By more than a 4-1 margin, Marilyn Ruestman was re-elected to the Newton County Presiding Commissioner during Tuesday’s election.
Ruestman garnered 9,991 votes (77.06 percent) to Jenna Booth (D) having 2,395 (18.47). Libertarian candidate Roxie Fausnaught garnered only 572 votes.
“I am extremely pleased and very happy that people have continued to have confidence in my leadership,” said Ruestman, who was elected into the office back in 2010.
This makes her second term for the presiding commissioner.
Ruestman said her first term was educational.
“I probably spent a year just trying to get educated,” she said.
Ruestman said she saw some goals completed in the first term.
“We did pass the sales tax that we committed to improve roads in the county,” Ruestman said. “We actually hard surfaced about 65 miles of road. That is quite a lot of road coverage. I am very proud of that. We have balanced our budget – cash budget – every year and we received a ‘clean audit’ each year, with the help of a fine auditor. That is one of our main goals is to watch the budget and watch how we spend taxpayer money.”
Another goal dealt with an updated policy manual.
“Which I think is very beneficial to a county, especially when we get into talking about legal issues,” she said. “We have been able to – I believe – to provide very, very good benefits for the employees of this county. That has been difficult at times, particularly with the health insurance.”
Now with the election over, she has new goals.
“I want to continue making the very best use we can of our road tax money, I want to watch that carefully,” she said. “We have purchased the building directly across the street from the courthouse – a 17,000 square foot building. I think we will be meeting this month with financial folks as well as architects, we will begin to move pretty quickly now once we make the decision about who will be over there. We will try to have us in there by summer.”