Newcomer Rick Causer pulled off a close victory in Red Bank on Tuesday night, unseating current Mayor Monty Millard in the race for the city's District 2 commissioner spot.
Causer, 51, won 55 percent of the vote.
"I'm grateful that the people of Red Bank did this for me," he said, "that they trust me enough to do this."
Causer said one of the first changes he wants to make in office is to try to get rid of the tax increase commissioners passed earlier this year.
"The people seemed pretty upset about that, and I agreed with them," he said. "That should never have happened."
Millard, 61, said he doesn't plan to run again for political office in Red Bank.
"I'm going to get away from all this and relax and enjoy my retirement," said Millard, who retired from the banking industry. "I've enjoyed the position I've held here for 10 years, and I did the best I could. We'll see what direction Red Bank goes in."
He said a major issue in the race was how to handle the city's old middle school buildings on Dayton Boulevard. Causer, who is retired from the U.S. Air Force, said he thinks it would be best for the city to tear down the buildings and sell the property.
"I'm not attached to the buildings," he said. "I would rather see them tear it down, get it to where it could be sold and use it to attract businesses."
The commission will decide who Red Bank's new mayor will be at the next regular meeting Nov. 20.
The two remaining open commissioner spots were filled in races where each candidate ran unopposed.
Red Bank Athletic Shop production manager Eddie Pierce, 55, was elected as commissioner-at-large and will replace Commissioner Ruth Jeno, who announced she would not seek re-election. Pierce will serve a four-year term.
Incumbent Ken Welch, 63, will serve as District 3 commissioner. A registered nurse at Erlanger hospital, he was appointed to the commission in February to replace former Vice Mayor Greg Jones, who resigned in December 2011. Welch will be up for re-election in two years.
Red Bank commissioners make $2,400 a year, while the mayor makes $3,000 a year.
All vote totals, which include federally mandated provisional ballots, are unofficial until certified by the Tennessee Division of Elections.
Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6476.
Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...