Election 2014: Best bests Harriman hopefuls as top vote-getter

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By Cindy Simpson

Wayne Best handily won a spot as one of three Harriman City Councilmen, joining two returning councilmen, Chris Ahler and Buddy Holley.

The former Harriman fire chief, who resigned to spend time with family, previously served on City Council.

He led the victors in unofficial votes last week.

“I appreciate the trust and faith they put in me,” said Best.

“I won’t let them down. I’ll stand up for the people of Harriman.”

Best said his first mission upon taking office will be to look at the budget, with special study on employee wages and the recreational department budget.

He also said he’d try to find ways for the city to pave.

“We have got to pave some roads,” Best said.

Harriman Councilman Chris Ahler won his first full term on Council.

He was first appointed to Council upon the resignation of Chase Tedder.

Ahler later was elected to fill the remainder of the term.

“I just want to thank the voters in Harriman for electing me to this second term,” he said.

“I look forward to working with the Council and the mayor to advance the city of Harriman economically and aesthetically over the next four years.”

His main focus at the beginning of this new term is the placement of a city manager.

“I think that will be an extremely important role that person is going to play in the execution of the policies we put in place in the city of Harriman,” Ahler said.

Councilman Buddy Holley also retains his seat.

“I’d like to thank them very much for the support and their trust in me, and I look forward to keep moving forward with the city,” he said. “I want to thank all of my supporters for their help and all the voters for their confidence.”

He’s got plans to focus on the paper mill property, which is being cleaned up for what officials would like to see used for recreation.

Looking into the future is his big focus, including a paving plan and a long-term plan.

Holley was responsible for rewriting the Harriman City Charter to create the position of city manager and for the progress in cleanup for the papaper mill site.

“I look forward to working with the three elected,” Harriman Mayor Chris Mason said Friday.

The projects he’s looking forward to working on include the widening of Hwy. 29/Ruritan Road, cleanup at the paper mill site and the Renaissance Festival.

Councilman J.D. Sampson lost his bid for re-election.

The outspoken councilman is known for being passionate about his hometown and causes for his community.

He refuses to shop at Rockwood Walmart, still stinging from when the big-box-store picked up and left Harriman without warning.

Of late, Sampson’s been pushing for fighting for annexation and challenging the county on its tax rate. Both are issues he thinks might die without him to push it.