Mayor Jim Clinton will hold on to his gavel after receiving the unanimous backing of his fellow city councilors at their Jan. 1 meeting. This was not an entirely forgone conclusion, as Councilor Doug Knight mounted a campaign asking community members to write in their support. By the time the meeting came around, however, Knight conceded that he was, by his own estimation, one councilor short of winning. He instead threw his support behind Clinton for mayor and Councilor Sally Russell for mayor pro tem. Russell was also voted in unanimously, replacing outgoing Councilor Jodie Barram.
Following the blissfully brief 20-minute meeting—at the end of which Mayor Clinton, for old time's sake, invited outgoing Councilor Mark Capell to make the motion to adjourn—councilors and community members alike made their way to an after party at new councilor Barb Campbell's toy shop Wabi Sabi. People literally rubbed elbows as they filled the aisles between Hello Kitty memorabilia and colorful cosplay costumes, sipping on lemon drops shaken in a non-descript thermos and served in shot-sized paper cups by a bartender who looked like she just walked out of a Sailor Moon cartoon.
New councilor Casey Roats didn't stay at the party long—his two young daughters were approaching their bedtimes—but he recently learned he has cause for celebration. The State Elections Division closed its investigation into Roats' alleged election fraud Jan. 8, finding insufficient evidence of a violation. Local activist Michael Funke had accused of Roats of knowingly providing false information on his voter and candidacy forms by listing his office and an under-construction home. Funke says that despite the outcome, he looks forward to finding common ground with the new councilor.