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All the incumbents running and one newcomer who has held a seat before are returning to the West Point City Council.
Incumbent Lavinda Curl led the candidates in votes received with 199, 14.94 percent of the ballots.
“I’m very, very glad that the citizens saw fit to elect me again,” she said.
Curl said she is happy about her election and feels challenged by the work council members have ahead of them during the next two years.
City leaders must work with little money while expanding the community and increasing the population, she said.
Part of that can come from encouraging services for residents that they deserve but currently don’t have access to, such as a small grocery, Curl said.
“I would just thank everyone that supported me and just hope that we can justify their votes,” she said.
Incumbent Dwayne Culver was runner-up in votes received with 186.
“I still feel the same as I did before the election,” he said. “I’m honored that the community has faith in me to do a good job as a council person.”
One of the biggest challenges council members face is unfunded liability that retirement expenses for city employees means for the community’s budget, Culver said.
That issue can take a city from solvency to insolvency quickly, he said.
Culver is confident he and his fellow council members can tackle the challenges before them.
“We’ve got a good council, and I’m looking forward to working with them for the next two years,” he said.
Incumbent Carl Hall agreed, saying that he thinks council members will be able to work well together.
“We’ve all got the same goals,” he said.
Hall, who took third in the ballots with 183 votes and 13.74 percent, said he has been on the council for a long time and knows it’s important to use financial responsibility.
“I enjoy working for the town, trying to make the town better,” he said.
An important task during the next two years is filling Red Oak Apartments with residents to add to the city’s tax base and the number of students at West Point Independent School.
Incumbent Fred Staley Jr. took fourth place with 174 votes and 13.06 percent.
“I’m just grateful that they give me that much credit to let me try and do a little bit more,” he said.
Staley said lost revenue and the recent train derailment will be major issues for West Point.
“We’re struggling,” he said. “We’re keeping our heads above water, but it gets harder every year and you just have to keep tightening and tightening.”
Work related to the derailment required overtime pay for city employees, Staley said.
He hopes railroad officials attend at the council’s meeting Monday to discuss the issue and answer questions.
Josh Roederer, who served on the council and left to go to college while working full time, will return to the council in fifth place with 173 votes, 12.99 percent.
He is looking forward to his time on the council and thinks his role as the only new council member will mean he’ll need to find a way to fit in with incumbents and get things done.
Roederer said he thinks there’s a lot of focus on the town’s history. He wants to see more emphasis on offering young people entertainment options to keep families there.
Incumbent D.P. Wise took the final spot on the council with 168 votes, 12.61 percent. He couldn’t be reached for comment.
Chuck McCreary got 149 votes, 11.19 percent. Charles Michael Zoeller got 100 votes, 7.51 percent.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEST POINT CITY COUNCIL
Lavinda Curl 199
Dwayne Culver 186
Carl Hall 183
Fred Staley Jr. 174
Josh Roederer 173
D.P. Wise 168
Chuck McCreary 149
Charles Michael Zoeller 100