BELTON — For the first time in Belton, a female will serve as mayor. Current Mayor Pro Tem Marion Grayson was elected Saturday after running unopposed for the seat.
She will be joined on the Belton City Council by Paul Sanderford and Guy O’Banion, who received 163 and 106 votes respectively.
Other candidates for the council were Bruce Burleson, who got 60 votes, and Justin D. Winkler, with 59 votes.
Mayor Jim Covington and Councilman John Agan did not seek re-election. Grayson’s seat became available when she filed for mayor.
In 2006, Covington became the first elected mayor in Belton’s history. Prior to 2006, mayors in Belton were appointed by council member votes.
The newly elected officers are scheduled to be sworn into office Tuesday.
O’Banion said going into the race, “We should make decisions not just for now, but for 20 years from now.”
He has been on the planning and zoning commission for several years and is branch manager of United Rentals, which rents construction equipment.
He compared handling city spending to handling the budget of his store.
“With growth comes a little pain, but we try to spend money where we get the most bang for our buck,” O’Banion said.
Going into the race, Sanderford, 52, said he thought development must be proactive as Belton continues to develop its streets, water, sewage and other infrastructure.
“The fire, police and other foundational elements need to continuously be assessed, and the city needs to stay ahead of the curve,” he said.
As a former Belton school board member, Sanderford said he plans to use the same strategy of planning ahead on the council that he used on the school board.
“The school was growing, and we purchased property. Now, that property we bought years ago is being used to build a new school,” he said.
One immediate problem Sanderford said should be addressed is the burgeoning traffic. The city should focus on the extension of Loop 121 to relieve the growing congestion.
Sanderford is an attorney at Sanderford and Caroll, PC. He works almost exclusively in federal procurement law representing businesses who want to work with the federal government.