Council winners: Carter, Shipley, Tester, Frazier
Published 9:30 am Wednesday, November 5, 2014
After all the municipal votes were tallied, three incumbent candidates and one newcomer will be filling the seats on Elizabethton’s City Council.
Current mayor pro-tem Bill Carter led the race with 1,748 votes, followed by Sam Shipley, who garnered 1,656 votes, and Richard Tester, coming in with 1,479. Wes Frazier will fill outgoing council woman Nancy Alsup’s seat, coming in fourth with 1,342 votes. The other candidates for Council were Erik Kitchens with 1,265 votes and Junior Stanley with 1,162 votes.
For Carter, the voters’ choice showed a confidence in the current city leadership and the decisions that have been made by council.
“I think the vote shown that, with three incumbents being reelected, that the voters in the city seem to be satisfied in the direction we are going in,” he said. “For me, for the citizens to have voted for me as they did, it motivates me to get out there and work as hard as I can.”
All three of the incumbents stated it was their plan to continue with the projects that were already ongoing in the city. Water line and infrastructure improvements, city beautification and job creation are all top priorities for the returning council members.
Shipley said he was proud to be a part of council while the improvements to the city’s water system were approved and started. He also listed the addition of the Linear Path and the Tweetsie Trail as major accomplishments during his previous term.
“There have been enhancements made to the city’s water system,” Shipley said. “We are finally correcting the leaks that have been an issue.”
In addition to infrastructure, economic development was listed as a major focus for the returning and newly elected councilmen.
“I am going to try to work to get more employment opportunities in the city by working with the agencies that are currently in place,” Carter said.
Tester agreed adding new job opportunities in the city would be a major focus for him in his next term as councilman.
“Economic development is really my heart,” Tester said. “I am excited about the opportunity to continue working on the projects that we are currently working on. I think we will see a significant change in the culture of economic development in Elizabethton in the next few years.”
He listed the work with Carter County Tomorrow to retain Send The Light Distribution in the county, the work on the West Elk Avenue development district and the future construction of the Elizabethton High School sports complex as economic drivers in the city.
Frazier added he would love to see more manufacturing and retail options available in the city.
“We do need to be more focused on that,” he said. “The only way we can grow and improve our tax base is to add industrial and retail to the city. If we do that, we can continue to grow and improve.”
Frazier would also like to see the focus on improvements in downtown continue, and for more events and festivals to be added to the district to increase retail and business opportunities.
With similar plans in mind, the newly elected, and reelected councilmen feel that working together is the way to reach their goals for the city.
“We have a good council that will be able to work together and make Elizabethton a better place to work, live and raise a family,” Tester said.