Frazier is new Milton mayor after three-way race

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Neil Johnson
Wednesday, April 3, 2013

— Brett Frazier didn't even know he will be Milton's new mayor Tuesday night until the local media called to tell him he had won the election.

He was at his grandmother's house having an unrelated conversation.

"She was telling me about quilts," Frazier admitted Tuesday.

It didn't mean he wasn't thrilled to have won.

Actually relieved was more like it.

With a 66-vote lead to close out voting Tuesday, Frazier snatched the mayor's seat from two-term incumbent Tom Chesmore in a three-way mayoral race also involving Alderwoman Nancy Lader. Frazier plans to vacate his council seat, which he also retained in Tuesday's election.Chesmore, who led the city through an economic recession and slew of big-ticket facility upgrades, will be out as mayor at a time when the city faces perhaps its biggest challenge—the pending Milton Highway 26 bypass, which state officials say could have some lanes open later this year.

"We've got a lot coming up," Frazier said. "People may be tired of hearing it, but the bypass is going to be a huge moment. That can either be a disaster, a huge opportunity, or something in the middle."

Frazier, who has been executive director of the Oregon Area Chamber of Commerce for the last two years, said he has made connections with state regulators and lawmakers who can help him network for improvements in Milton, including developments on the Highway 51/Highway 26 corridor.

"We have a lot to do with the way we market the land on that corridor. It will set the flavor of the entrance to our community if not the community as a whole. We need to (keep) the east side of town a place where people come but want to stay when they get there," Frazier said.

Frazier was gracious about his win over Chesmore.

"Whether Tom or I got elected, the city was going to be in good shape the next two years. Either way, I knew we'd be fine. We'll have a good, strong city council team and city staff in place in Milton," Frazier said.

Last updated: 10:29 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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