Woodstock gets one new city councilman
by Michelle Babcock
November 06, 2013 12:28 AM | 1797 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cherokee County poll workers Helen Dawson, left, and Mary Ann Jones, hand voting cards to Woodstock residents Jim Wrath and his wife, Betty, at the Woodstock Public Library polling place Tuesday afternoon. <br> Staff/Jeff Stanton
Cherokee County poll workers Helen Dawson, left, and Mary Ann Jones, hand voting cards to Woodstock residents Jim Wrath and his wife, Betty, at the Woodstock Public Library polling place Tuesday afternoon.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
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WOODSTOCK — The Ward 3 and Ward 5 incumbents will head back to the Woodstock City Council and new councilman Warren Johnson will take the vacated Ward 1 seat, unofficial results following Tuesday’s election show.

Out of 13,965 registered voters in Woodstock, 758 people cast ballots in the city election Tuesday, or 5.43 percent, according to the Cherokee County Board of Elections results.

Johnson defeated challenger John Szczesniak to fill the Ward 1 seat vacated by City Councilman Randy Brewer.

Johnson received 57.2 percent, or 409 votes. Szczesniak garnered 42.38 percent, or 303 votes.

Johnson said he was excited and humbled to be elected for his first term on the council.

“We worked hard, we knocked on over 1,500 doors. We talked to the people and we explained my views, they agreed with them and they voted for me,” Johnson said. “I’m very humbled and hope I can live up to the expectation.”

Johnson said he hopes to help Woodstock continue on a path toward a “bright future,” and wants the city to remain “a wonderful place to live.”

“We’re on the right track and we just need to be sure we keep it that way,” Johnson said

Szczesniak said his opponent would do a great job.

“I appreciate everyone’s support, and I think Warren is going to do a great job,” Szczesniak said. “I think he needs to educate himself on some of the issues that we’ve dealt with in the past couple of years.”

Incumbent Robert Mueller will keep his Ward 3 city council seat for a fifth term, defeating opponent Judy Davila.

Mueller took 52.03 percent, or 372 votes, while Davila got 47.97 percent, or 343 votes.

“It feels great to be re-elected because of two things — we’re not in national debt and we’re such a progressive city that we’re going to keep on growing, keep growing and growing,” Mueller said. “And the city’s tax base is going to be cheaper, because we’re going to have a lot of new businesses.”

Mueller served on the Woodstock City Council from 1990 to 1994, and was elected again in 2002. This will be his fourth consecutive term on the council and fifth term overall.

“I think I won because, mainly, I told the truth,” Mueller said. “Once the tax base comes in from (the outlet mall), we’re going to widen Towne Lake Parkway, we’re going to put the amphitheater in, we’re going to do a whole bunch of things that need to be done.”

Mueller said the Woodstock will remain a “progressive city.”

“I think the residents know me, and they know I’m for the city of Woodstock,” Mueller said.

Davila thanked her supporters and said running for a seat in the future “may be a possibility.”

“I want to give thanks to those who supported me,” Davila said.

Incumbent Bud Leonard will remain the Ward 5 city councilman for his third consecutive term, defeating challenger Susan Jones to keep his seat.

Leonard took 52.66 percent, or 386 votes, while Jones garnered 47.2 percent, or 346 votes.

“I’m very pleased and very thankful to the citizens of Woodstock that put their confidence in me and gave me another chance. The reason I won, I believe with all of my heart, is that I kept my campaign very positive and I focused on the accomplishments of Woodstock, and the accomplishments of Woodstock literally speak for themselves,” Leonard said. “People who were really watching what’s going on in the city know that. All I did was tell people what we’ve done and where we’re going.”

Leonard said he’s “humbled and proud” to serve another term on the city council, and looks forward to “continuing the momentum” in Woodstock.

“We’ve brought Woodstock through some of the most devastating economic times in recent memory, yet, in the midst of that, we’ve grown and literally become the envy of the state,” Leonard said. “We want to continue our growth progress. I want to see us move ahead with the Arnold Mill widening project, that’s extremely important … hopefully, shortly thereafter, we’ll be able to start looking seriously at our amphitheater project.”

Jones said she plans to keep being involved and wants to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the city. Jones said she hoped voters’ “eyes were opened to some of the facts and things that are going on in the city.”

“Maybe they’ll make a change,” Jones said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Donnie Henriques remains in his seat, re-elected with no opposition.

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