Challengers win seats on Corbin City Commissoin; W'burg Council unchanged
The Corbin City Commission will have two new faces come January as Suzie Barton Razmus and Bruce Hodge will join incumbents Joe Shelton and Ed Tye.
In addition to Phil Gregory, who chose not to run for re-election, Joe "Butch" White was not re-elected in voting Tuesday.
Razmus, who made a strong showing in her first political campaign, was the top choice among Corbin voters for City Commission. She outpaced the rest of the field with 1,595.
"I feel honored and I'm really excited. I can't wait to get to work for the city of Corbin," Razmus, who is owner of Tri-County Cineplex, said shortly after Tuesday's victory.
"I just hope I can live up to the expectations of those who supported me."
Razmus said she wants to focus on making downtown Corbin a more attractive place, calling it the "heart of the city."
"I think all things really flow from the success of our downtown," Razmus said. "I'm really anxious to see what kind of money is coming in from the alcohol tax and am excited to start mapping out some goals for the city."
Razmus was one of two women in the race, and she will be the first to serve as a City Commissioner in quite some time.
Also new to the Commission will be retired United Parcel Service worker Bruce Hodge.
Hodge, who was out picking up his campaign signs as results began coming in Tuesday night, said it was nice to see his hard work had paid off.
"I really enjoyed going around, giving out cards and going door-to-door," Hodge said.
In that time, Hodge said he has seen a number of issues the city needs to address.
"There are a lot of ditches that need to be fixed," Hodge said, adding that he expects the problems to be resolved quickly when brought to the attention of City Manager Marlon Sams.
As to the other commissioners, Hodge said he has hope that he will be able to work with them, especially Tye, who he went to school with.
"You don't know until you get there," Hodge said.
Serving on the Code Enforcement Board, Hodge said he has learned that there are reasons public servants may not be able to do what residents want them to.
"Hopefully, we can find a happy medium," Hodge said.
On the other hand, Hodge said he doesn't want to let the voters down.
"If I do, call me and tell me," Hodge said.
Returning for a fifth term is veteran commissioner Joe Shelton.
Shelton said he is honored that voters once again showed faith in him to do the job.
"I couldn't be more proud of all the people that ran this time. I don't think voters could have gone wrong by picking any of them, but I am excited and thankful that they chose me for another term," Shelton said. "I really want to continue with the way things have been going. I really feel strongly that our main goal as a commission ought to be making Corbin a place where people want to live and a place where business wants to be."
Rounding out the winners Tuesday is long-time City Commissioner Ed Tye who won a ninth term on the board.
A quiet pragmatist, Tye said that he'd plans to carry through with improvements to roads and sidewalks in town, but admits that decisions about city projects all depend on revenues.
"Of course, I just want to finish what we started with the streets and sidewalks and all that stuff. A lot of it depends on what happens with the budget. Whatever comes up with that pretty well dictates what we do."
In somewhat of a surprise Tuesday, incumbent commissioner Joe "Butch" White, a local tax professional, failed in his bid to be re-elected to a second term.
White said he was disappointed with the results, but planned to keep fighting as an advocate for the city in its ongoing dispute over occupational taxes with the Knox County Fiscal Court.
"Evidently, people wanted a change," White said. "I fell like I did a good job, but not everyone agreed with me."
"I have fought and fought this whole year over the Knox County occupational tax lawsuit and I will still continue until we win it."
He said he also plans to put together a petition and send it to state legislators to repeal a law passed this year that tipped the scales in the battle in Knox County's favor.
"I'm disappointed with what happened in the election, but that's life," White said.
He is unsure whether or not he will run for office again in 2014.
The make-up of the Williamsburg City Council will stay the same as it has since the November 2010 election.
Laurel Jeffries West was the leading votegetter for the fourth time in the last five elections with 1,073 votes. Erica Harris finished second with 1,066 votes followed by Troy Sharp with 1,045 votes, Mary Ann Stanfill with 1,043 votes, Richard Foley with 964 votes and Chet Riley with 811 votes.
Challenger Bill Brown garnered 655 votes in his upset bid.
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