Leader Blues

Monday, November 13, 2006

TOP STORY >>Cabot City Council given an overhaul with six new faces

IN SHORT: Only one incumbent lost his position, two were retained, but open seats bringing on new aldermen to work with a new mayor.

Leader staff writer

Only one incumbent lost his race for the Cabot City Council Tuesday, but the eight-member council will still have six new members on Jan. 1.

Itís not a riddle, but a fact that becomes even stranger when this bit of trivia is thrown into the mix: Of the nine elected officials who will soon take their seats at the council table, three have been elected before. The new mayor, who will sit in the middle of the table, was once on the city council.

One new council member is a former city attorney and one former council member is returning after a two-year absence.
Even more confusing, three of the nine at the table are named Eddie, including Mayor-elect Eddie Joe Williams who won his four-man race with 52 percent of the votes. And two are named Williams.

The loss was Alderman Odis Waymackís, an independent candidate, who is completing his third two-year term on the council. The Ward 4, Position 1 seat he holds will go to Becky Lemaster, also an independent, who defeated Waymack by 101 votes, 2,280 to 2,179.

The council has had no women for two years, but Lemaster is one of three who won seats on Tuesday.

The returning council members are Eddie Cook, who is completing his first two-year term in Ward 1 Position 2 and ran unopposed for a second, and Ward 3, Position 1 Alderman Tom Armstrong who is in his second term. Armstrong won over Ernie Ernst 2,767 to 1,444. Armstrong and Ernst both ran as independents.

Two of the current council members, David Polantz and James Glenn, didnít run for reelection because they filed for the mayorís position instead against Williams, a former council member and Kenny Ridgeway, a former member of the Lonoke County Quorum Court. The count Tuesday night was Williams, 2,574; Ridgeway, 1,089; Polantz, 887; and Glenn, 390. Williams is a Republican. The other candidates are independents.

The seats held by Polantz and Glenn will go to former Alderman Eddie Long, and Lisa Brickell. Long, also called Ed, lost his Ward 1, Position 2 seat two years ago to Eddie Cook, but easily won the Ward 1, Position 1 seat Polantz is vacating over John Johnson 2,414 to 1,842. Both ran as independents.

Brickell won Glennís Ward 4, Position 1 seat over two other candidates. The vote was Brickell 2,559, Robert Helton 1,108 and Thomas Standley 653. The candidates ran as independents. Bob Duke, who has held his Ward 3 Position 2 seat for 30 years, did not seek reelection. Neither did Jerry Stephens, who has held his Ward 2 Position 2 seat for one term.

Former City Attorney Ken Williams filed as a Republican for Stephensí seat and ran unopposed.

Dukeís seat will be filled by Teri Meissner, a Republican, won over independent candidate Nancy Cohea 2,712 to 1,838. The Ward 2, Position 1 seat currently filled by Alderman Patrick Hutton, who lost his bid for the Lonoke County Quorum Court during the Republican Primary, will go to Virgil Teague, a Republican, who won over independent candidate Michael Burton 2,627 to 2,004.

The mayor-elect said Friday that outgoing Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh is making the transition a smooth one. The new council members are invited to sit in on budget sessions and Stumbaugh is providing a place in the bank building next to city hall that he city is buying for the finance director and city clerk to talk to the new members about the budgeting process.