The Corbin City Commission was assured of having two new commissioners and now will have three as Trent Knuckles, David Grigsby Hart and Andrew Pennington finished among the top four Tuesday night along with incumbent Ed Tye.
I feel good about it,” Tye said of winning another two-year term. I’m honored that the people of Corbin still want me to serve.
Tye said when the new commission is sworn in in January, he will continue to work with one goal in mind, to make Corbin the best it can be.
“I don’t have an agenda,” Tye said when asked if there was anything specific he wanted to tackle out of the gate. “If we have the money to do what we want to do and can do it, that’s fine.”
Knuckles earned the most support among the seven candidates garnering 1,337 votes out of 7,134 that were cast in the race. Each voter selected four candidates.
Knuckles said he is happy with the result but understands that the hard work now begins.
“I have said all along that Corbin’s budget and financial position is the main problem facing the city commission,” Knuckles said.
“We have to take a look and see where we stand,” Knuckles said of what can be done about the budget that was approved in June.
Knuckles said whatever steps are taken, the commissioners need to have an honest and open discussion about it.
“City government has become citizen unfriendly and too secretive,” Knuckles said.
Hart, who finished second, garnering 1,211 votes, said based on the results, he believes the people of Corbin want a change at city hall.
“I think we need to hammer on the budget,” Hart said. “I think everybody in Corbin is ready to get back to conservative spending.”
Hart said he plans to go down to city hall and begin meeting and speaking with the department heads. In addition, he will be reviewing the budget, which was passed in June.
“I want to see where we can make improvements,” Hart said.
Pennington, who finished third with 1,036 votes, said he is happy for the opportunity.
Like Knuckles and Hart, Pennington said the new commission must take a hard look at the budget and see what interim changes may be made to help shore up the city’s financial position.
In addition to the budget, Pennington said he has heard from a number of residents who are concerned about the worsening traffic situation on Main Street, particularly the speed with which it flows.
“For the majority of people that was one of the utmost safety issues,” Pennington said, adding that he and his wife take his child downtown to walk at least once a week and know what it is like to attempt to cross the street, even at the lights.
“It is a nightmare,” Pennington said.
Pennington said he would consider taking the parking off of one side of Main Street as one option, but wants to find the best option to solve the problem.
Two seats opened when Commissioner Suzie Razmus elected not to seek re-election and Commissioner Joe Shelton moved outside the city limits. Commissioner Freddy Bruce Hodge lost his re-election bid.
The Williamsburg City Council will return six incumbents.
Erica Broome Harris took the top spot among the seven candidates with 894 votes. Loren Connell finished second with 858 and Laurel Jeffries West was third with 828 votes. Rounding out the council are Mary Ann Renfro Stanfill with 793 votes, Patty Faulkner with 677 votes and Richard Foley with 666 votes.
Challenger Adam Sulfridge garnered 545 votes.
The new council will be sworn in in January and will serve a two-year term.