Pikeville chooses Weaver for mayor
By Laura Collins
Published in News on November 4, 2009 1:46 PM
Mayor-elect Johnny Weaver
PIKEVILLE -- Challenger Johnny Weaver defeated incumbent Mayor Herb Sieger Tuesday 114 to 84, earning a four-year term in office.
Weaver, who does not support selling alcohol in Pikeville, said his stance on the issue, which was the subject of a controversial referendum that failed, might have had a lot to do with the outcome.
The question of selling beer and wine inside the Pikeville town limits has gone on the ballot several times over the past two decades and has failed each time.
"I think the (voter) turnout was for the beer and wine. Most of the citizens are more excited about that than anything else," Weaver said Tuesday night. "I was against it and people knew that I was. Maybe they think we won't throw it on the ballot and force them to come out and vote on it again."
Weaver was previously appointed to serve as commissioner for a year and a half before running for office and being re-elected in 2005. He did not run for re-election in 2007. Weaver said he will bring a knowledge of budget management and community inclusion to the board.
"I am a fiscal conservative. I know how to do a budget and I can make a budget," he said. "I believe in including people in helping me make a decision and if they do, we'll all be better for it."
Sieger, who has served as mayor for the past six and a half years, seemed content with the outcome.
"The people have spoken," Sieger said. "They got what they wanted."
Sieger said he does not plan to run again, but added that he will still be involved in the town's business.
"I am still going to keep my eyes open about what's going on in town, and if I feel it merits it, I will voice my opinion," he said.
Six people were also in the running for two open commissioner seats, which also are for four-year terms.
Incumbent Lyman Galloway won with 96 votes.
"I feel good about myself," he said. "I spent a lot of time in the town and out on different sites and I think people see that and that's what they want."
Galloway, who has already served 12 years on the board, said he brings knowledge and experience to the Board of Commissioners.
Incumbent Commissioner Edith McClenny received the third highest amount of votes but was not re-elected. Instead Ward Kellum will take her seat. Kellum received the most number of votes with 115. McClenny received 51.
"I am very humbled that I got the most votes," Kellum said. "That surprised me and pleased me. I'm going to do the very best I can and not be a disappointment to my wife and the citizens of Pikeville."
"Had I won or lost, I feel like we did everything we could have done," he said, then added. "I would like to see some good, orderly growth, some planned growth in Pikeville. Beyond that, there are a lot of issues I won't know about until I sit down at that table. I hope to listen and study and make the best decisions I can."
McClenny, an eight-year commissioner, was disappointed to hear she was not re-elected.
"I worked hard to try to make Pikeville a better place. I wanted it to grow. I raised my family here and I always thought it was a great town," she said. "I do appreciate all the people who had faith in me and supported me."
Other commission candidates included Regina Wassenhove, who received 48 votes, and Lee McGrady received 34 votes.
The new officials will be sworn into office at the next town meeting, Dec. 7.