City leadership remains stable

Published 6:00 am Monday, March 7, 2005

Brookhaven’s citywide elected officials will remain the same fornext four years after no challengers qualified for mayor, cityclerk, chief of police or alderman at large by Friday’sdeadline.

Mayor Bob Massengill, who was elected in special election lastyear, was thankful and looking forward to serving a four-year termin the city’s top elected office. By not having an opponent,Massengill said he can continue working on plans for the city’sfuture and implementing those in cooperation with the board ofaldermen.

“We can move forward with some of those now rather than havingto wait until the first of July,” said Massengill, referring to thetime when new officials would take office.

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City Clerk Mike Jinks, who also won a special election lastyear, will be elected to a full-term after having no opponents.

“I’m looking forward to my first four-year term and thank thepeople for the opportunity to serve,” Jinks said.

Police Chief Pap Henderson, who will be elected to a second termin office, said it was a “blessing” to be able to continue toserve. He thanked the police department and citizens for theirsupport over the last four years and for the opportunity of anotherterm.

“I certainly appreciate it,” the chief said.

Also in line for a second term is Alderman at large LesBumgarner. Bumgarner said he was extremely honored and proud tohave four more years in office.

“I’ve tried to represent everybody and get everybody to worktogether,” Bumgarner said. “We’re going to continue to dothat.”

Among alderman ward races, only Ward Four Alderwoman ShirleyEstes remained unopposed following Friday’s qualifying deadline.The Republican, elected last year in a special vote, said she isgrateful for the chance to continue to serve.

“The last few months have been enjoyable,” said Estes, citingcity progress and cooperation among board members. “It’s been goodto be a part of that work and to represent Ward Four.”

In other election activity, the Ward Five alderman race gained acandidate and lost a candidate during the last week ofqualifying.

Former Brookhaven Planning Commission member D.W. Maxwellqualified in the May 3 Democratic primary to face incumbent TomSmith, who is seeking a third term in office.

Maxwell said he believes he could be of assistance as the citypursues an annexation. He also touted a desire to enhance variouscity services.

“I fully intend to work with all the city officials and citizensof my ward to improve that as much as possible,” Maxwell said.

While Maxwell joined the primary, Burnell Robinson withdrew fromthe race. Robinson said he and his wife are planning to relocateoutside the city limits.

“I appreciate all the support I’ve been given during my shortcandidacy,” Robinson said Friday morning.

Either Smith or Maxwell will face Republican Don Godbold in theJune 7 general election.

Now with four candidates, the Ward Two alderman race will beBrookhaven’s most hotly-contested.

Sylvester Selmon, a South Washington Street resident who wasunavailable for comment, joined the Democratic primary race Fridayagainst incumbent Terry Bates, Vernastine Byrd and Javelle C.Coleman. There are no Republican candidates.

In Ward Six, Scott Vinson became the latest aldermancandidate.

Vinson, a Stribling Equipment employee who also operates a smallbusiness, will face incumbent John E. “Buddy” Allen and Billy G.Carson in the Democratic primary. There are no GOP candidates.

Other races in this year’s elections include:

* Ward One alderman – incumbent Dorsey Cameron and Elisa CorleyJr.

* Ward Three alderman – incumbent Mary Wilson and Donald R.Thadison.

Both alderman races will be decided in the Democratic primarysince there are no Republican candidates in either of thecontests.

While citywide races have been decided, Mayor Bob Massengillsaid there are still several alderman races that are important forthe future of the city.

“My hope is people will take an interest in the election and notbe apathetic,” Massengill said.

The mayor said it is important to have a good board of aldermen.By working together, he said the mayor can provide leadership asthe board sets the direction the city will go in the future.

Party primaries are scheduled for Tuesday, May 3, with runoffson Tuesday, May 17 where needed. The general election is Tuesday,June 7.

Election winners are scheduled to take office in July.