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Hunter defeats Blasingame in runoff

After the runoff election on Oct. 6, Shannon Hunter had a five-vote lead on incumbent councilmember Charlotte Blasingame with seven provisional ballots still out.

Of the five provisional ballots that were counted on Tuesday, only one had a vote cast for District B, giving Hunter a four-vote win.

“The worst thing would have been a tie, so I left my signs up just in case,” Hunter said jokingly after the specially called council meeting. “I feel relieved that it’s decided. When things are uncertain, there’s always more of a worry than things that have actually happened. It’s going to be a lot of work. I’ve been talking with Kenny Vines [who was elected mayor in the runoff] and Terry Mangram [who was elected in the Aug. 25 election to district A], and we’re definitely thinking of some good things.”

Hunter said the first action he will take as a member of the council will be to gather information to help build a long-term plan for the city.

“We’ve been sowing seeds, and we hope some of them will sprout,” Hunter said.

The biggest part of creating the plan is getting information out to the citizens and listening to what they want to see moving forward. Hunter carries a notebook to council meetings that is full of information that the residents of district B want to see in the district and city overall. The improvements include fixing the city’s dirty water, speeding in residential areas and a lack of maintenance of sidewalks and storm drains.

Vines finished with a 490-336 win against incumbent Mayor Barry Moody after the provisional ballots were read.

Hunter, Vines and Mangram will all be sworn into their newly elected seats on Nov. 2.

After the election results were canvassed, the city council held its meeting, which was originally scheduled for Monday but was moved to Tuesday to have an all-inclusive meeting.

Councilmember Tony B. Thomas asked Street, Sanitation and Cemetery Superintendent George Green and Wastewater Collection Superintendent Richard Chapman for an update on the city’s road projects.

Chapman informed the council that he was nearly done with the roads near Renfroes’ Market and would be done by the time the roads were ready to be repaved.

The project start date has not been announced yet because the contractors are behind on other projects.

The new city hall renovation is also on the backlog because of the pandemic.

The council also discussed the RockingFest on the Square.

The RockingFest on the Square is an event sponsored by the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce that will feature the world’s largest rocking horse, ice skating and pictures with Santa. It will take place in downtown LaFayette on Nov. 14. It is free to attend, but there will be vendors there selling food.

AMEA has $5,000 set aside to cover any additional costs for the event.