By CHRIS AGEE
Votes from city elections held May 11 were canvassed at Tuesday night’s city council meeting, a step necessary to officialize reported results.
When Mayor Mike Allen determined the tallies matched, four new council members took an oath to begin a new term.
Three seats are now occupied by new representatives as Ward 2 Council member Tammy Underwood settles in to her second term.
Karium Carter was the only altogether new councilman added to the city’s government. He ran unopposed for the Ward 4 councilman seat being vacated by Kevin Harrison.
“It was interesting,” he said of his first meeting, adding that he looks forward to working for the city’s best interest. “I’m excited to see what this year brings.”
Harrison, who began Tuesday’s meeting in his capacity as councilman for Ward 4, moved a few seats over to take his new position as Place 1 Councilman-at-Large.
Harrison defeated Rick Bennett by a vote of 252 to 135 in the city’s only contested race.
One familiar face returned to the council Tuesday as former Ward 2 Councilman Bill Terry took the helm as Place 2 councilman-at-large.
The seat’s former occupant, Margaret Hill Colton, did not seek re-election.
Since Colton served as mayor pro tem, the council also selected a replacement from among current members.
Terry nominated John Upham, who has served on the council since 2010, and Underwood seconded. His nomination was approved unanimously.
City Manager Lance Howerton said city staff will work with the new council throughout the term.
“We want to support you as well as we can,” he said.
Allen officiated a recognition ceremony for outgoing council members, though Bennett was absent from the meeting.
He said Colton has been a “dedicated servant to the city of Mineral Wells” during her multiple council terms.
“We fully appreciate all you’ve done during these years,” he added.
Public Works Director Bobby Baker is also leaving his post, Howerton noted, as Tuesday’s meeting marked his last before retirement.
“We appreciate the 25-plus years you’ve been here,” Howerton said, adding Baker has been “dedicated to this organization.”
Allen said he remembered voting for Baker to take the helm as director.
“It was a good decision,” he said.