Three towns in Grayson will hold elections

-A A +A

By Larry Chambers and Patrick Smith, Staff

Independence, Fries and Troutdale will hold town council elections on May 6, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Polling locations are the Independence Fire Department, Fries School and the Troutdale Fire Hall. Voters are required to be a citizen of the town they are voting in, and must present a valid ID. Absentee voting can still be done through May 3 at the Grayson County Registrar’s Office.
“We encourage everyone to get out and express their right to vote,” said Registrar Cody Wingate, who also noted it was possible for write-in candidates to win.

For Independence Town Council, Mayor E.F. “Butch” Reeves and incumbent council members Cecil Adams, Buddy Halsey and Tom Maxwell have filed for re-election. Reeves is unopposed for the mayor position, but Jeffery Z. Miller will challenge the three incumbent councilmen.
Miller said he was motivated to run for council to help do his part for the town. “In a small community like Independence, we all need to do our part to promote the town. With the failing economy, it’s the job of the council to promote the town and entice businesses.”
Miller, who grew up in Independence, said he moved away twice but always came back. “Independence will always be my home. It’s a wonderful place,” he said.
Miller recalled past days when Independence was filled with a variety of shops and businesses, but said the loss of the textile industry and recent troubles at Med-Fit’s Nautilus plant have hurt the town. He commended the town’s recent acquisition of the Independence Town Park (formerly McKnight Park), but said one of his main goals, if elected, would be to find ways to continue to motivate the community and expand business opportunities.
While speaking of community involvement, Miller added that he is a member of the Historic 1908 Courthouse Foundation, Independence Friends of the Library and a strong supporter of the Independence Farmers Market.
“We need to find ways to motivate the community with participation in events and volunteerism,” he said. “We have got to promote the town, and the town council needs to be visible and accessible to the citizens of Independence.”
Maxwell will celebrate his 12th year on Independence Town Council this summer.
He was appointed in 2002 to fill the term of a council member who moved out of town, and has been re-elected twice. Maxwell also served as vice mayor the past four years.
“My opinion isn’t always the most popular, but I always vote for what I think is the best for the citizens of Independence.”
In listing the town’s accomplishments during his time in office, Maxwell said council had spent a lot of time and money rebuilding the infrastructure of the town. “I think we’ve done a good job, and I feel the town’s infrastructure is in good shape.”
Another accomplishment Maxwell touched on was the hard work by town council to get the River North Correctional Center open, which provided more than 300 jobs to Independence, Grayson County and the surrounding area.
Reeves, Adams and Halsey could not be reached for comment concerning the election. Reeves has served on council since 1998, Halsey since 2010 and Adams since 2011.

Fries & Troutdale
Every incumbent on Fries and Troutdale town councils is up for re-election, with just one newcomer challenging for a seat on each.
In Fries, Mayor Gary Sumner and council members Bill Davis, Nancy Hawks, Carolyn Jones, Jo Ann Gunter, Jerry McCormick and Dawn Patton are the incumbents who will seek re-election, while Richard L. Farmer is the newcomer who will challenge for a seat on the council. The mayor is appointed by the town council in Fries.
For Troutdale, Mayor Bill Mitchell and council members Debbie Cornett, Pat Tilson, Ira K. McGrady Jr., Tina Delp, David McGrady and Bill Ring will look to retain their seats on council, while Scarlett R. McGrady is the newcomer who will challenge the incumbents.
Voters in this election will also write in a candidate for the council’s recorder position.