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Incumbents retain seats in the Plains

Tuesday, May. 6 | By Hannah Dellinger
Joyce Heflin Pearson
Lori B. Sisson
All of The Plains Town Council incumbents will remain in office for another four years, according to unofficial results Tuesday.

Lori B. Sisson, Joyce Heflin Pearson and Heidi Van Voorhis were elected to the three open council seats. They will be sworn in for another term of office on July 1. Fifty-seven voters turned out at the polls, for a 27.9 percent turnout of registered voters.

Challenger and first-time political candidate Charles E. Westbrook hoped to claim a spot on the council to increase road safety, but voters ended up showing their support for the current council members.

“I appreciate all the supporters that came out for me,” said Westbrook after hearing the unofficial results over the phone. “I am happy to have created a discussion with a contested election about what the future of The Plains will be. I wish those elected the best of luck.”

Westbrook received 19.2 percent of the vote. He ran on the platform of making The Plains more of a safe “walking” town. He said that he entered the race because he is concerned about road safety. This issue became personal to him after he lost his cat to a speeding driver. Westbrook served on the town’s traffic safety committee in the past and was pleased with the council’s approval of a traffic safety pilot project.

“I still stuck to the notion that this is a small town, and as a challenger, only living here a few years, people don’t yet know me,” he said. “I’ll continue to stay involved in some form or fashion.”

Pearson received 20.5 percent of the vote and was pleased to hear that she will be serving another four years.

“I’m happy to serve another four years and represent my neighbors,” said Pearson. “I’ve lived in this community all my life, and I talk to the people about the issues and how they feel and try to vote in the way that the majority feels.”

Pearson said that her main goal for her upcoming term is to continue to keep the town finances manageable. As a certified public accountant, Pearson believes that she is qualified to continue to keep tight strings on the town’s budget.

Pearson has a long legacy of public service in her family. Her family has lived in The Plains for more than 100 years, and her mother and father served on the council.

Pearson said that when she serves her next term, she will encourage residents to get more involved in the community.

Sisson received 29.1 percent of the vote. In the past three elections, she proved to be the most popular candidate, though that was not the case this year.

Sisson said that she enjoys serving on the council because it is a way to help contribute positively to her community.

"It's truly about giving back," she said.

In addition to her role on the council, Sisson serves the government as a probation officer. She said that in her next term, she’d like to see more businesses come to The Plains and more residents get involved in the community.

Van Voorhis received the most votes Tuesday, collecting 31.1 percent of the vote. She could not be reached for comment before press time.

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