Madison County will have a new mayor in Alexandria, a new council member in Pendleton and a few other new faces in offices come Jan. 1.
No, Tuesday’s municipal election wasn’t exactly transformative, but every election offers an opportunity for a fresh start come the beginning of the new term – Jan. 1, in this case.
It’s incumbent on reelected incumbents to reevaluate the work they’ve done on local councils and boards. The challenge for winning challengers is to stay in touch with their constituents and represent their best interests in all decisions. Sometimes that will mean going with the flow; sometimes it will mean swimming against it.
In Anderson, voters gave Mayor Tom Broderick a hearty thumbs-up as he racked up 1,990 more votes than his closest competitor, Republican Rick Gardner. It was the largest winning margin in an Anderson mayoral race in at least 40 years.
Now, the community is counting on Broderick to be a better mayor than he was in his first term, to build on economic development momentum, to get leadership of the police department straightened out and to avoid the appearance of nepotism in hiring to city posts.
The mayor has solid plans for improvement of parks and residential areas, and his second term will be judged to a large degree on the success of those programs.
Broderick will again have a 7-2 Democratic majority on city council to work with. All seven Dems on the ballot for council won Tuesday, as did incumbent Republicans Jennifer Culp and Jon Bell. Democrat Rick Muir will return to a council seat after an eight-year absence.
But it hasn’t been smooth-going for Broderick and council. Though they share the same political party with the mayor, council President Rebecca Crumes and councilman Ty Bibbs often have been highly critical of the administration’s progress on the west side and police department appointments, respectively.
The new Alexandria mayor-elect, Todd Naselroad, represents a changing of the guard. The Republican will take over for Mayor Ron Richardson, a Democrat who chose not to run for another term.
As a longtime Alexandria city employee, currently in the water department, Naselroad is equipped to take a practical view of city infrastructure needs.
All of those taking municipal office come Jan. 1, both incumbents and challengers, should always keep the greater public good top of mind, above personal interests and political advantage. Serve the people, as they’ve elected you to do.