kinkopf is not a registered write-in candidate with the county Board of Elections, meaning write-in votes would have no effect.
After conferring with village Solicitor David McCombs that day, Forristal said council will instead appoint Kinkopf to a full four-year term on Jan. 1, when his current term expires.
Council members Brenda Beckwith and Shawn Burns, both of East Water Street, and Cathryn Pacholke, of High Street, will retain their seats for another term.
No other village residents expressed interest in a write-in candidacy for the fourth seat, Forristal said. The elections board did not receive any applications — nor any failed attempts — this cycle, according to Carol Lovas, deputy director of the county board of elections.
Kinkopf, 33, was appointed to council in April to fill the seat vacated by former councilman Tedy Butte — a relative of Kinkopf who, himself, was a council vacancy appointment and held the seat for about six months before moving elsewhere, Forristal said.
Kinkopf lives along High Street with his wife and four boys aged 9 to 13 and is the owner and operator of Bricks and Stones, a concrete masonry business in the village. Since joining village council, he also became the village zoning inspector.
“I’m trying to make a difference, just trying to help out Rock Creek,” Kinkopf told the Star Beacon Monday. “I grew up here, lived here all my life, pretty much, and just wanted to see things happen.”
Kinkopf’s mother Rebecca Kinkopf was a former member of the village planning commission, among other civic assignments. Kinkopf said he let the election board’s Aug. 9 partisan candidacy deadline pass, because he was initially unsure if he wanted to continue.
“I wasn’t sure if I was able to do council and zoning and be a business owner and a father — it got a little hectic,” he said.
But since joining, Kinkopf’s become accustomed to the zoning workload and ruleset, Forristal said.
“He’s a very good fit for zoning because he does have a construction background,” she said Monday. “He’s a people person. He’s a very, very good fit.”
But without filing a declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate for the 2017 general election, council would only be able to retain Kinkopf by special appointment, Lovas said. The deadline for that filing was 4 p.m. Aug. 28.
“We already printed our ballots. We don’t have a write-in for Rock Creek at all,” she said. “This is a really late point.”
She also urged voters against writing in their own candidates, with no legal contenders on record — “We would like to stop that. It’s not going to help,” she said.
Follow Justin Dennis on Twitter @justindennis.