Friday, November 05, 2010

TOP STORY > >Candidates prepare for mayoral runoffs

By Joan McCoy and Rick kroN 
Leader staff writers

Sherwood and Cabot are gearing up for mayoral runoffs Nov. 23 after the top vote-getters fa
iled to get more than 50 percent of the ballots cast Tuesday.
Sherwood Mayor Virginia Hillman will face the second-place finisher, Alderman Sheila Sulcer.

Hillman received 4,597 votes, or 49 percent; Sulcer garnered 2,624 votes, or 28 percent, and businessman Mike Presson finished a close third with 2,196 votes, or 23 percent.

In Cabot, Bill Cypert will face former Mayor Stubby Stum-baugh.

The vote Tues-day night was Cypert, 1,946, or 36 percent; Stumbaugh, 1,855, or 35 percent, and Alder-man Eddie Cook, 1,575, 29 percent.

Cook has endorsed Cypert in the runoff.

Stumbaugh said, “I look forward to a spirited debate between now and the runoff on Nov. 23.”

Stumbaugh said he will remind voters of the many accomplishments when he was mayor, such as the Veterans Park Community Center, a $30 million water-im-provement project and a $600,000 special census that brought millions of dollars to the city.

Stumbaugh said, as mayor, he will focus on “attracting more and better jobs, continue to work to alleviate traffic congestion and make our streets and neighborhoods safer for our good citizens.”

In a press release from Cypert’s campaign headquarters, Cook said he “believes that Cypert is the strongest and best qualified candidate that can address traffic problems with high priority, both short and long term, and enact a strategic plan to help the city grow with minimal problems in the right direction in all areas of infrastructure.

“Cypert, as secretary and spokesman of the Cabot Water and Wastewater Commission, has an excellent relationship with the current mayor, city council, planning commission and other city staff and works well as a member with the public works committee. 

“The Water and Wastewater Commission has done an excellent job with the water and wastewater facilities, infrastructure, and strategic plans; and they are well prepared for long-term growth in a very fiscally responsible manner,” Cook said.

Cabot was in debt at the end of Stumbaugh’s four years in office.

Stumbaugh blames the city council for not balancing the city’s books.

Cook was chairman of the budget committee that has worked with Mayor Eddie Joe Williams to correct that problem.
Williams has said that when all the outstanding bills were tallied, Cabot was about $1 million in the red. Now, the city has about $4 million in savings.
Cook said he believes Cypert “will continue the fiscal conservatism that in the last four years has turned the city finances from near bankruptcy, significant indebtedness and no funding for new projects to a sound financial position.

“Cypert will fully support Cabot fire and police and will not cut any staff or services but will on a priority basis enhance staff and equipment to ensure the best service levels and ISO rating for lower casualty insurance rates,” Cook said, adding that Cypert supports construction of a new fire station in the Greystone and Magness Creek area.