The possibility that Sebastian could grow by 20% through annexation seemed primary in voters’ minds as they headed to the polls Tuesday, with incumbent Ed Dodd and newcomer Kelly Dixon elected to the City Council.
Dodd, 75, and Dixon, 39, led the field of seven for the two open seats on the council, collecting the most votes in a race that included former Councilman Damien Gilliams, who was removed from office two years ago after a recall election.
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Dodd topped the field Tuesday with 34.61% of the vote, according to the unofficial results from the Supervisor of Elections Office. Dixon came in second with 23.89%.
The other five candidates placed in the following order: Sherrie Mathews received 19.75%; Louise Kautenburg, 12.02%; Charles St. John Stadelman, 5.34%; Damien H. Gilliams 2.35%; and Damien L. Gilliams “Jr.” 2.03%, according to the unofficial election results.
Overall, the top fundraisers for the campaign were the winners: Dixon raised $8,836 and Dodd raised $6,700. Matthews raised $5,657; Kautenburg brought in $4,630; and Stadelman brought in $225 in contributions. Gilliams and his son Damien “Jr.” each raised $100 for their campaigns, according to paperwork filed with the supervisor of elections office.
For the past six months, the city has been considering whether to approve the voluntary annexation of more than 1,900 acres of citrus land into the city limits. Both Dodd and Dixon have endorsed the annexation, with both citing the importance of city, rather than county, control of the land, just off County Road 510.
Dodd said he supports the Graves Brothers annexation because it provides an opportunity for commercial development, something that is not possible currently.
“This effort is a game changer for the city that will provide room for development of commercial areas which we are not able to at this time,” wrote Dodd in span questionnspanire for TCPspanlm. “My first priority will be to annex the Graves property, including the production of an annexation agreement which protects the rights of both parties.”
In her TCPalm questionnaire, Dixon said she wants to work with members of the community to be the voice of younger families in the city.
“I am a new choice,” said Dixon. “I am younger; and I am a mom. I know what it is like to grow up here, not transplant as an adult. My input as a younger candidate, with a lot of life experience and compassion for all members of the community, will offer broader perspectives and ideas.”
Dixon said with more and more families moving to Sebastian, she wants to be part of the city’s leadership to ensure Sebastian grows in a way that still maintains everything people love about Sebastian.
“The charm of our riverfront, the close community feeling we share with one another, and to keep our city clean, safe and the lagoon healthy,” said Dixon. “I will also actively worth with our City Council as we navigate through the annexation, offering my insight and ideas as a younger, well-traveled woman with a lot of life experiences..”
The winners will be sworn in Nov. 21
Term: two years
Salary: $3,600 annually; additional $1,800 if selected as mayor