Leader Blues

Friday, November 07, 2008

TOP STORY > >Runoff set for Nov. 25 in Cabot council race

By JOAN McCOY
Leader staff writer

As is often the case when three candidates run for the same position, there was no clear winner Tuesday in the Cabot City Council race between incumbent Becky Lemaster, Ann Gilliam and Bucky Mayfield.

The runoff election Nov. 25 is between Gilliam, who garnered 3,463 votes, and Lemaster, who finished second with 2,377 votes.

Mayfield, who said his work kept him from campaigning as much as he would have liked, is asking the 1,206 city residents who voted for him to support Gilliam.

Lemaster took office two years ago as did Mayor Eddie Joe Williams. The two have often been at odds. Lemaster fought the mayor over some of the layoffs in his first year in office that he said were necessary because the cityís expenses were higher than its income. More recently, she opposed the purchase of a piece of equipment for ripping up asphalt that would have cost about $80,000. During much of her time in office, Lemaster has had problems with code violations at her home and business.

Neighbors have complained that both are unsightly. Lemaster has complained that the mayor uses the code officer to exact revenge. But Williams declined Friday to say who he supports in the runoff for the Ward 4, Position 1 seat.

Neither would he comment on the defeat of former Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh and Alderman Teri Miessner. Stumbaugh lost his bid for the Ward 3, Position 1 seat held by the ailing Alderman Tom Armstrong, 4,019 to 3,519 while Miessner lost her Ward 3, Position 2 seat to Rick Prentice, 3,597 to 3,382. Lemaster, Miessner, Stum-baugh and Patrick Hutton, who ran unopposed for the city council, are generally considered allies who could have made it difficult for Williams to implement plans to which they were opposed.

ďIím committed to doing whatís best for this city and Iíll work with whoever is elected,Ē Williams said, adding that he is already planning a January workshop, like those he has held for the past two years, where he will discuss next yearís plans with the council.