Best of luck to new city officials

Published 10:19 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Brookhaven voters have spoken, and several new faces are coming to city government June 29.

Kenneth Collins will be city’s new police chief after defeating Jason Gaskin Tuesday. Also new to political office are Shelley Harrigill, Jason Snider and Shannon Moore.

Hopefully, these new officials will bring new ideas on how the city of Brookhaven can better serve its residents.

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There are some familiar faces returning as well. Mayor Joe Cox was re-elected Tuesday, as was Ward 3 Alderwoman Mary Wilson and Alderwoman-at-Large Karen Sullivan. Ward 5 Alderman Fletcher Grice was unopposed in this year’s election, and new Ward 1 Alderman Dorsey Cameron has served in the role before.

Municipal elections are partisan but nothing changed from a party perspective. The board currently has three Democrats, three Republicans and an independent. It will remain the same when the new term begins next month.

The current police chief is a Democrat and the man replacing him is as well.

Brookhaven has challenges that have nothing to do with party affiliation. Crime continues to be a concern, and the political party of the police chief will have little to do with how effectively the department fights it.

The same goes for infrastructure problems, budget concerns and tax issues. Residents expect logical, fiscally sound solutions to problems, and largely don’t care what letter is next to officials’ names.

The fact that a Republican mayor was re-elected and a Democrat won the police chief seat shows that voters are practical when it comes to choosing leaders. The party is less important than the person running for office — at least in most municipal races.

We wish these new leaders — and those returning — all the best as they take on the challenge of governing. We have high expectations and we’re confident voters do as well.