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New mayor for Rockwood, first woman elected to council

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By The Staff

By JENNIFER RAYMOND

jraymond@roanecounty.com

James Watts will take the reins in Rockwood as mayor on July 1, when current Mayor Mike  “Brillo” Miller’s term will end.

Watts, a current councilman, sought the seat along with John Sublett and Calvin Trew.

Watts took 362 votes, Sublett had 232 and Trew had 77.

Watts said he was humbled by the results.

“I’m thankful for the voters in Rockwood having the confidence in me,” he said.

“It’s a tough decision to decide to run,” said Sublett, who also ran in the last county mayor’s race.

Trew spoke of coopration with those who were elected.

“I hope that everyone comes together,” Trew said. “With everything working together, we can overcome any obstacle.”

It has been eight years since Rockwood has had a new mayor.

Watts said the first thing he will be looking at when he takes office is the city’s budget.

City officials have not yet discussed or made any decisions regarding the next fiscal year’s budget.

Miller has said that he didn’t want to decide anything with the budget when a new mayor and three new council members would be coming in.

Along with Watts, three new council members will take office in July.

The top vote-getter was Peggy Evans with 462 votes.

Evans is also the first woman elected to serve on the Rockwood City Council.

“It’s great,” Evans said with a wide grin. “I hope I can justify the people’s confidence in me.”

After Evans came Bill Thompson, with 369 votes.

“I am looking forward to helping the people of Rockwood because they have been so good to me,” said Thompson.

And lastly elected was Stan Wassom with 360 votes.

“There were a lot of people who offered a great help to me,” Wassom said. “I’m just excited about the prospect.”

He said it didn’t matter who won because all candidates were excellent choices.

“Rockwood’s the winner,” Wassom said.

Watts agreed.

“The citizens gave us an outstanding council,” he said.

Along with the three new council members, come July 1, Councilman James Neal will step down from his position.

This will leave another vacancy.

In the past, the next top-vote getter has been appointed, Watts said.

In this case, the council seat would go to Harold Ishman, who received 181 votes.

However, that decision will be made when the new council is sworn in and takes office.