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SPECIAL SECTION

Anissa Welch elected Milton mayor with two-thirds of votes

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Jake Magee
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

MILTON—Councilwoman Anissa Welch secured a commanding victory in her bid for Milton mayor Tuesday night with almost two-thirds of the votes in her favor.

Welch’s win makes her the first woman to be elected mayor in the city’s history, she said.

Welch received 607 votes. Opponent Tom Chesmore got about 27 percent of the total with 255 votes. Incumbent Brett Frazier, who withdrew from the race too late to have his name removed from the ballot, received 64 votes—almost 7 percent of the total.

Welch’s short-terms plans include meeting city staff and community leaders. She wants to look at the city’s strategic plan.

As for her continuing goals, Welch wants to highlight Milton as a great place to live, work and play.

“I think the long-term plan is to have Milton be positioned so we have a resilient economy and sustained growth,” she said.

That will be accomplished by supporting local organizations and departments such as the Milton School District; Milton Area Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism; Milton Optimist Club; One Milton and other nonprofit and community groups.

“We have all these great organizations that make Milton a great place to live,” she said.

Welch hopes her time as mayor tightens the bond between the city and its residents. Everybody’s ideas are welcome, and she’ll encourage everyone to participate in the city’s growth, she said.

“I want it to be based on a really strong sense of a connected community,” Welch said. “That’s my main focus: to build and strengthen relationships.”

Welch boasts a wealth of community service that will help bolster those connections. She’s had a hand in everything from the Celebrate Milton Committee to the Milton Youth Coalition to the Salvation Army and Red Cross.

Her shift from councilwoman to mayor leaves an open seat on the city council, where she served two terms.

Traditionally, the mayor reviews applications to fill the seat and makes a recommendation to the city council, which then makes the final decision. Welch said she plans to take that route.

The mayor’s job comes with a lot more responsibility. A council member’s policy and position are well defined, but that’s not necessarily the case for the mayor, she said.

“You’re much more of a public ambassador for the city of Milton” as mayor, Welch said. “The position has a lot more responsibility to be the face of Milton.

“I’ll probably get a lot more phone calls,” she said, joking.

Welch thanked Chesmore for running a good campaign. She said it felt good to “make history.”

“I’m so excited. I’m so appreciative of my friends and my families and the voters of Milton,” she said.

Welch takes office April 21.



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