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Lebanon voters choose change for council
Nov 07, 2012 4:00 pm
Voters chose change in Tuesday’s Lebanon City Council races for Wards 1, 2 and 5.
Voters in Ward 5 opted for a new perspective for this term. Longtime Ward 5 resident, Robert “Tick” Bryan, took the seat vacated by Haywood Barry by a large margin with nearly 54 percent of the vote, while opponents John Mills and Billy Weeks each garnered just more than 25 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
“I feel the people, especially in Ward 5, were ready for a change, and I’m just glad that they selected me for that change,” said Bryan.
Mills served Ward 5 from 1997-05, and Weeks was a 31-year employee of the city of Lebanon and former Lebanon Public Safety Commissioner over police, fire and public safety departments.
Bryan said his top priority would be to try to get everyone on the same page to better move forward.
Lanny Jewell, owner of Lebanon’s Jewell Signs, took the Ward 1 seat vacated by Alex Buhler.
Jewell won by a large margin – more than 73 percent of the vote versus more than 26 percent of the vote for his opponent, Richard Rogers. Rogers, however, was extradited to Georgia on outstanding warrants in October, but he remained on the ballot due to a deadline technicality.
“I knew when I started this race that there was a certain little political clique that I was going to have to take on, and I knew it was going to be a hard-fought race,” said Jewell. “If they had run Big Bird against me, they probably would have gotten quite a few votes against me, with that clique.”
Jewell said that his top priority on city council will be jobs.
“We need to get the industry back in here and get the jobs flowing,” said Jewell. “I think that as council, we’re going to have to sit down and figure out how we reach out to those people and tell them ‘we want you here.’”
In a relatively close race, Fred Burton, Sr. edged out Wilson County Commissioner Annette Stafford for the Ward 2 seat vacated by Kevin Huddleston. Burton took about 53 percent of the vote to Stafford’s 46 percent. Burton, a familiar face in Lebanon, has served on Lebanon’s Neighborhood Revitalization Task Force, the Lebanon Cable Committee and the Lebanon Airport Commission.
Stafford, a realtor with Cumberland Real Estate and owner of Honeybee’s Design and Printing, has been a county commissioner for the 20th district since 1998. During her time on the county commission, Stafford has served as chair of the Wilson County Education Committee, and member of the Budget Committee, the Health and Welfare Committee and the Recreation Committee.
Staff writer Sara McManamy-Johnson can be reached at 615-444-3952, ext. 16 or firstname.lastname@example.org