Mercer wins Pelham council runoff
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
Maurice Mercer will serve the next four years as Pelham’s Place 4 City Council representative after he defeated challenger Jim Phillips in the city’s Oct. 9 runoff election.
During the runoff, Mercer gathered 76.3 percent of the vote compared to Phillips’ 23.7 percent.
“It feels good. I am thankful for the support both in August and here today, and I intend to do what is right and fair for the people of Pelham,” Mercer said.
Mercer said his initial plans are to compile a list of “everything that needs to be addressed in the city,” and said he will work to finalize the city’s budget, look at the city’s sewer rates, develop a marketing plan for the city and work to support the Pelham Civic Complex.
Phillips congratulated Mercer, and said he called his opponent shortly after the election results came in.
“I’ve always liked Maurice, and I am proud for him,” Phillips said. “He and I are on the same page on a lot of stuff. I think he and the other council members will gel together and move the city forward.”
The two candidates entered a runoff after neither was able to gather a majority of votes during the city’s Aug. 28 general election. During the general election, the two beat out fellow Place 4 candidates Jeff Smith and Bob Sullivan.
Mercer is scheduled to be sworn in with the rest of the city’s elected officials during a Nov. 5 City Council meeting.
Mercer will serve over the next four years with a new mayor and a mostly new slate of City Council members.
During the Pelham general election, Gary Waters was elected as the city’s new mayor. Council newcomers Rick Hayes and Beth McMillan also won their races during the Aug. 28 election.
Only two of the city’s five council members – incumbents Ron Scott and Karyl Rice – were re-elected to their seats during the Aug. 28 election.