Newberry mayoral candidate John Glanzer (right) congratulates opponent Mayor Bill Conrad on his victory Tuesday evening.
NEWBERRY – Newberry’s city election, which was held Tuesday, saw several incumbents returned to municipal office and one sitting commissioner defeated.
The crowd, which had gathered outside the fire station Tuesday evening in anticipation of election results, inched closer and closer to the open bay doors. Inside the polling location a team was calculating which candidate would be the next mayor and group IV commissioner. The 2013 Newberry municipal elections had drawn to a close about 30 minutes earlier.
In the mayoral race, John Glanzer faced off against current mayor Bill Conrad. Commissioner Robert Fillyaw faced challenger Tim Marden and Commissioner Jordan Marlow ran unopposed for reelection to his seat.
After the ballots were counted Bill Conrad had retained his mayoral seat with 520 votes to Glanzer’s 261. In the group IV race, Tim Marden pulled off the victory with 446 votes to incumbent Fillyaw with 331 votes.
Crowd reaction ranged from audible guffaws to “Unbelievable” as hugs were exchanged between families, friends and opponents.
“I think it’s going to be building bridges and getting the commission to work well together,” Mayor Conrad said of his second term.
“And I think the people have sent a message back to the commission that they want the budget balanced.
“They still like the dream, they like the vision, but not at the expense of big debt and overspending. People want strategic planning.
“They are looking for more fiscal responsibility,” said Conrad, who plans to focus on his accountability to the public.
“There is certainly going to be a learning curve,” Marden said with a smile about his new position as group IV commissioner.
“I know that the vote today was for me, but it’s a vote of trust and a vote of confidence that I don’t take lightly.
“I appreciate their patience in advance, and I encourage everyone to stay as engaged as they have been in the last two months,” he said.
John Glanzer, who has given a quarter century of his life to city government service, might consider running again in the future.
“It was depressing to lose,” he said.
“It was said by several people that there wasn’t a bad choice to be made by the citizens as far as between the commissioners and mayoral candidates.”
His biggest concern now is that citizens vehemently participate in community affairs through clear communication and attendance at commission meetings and special workshops.
Glanzer says that part of his decision to run sprang from his concern that past and current mayors “were not doing their very best in working with the commissioners as far as sharing information in an even-handed manner and letting the public know everything and not just part of it.”
By about 8 p.m. all the campaign signs in front of the fire station were taken down and packed away.
About 100 of Conrad’s and Marden’s supporters were off to Triangle Park for a victory party.
“We ate pizza, drank some soft drinks and the kids played in the park. We had a very mellow time,” Conrad said.
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