ALTA — With a toss of a coin, Steven "Piney" Gilman was re-elected to the Alta Town Council.
"It seems like such a crass way to end an election," Gilman said following the coin flip Monday.
Crass or not, state law dictates that a game of chance such as a coin flip be used to break ties in races for elected office.
Gilman and Merbea Danforth both received 60 votes on Nov. 8 in the race for an at-large council seat in the small ski town of 383 residents. Following a recount by Salt Lake County elections officials Friday, the candidates still were tied.
"This doesn't really seem like the right way to decide this," Mayor Tom Pollard said before flipping the coin.
Gilman agreed to let Danforth make the call on the coin flip. She chose tails, and the coin landed head-side up.
"It's disappointing, but I respect Piney and I know he'll do a good job for the town," Danforth said. "I'm not going anywhere. I may be back in a few years."
Harris Sondak was the top vote-getter on Nov. 8 and claimed one of the two at-large Town Council seats. Gilman and Danforth tied for the other seat.