Windsor voters choose mayor, new council

Published 10:34 pm Thursday, November 8, 2018

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Voting in Western Tidewater on Tuesday featured both federal and local elections. Democratic incumbents Sen. Timothy M. Kaine and 3rd District Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott were returned to office. The county, though, favored Republican challenger Corey A. Stewart for senate. Both state and county said yes to two state amendments, each related to tax exemptions.

In the town of Windsor, people decided on Glyn T. Willis as mayor (764 votes; 95.74 percent.)

Willis said his victory “wasn’t too much of a surprise” since he had run for the position unopposed. There were 34 write-in votes (4.26 percent.)

“We have three new council members, I look forward to working with them,” he said.

As for what Willis hopes to accomplish for the town once he takes office in January, he said one of his first priorities will be to hold an organizational meeting at which the town’s goals for the year will be discussed. This will ensure that the council remains focused on issues like traffic and sewage throughout the year, rather than coming up with a new focus every month, he said.

“I had a couple current council members comment that there hadn’t been an annual planning session for the past couple of years,” Willis said.

Another priority, he said, was to ensure that the newly opened Windsor Town Center becomes a success and an asset for the town.

The three newcomers on town council come January are: George L. Stubbs with 410 votes (20.07 percent;) J. Randy Carr with 364 votes (17.82 percent;) and Kelly G. Blankenship with 359 votes (18.82 percent.) Incumbents Tony J. Ambrose had 297 votes (14.54 percent,) and Patty Flemming received 323 votes (15.81 percent.)

Stubbs said he got the call from one of the poll workers while he was at a friend’s house where his sisters, Christine Jarrings, Sylvia Duck and Jan Jernigan, had what they called an appreciation party to thank those people who supported his’ candidacy. Later, an email from Town Manager Michael Stallings confirmed the numbers.

“I was surprised and excited when they told me I had received the highest number of votes,” said Stubbs.

He did not know whether or not he’ll stay on the Planning Commission, adding that Stallings will decide, but that nothing’s been discussed.

Carr said he was “very honored” to have been elected.

“You never expect,” he said. “It was a surprise and I’m very grateful for the people who supported me.”

As for what he hopes to bring to the council come January, Carr said that during his four-year term he hopes to help and support what the town needs.

“Hopefully, the town will grow, people coming in, businesses coming in,” he said.

Blankenship said she hadn’t been home very long before hearing the news; previously she had been at the polls.

“I saw it on the TV, and not long after I received an email from Town Manager Michael Stallings,” Blankenship said. “I was excited … and kind of surprised that none of the incumbents had won.”

She continued, “I’m honored to have the privilege and look forward to joining the council and helping make a difference in Windsor.”

Ambrose finished fifth in the election for the three available council seats, and as such, will vacate his position at the end of December.

“To be honest, no one really likes to lose, it’s mildly disappointing, but I am very satisfied with the results,” Ambrose said. “I believe the three people going on council will do a fine job.”

As for his plans for 2019, Ambrose said he was “looking forward to being a citizen again.” However, he still plans to get involved in voicing concerns to the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors and Economic Development Authority on behalf of Windsor residents concerning the juvenile detention facility proposed to be constructed off of Walters Highway south of the town’s borders.

“My biggest issue with the youth development center is the fact that it [the land] is owned by the Economic Development Authority,” Ambrose said, referring to the facility by its official term. “If they transfer it directly to the state, I think you’re circumventing the process. If it gets transferred out of the EDA’s hands, I am hoping it will go to the Board of Supervisors, and that the citizens will have a voice in the process.”

Although Flemming said she has a “mixed bag of feelings” about not being reelected, she will continue to be active in both community and governmental matters.

“I will be involved in the Friends of the Library. I will be involved with the Woman’s Club. I will be attending all the Planning and Zoning Commission meetings. I will be at as many town council meetings as I can get to.”

The councilwoman also hopes that the “newbies,” as she called them, will feel free to contact her for questions.

“I hope that they use Tony and I as references and information — and Rita, of course — if they have any problems.”

As for possible reasons why neither Ambrose nor herself were reelected, she thinks that’s partly because residents especially concerned about the issues regarding chickens, the detention center and maybe the newly renovated gym [Windsor Town Center] and its pricing were unhappy with how the two council members handled them.

“I just think there were a lot of issues that people think we should have gotten,” said Flemming. “Some of those issues were a factor for Tony and I because we’re just visible. But none of those issues have been resolved, so they’re going to go the new people and I wish them well, I really do. I’m kind of relieved it’s not me making the last final decisions.”

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In Isle of Wight County, polling sites in Windsor and Walters each reported higher than normal turnout for a mid-term election. As of 10:28 a.m. in Carrsville, 19.34 percent of the village’s registered voters had cast their ballots — a statistic one poll worker described as “pretty amazing.”

Registrar Lisa Betterton said that county-wide, voter turnout as of 3 p.m. that day was around 43 percent.

“Compared to our last mid-term, it’s quite a bit above,” she said.

All these election totals are unofficial until the registrar is finished canvassing the localities to confirm the numbers. Deputy registrar Viki Mainwaring said the Electoral Board has seven days to get the results to Richmond.

For the county, she added, “We had 29 provisional ballots that need to be researched and analyzed. This includes six people who voted provisional that had no photo ID with them — they have until noon on Friday to bring in their photo ID so their ballot can be counted. The results will most likely be certified after noon on Friday, but if the photo ID voters come in sooner, it may be sooner.”