Newly elected council members sworn in
Published 10:44 am Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Bill Carter, Wes Frazier, Sam Shipley and Richard Tester were sworn in as Elizabethton’s City Council members during a special ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
Shipley will serve his fifth term as a council member, while Carter and Tester are entering their second terms and Frazier is starting his first with the governing body.
All council members said it was their plan to continue the projects that are ongoing in the city.
Water line and infrastructure improvements, city beautification and job creation are all top priorities for the returning council members.
“We are going in a positive direction, and we need to keep going with that,” Tester said. “We have a good unity on the council. We all have different perspectives, but we have a lot of the same goals.”
Shipley said continued water line improvements will be a major focus for council.
“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. Tester and Frazier agreed an economic focus will be key for council.
“I am excited about the opportunity to continue working on the projects that we are currently working on,” Tester said.
He specifically mentioned the West Elk Avenue development project and the search for a new hotel for the city.
Frazier said 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.”
In addition to these areas, Carter said the city needs to keep an eye on spending in the next budget cycle.
“We need to make sure we are using our tax dollars wisely,” he said.
In the election, Carter received 1,748 votes, followed by Shipley, who garnered 1,656 votes, Tester, coming in with 1,479 and Frazier with 1,342 votes.