Dan Rife will be sworn in as the new Carthage Mayor next Tuesday after winning a three-way race for the four-year term in the April 3 municipal election. The race for Carthage Board of Education was much tighter, with challenger Bill Lasley and incumbent Lee Elliff Pound winning the two seats over incumbent Michael Goolsby.
Dan Rife will be sworn in as the new Carthage Mayor next Tuesday after winning a three-way race for the four-year term in the April 3 municipal election.
Rife won 737 of the 1,406 votes, or 52.4 percent, to Jason Shelfer's 434 votes and Brad Cameron's 235 votes.
The race for Carthage Board of Education was much tighter, with challenger Bill Lasley winning 1,206 votes, or 35.99 percent of the 3,351 votes cast. Incumbent Lee Elliff Pound took the second seat by edging the other incumbent, Michael Goolsby by 50 votes, 1,086 to 1,036.
The vote means the end for Goolsby's 12-year tenure on the Board.
As for the other issue Carthage voters cast ballots on, the county-wide road road tax question passed by a 74-percent to 26 percent margin.
The vote was 5,818 yes to 2,067 no to make permanent a quarter-cent sales tax to pay for maintenance to county roads. It was the fifth time voters renewed the tax since it started in 1986 and this will be the last because of the language on the ballot to make it permanent.
Rife said he thought the voters had three good candidates to choose from in the race for Mayor, but he was thrilled and relieved they picked him.
Rife and Shelfer spent much of election day with Lasley outside the polling places holding signs and meeting with voters in temperatures that plummeted from near 70 to the mid 40s in the morning.
“It was a good race,” Rife said. “Jason and I sat at the polling places all day today and talked and had a long conversation. There wasn't going to be a loser either way. I think we both have the city's best interests in mind. We may disagree on how that plays out in some instances, but there wasn't a bad guy in the race. That goes for all three candidates.”
Rife thanked his family and others who helped him in the campaign.
“I had a lot of people helping me and I couldn't have done it at all without everybody who chipped in and helped,” Rife said. “It's not just me as much as it is everyone who got in there and helped.”
Rife said he didn't foresee any big changes in city operations when he takes over next week.
“I think we keep things as calm and as stable as can be and then we start looking towards future changes,” Rife said. “Things have been running well and there's no reason for that to change.”
Lasley will be the newcomer on the Carthage Board of Education after ousting long-time incumbent Michael Goolsby.
Lasley said he was humbled and touched by the vote and thanked his family for their help.
He also thanked friends who helped in different ways.
“My friends who were out this morning helping at the polls, the Terrys the Ralstons, the Williams,” Lasley said. “And people like Paul Richardson who came up to me and said 'I'm praying for you.' It touched me and I just hope I can deliver on some of the items I brought up. I'm truly humbled.”
Lasley said he thought the campaign was a clean one.
“We needled each other a little bit, but overall, it was at a high level,” Lasley said. “I want to tell Mike Goolsby that I appreciate his 12 years of service. I know that took a lot of his time and effort and I'm sorry someone had to lose.”
Lee Elliff Pound
Pound said she was humbled by the vote and saddened to see a long-time partner on the board, Michael Goolsby, go, but she was also looking forward to the future.
“I'm very humbled and appreciate everyone who supported me in the election,” Pound said. “And I promise to continue to always do what's best for all Carthage R-9 children.”
Pound said the district has amazing teachers and administrators and she plans to continue to do what she can to help them do their job.
“You cannot look at a MAP score as a reflection of a school district,” Pound said. “You have to look at the overall package. We have an amazing school district and we cannot thank those teachers enough for what they do.”